Volume 6, Number 4

The Board of Physician Quality Assurance received a Governor's Quality Commitment Bronze Award at the Governor's Annual Award and Employee Recognition Training Conference on November 24, 1998. BPQA was one of 14 Maryland State Agencies recognized for commitment to continuous quality performance.

Following the extensive application and review process, a panel of examiners found that BPQA had implemented innovative approaches for achieving customer satisfaction which were aligned with its strategic plan. According to Tina Romanowski, Director of the Maryland Center for Continuous Quality Improvement, "They have implemented a strategic plan and will track the performance during weekly senior staff meetings, monthly Board meetings and advisory committee and staff meetings. The BPQA is on track to the Gold Quality Award."

BPQA was applauded for reducing the initial medical licensure process from an average of 120 days to 67 days. BPQA's educational outreach activities provided for the medical community and the general public were also noted as strengths. The examiners were impressed with the information available on the website about health care professionals regulated by the Board.

The BPQA Quality Management Team continues to monitor the Board's activities as they relate to the mandate of the Board and to satisfy customer expectations and needs.


HENRY MAURICE THOMAS, MRT, Certification #R03783, Specialty: Medical Radiation Technologist
(Baltimore, MD) Revocation. Unprofessional and immoral conduct in the practice of medical radiation technology based upon a criminal conviction of a fourth degree sexual offense. Effective 8/12/98.

QAMAR U. ZAMAN, M.D., License #D23371, Specialty: Medical Oncology; Hematology - Internal Medicine (Cumberland, MD) Reprimand; terms and conditions. Failure to meet standards of care with regard to the administration of chemotherapy to a patient. Effective 8/12/98.

SAKDA BENCHASIL, M.D., License #D16940, Specialty: General Surgery (Baltimore, MD) Surrender of License. The surrender was prompted by an investigation, the physician's intent to change his residence, and because the Board investigation revealed deficiencies in the physician's medical practice with respect to prescribing, recordkeeping, utilization of health care services, and treatment of patients. Effective 8/26/98.

ALPHONSO Y.S. RHEE, M.D. License #: D13631, Specialty: Family Practice (Baltimore, MD) The physician shall not participate in the active practice of medicine and apply for an inactive license. The physician failed to meet standards of care for eleven (11) patients in his practice specializing in family medicine. Effective 8/26/98.

KENNETH L. JONES, M.D., License # D27743, Specialty: General Medicine (Paintsville, KY) Reprimand; three (3) years probation subject to terms and conditions if and when the physician resumes the practice of medicine in Maryland. The physician failed to meet standards of care with regard to three patients in the physician's CDS prescribing practices. Effective 8/28/98.

BENJAMIN F. TRUMP, M.D., License #: D14726, Specialty: Anatomic and Clinical Pathology (Baltimore, MD) Reinstatement; the physician shall not practice clinical medicine in any setting without first obtaining written approval of the Board. Effective 9/2/98.

KWAME G. BUAHIN, M.D., License #: D42207, specialty: Neurological Surgery (Alexandria, VA) Reprimand; terms and conditions. The physician failed to repay his HEAL Loan and did not provide that information on his renewal application and submitted documentation of CME's ten (10) months after the repeated requests of the Board. Effective 9/2/98.

SHERWOOD P. LEO, M.D., License #D47956, Specialty: General Surgery (Baltimore, MD) Modified Probation Order with additional terms and conditions. The physician resumed his practice of medicine in Maryland and the Board imposed additional conditions in conjunction with the two (2) years of probation effective on his return to practicing medicine in Maryland. Effective 9/2/98.

HARRY L. SERNAKER, M.D., License #D43515, Specialty: Pain Management; anesthesiology (Cockeysville, MD) Suspension for one (1) year; effective September 21, 1998; six (6) months stayed; after active period of suspension, probation for three (3) years subject to terms and conditions which includes a prohibition against surgically implanting any pain management devices. The physician failed to meet standards of care in his practice of pain management in seven (7) of thirteen (13) cases peer reviewed. Effective 9/2/98.

WAI TUEN WONG, M.D., License #: D09789, Specialty: Anesthesiology; Pain Management (Silver Spring, MD) Suspension for six (6) months effective October 15, 1998; three (3) months stayed; after the period of suspension, probation for three (3) years subject to terms and conditions. The physician failed to meet standards of care in his practice of anesthesiology and overutilized procedures. Effective 9/2/98.

DAVID M. PEASE, M.D., License #D31783 Nonrenewed, Specialty: OB/GYN (Charleston, SC) Application for Reinstatement Denied. The Board took action based on action by the South Carolina Medical Board for the physician's conviction in federal court of violation of Title 21, United States Code §841(a)(1) (Unlawful Distribution of Controlled Substances.) Effective 9/30/98.

CARLOS C. SERA, M.D., License #D11001, Specialty: OB/GYN (Bowie, MD) Surrender of License. The Board Accepted the Surrender based upon the physician's age, his plans for retirement, and the investigation by the Board of an allegation of inappropriate and unprofessional sexual comments and behavior while performing an examination of a female patient. Effective 9/30/98.


BETHANNE L. MOORE, M.D., License #D42416, Specialty: Psychiatry (Washington, DC) Fine of $1,000 for practicing medicine with a lapsed license. Effective 7/22/98.

DAVID C. JONES, P.A., License #C00194, Specialty: Physician Assistant (Wheaton, MD) Fine of $400; terms and conditions with regard to continuing education. The physician assistant failed to obtain the required hours of continuing education credits. Effective 9/5/98.

RONALD CLARK, P.A., License #C00017, Specialty: Physician Assistant (Baltimore, MD) Fine of $500; terms and conditions. The physician assistant failed to obtain the required hours of continuing education credits. Effective 9/17/98.

MARGARET G. ZELCH, M.D., License #D15396, Specialty: Radiology (Shaker Heights, OH) Fine of $100; terms and conditions. The Board took reciprocal action based upon action of the Ohio medical board for the physician certifying to the Ohio board that she completed the requisite hours of continuing medical education requirements although she had not done so. Effective 9/23/98.


The Board of Physician Quality Assurance continues to conduct its free orientation programs for newly licensed physicians in Maryland. These three-hour sessions provide physicians with information about the laws governing the practice of medicine in Maryland, and information about the Board's position on issues including standards of care, inappropriate/sexual behavior, fraudulent billing, substance abuse, prescribing pain medications and many others. The participants review case studies to develop an understanding of the Board's authority and responsibility. The sessions are held at the MedChi, The State Medical Society, 1211 Cathedral Street in Baltimore, the Montgomery County Medical Society, 15855 Crabbs Branch Road, Rockville, Maryland and in the eastern, western, and southern parts of Maryland. For information about the programs in the eastern, western and southern parts of Maryland, please contact Rod Clark, Education and Training Director, at 410-764-2492, or 1-800 492-6836, ext. 2492. All programs will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will end by 9:00 p.m.

Please notify BPQA with your first and second program preferences. Also include your name, address, and telephone number where you can be reached during normal business hours. You will be notified of your registration and receive directions and a course outline once you have been scheduled by BPQA for this program. Physicians may earn 3-hours Category I Continuing Medical Education Credits toward licensure renewal. Fax your information to 410-358-2252.

Newly licensed physicians, please choose your first and second preferences from the schedule below and notify BPQA by mail or fax of your preference.

Scheduled Orientations

February 11, 1999 MedChi Offices 1211 Cathedral Street

March 1, 1999 Southern Area

March 8, 1999 Memorial Hospital Easton, MD

March 11, 1999 MedChi Offices 1211 Cathedral Street

March 18, 1999 Montgomery County Medical Society

April 5, 1999 Western Area

May 3, 1999 Peninsula General Hospital Salisbury, MD

May 13, 1999 MedChi Offices 1211 Cathedral Street

May19, 1999 Montgomery County Medical Society

June 7, 1999 Southern Area

June 10, 1999 MedChi Offices 1211 Cathedral Street

June 16, 1999 Montgomery County Medical Society

July 8, 1999 MedChi Offices 1211 Cathedral Street

July 14, 1999 Montgomery County Medical Society

Sponsored by BPQA,MedChi, and Medical Mutual Liability Insurance

The following is a correction to the article in the Fall 1998 BPQA Newsletter regarding "WHO MERITS HANDICAPPED PARKING".

Has a permanent impairment of both eyes so that the central visual acuity is 20/200 or less in the better eye, with corrective glasses.


The Board of Physician Quality Assurance established that routine procedures for physician assistants include those basic skills for which every PA has received training and should be able to completely perform upon graduation from a Physician Assistant program. Tasks which require additional specialized training are considered "expanded" job duties and require additional application and approval by the Board. All physician assistants must work under a job description, which has been approved by the Board of Physician Quality Assurance, regardless of the training received.

The basic skills are as follows:

1. Screen patients to determine need for medical attention.

2. Review patient records to determine health status/risk assessments.

3. Take a patient history.

4. Perform a physical examination (includes ocular tonometry, slit lamp, pulmonary function studies, audiometry, and visual screening).

5. Perform developmental screening examination on children.

6. Record pertinent patient data.

7. Make decisions regarding data gathering and appropriate management and treatment of

patients being seen for the initial evaluation of a problem or the follow-up evaluation of a

previously diagnosed and stabilized condition.

8. Prepare patient summaries.

9. Initial requests for commonly performed initial laboratory studies.

10. Collection of specimens for and carry out commonly performed blood, urine and stool analysis and cultures (includes Pap smear, ABGs, venipuncture).

11. Identify normal and abnormal findings on history, physical examination and commonly performed laboratory studies.

12. Initiate appropriate evaluation and management for emergency situations; e.g. cardiac arrest, respiratory distress, injuries, burns, hemorrhage, CPR, ACLS, emergent childbirth.

13. Perform clinical procedures such as:

physician/cardiologist) g. Carry out aseptic and isolation techniques i. Insert/remove narogastric tubes

j. Insertion/removal of peripheral catheters

k. Removal of central & arterial lines and intravascular sheaths

l. Closed reduction of dislocated toes

n. Removal of chest tubes.

14. Provide counseling and instruction regarding common patient problems.

15. Assist in surgery under direct supervision of the physician.


For Physician Assistant information, contact Marjorie Kane, Chief, Allied Health 410-764-4781.


The deadline date for submission of applications for USMLE Step 3 is January 22, 1999. For applications, contact LGR Examinations at 1-800-877-3926, 814-238-3066 or write to:

LGR Examinations

1315 S. Allen Street

State College, PA 16801-5992.

The exam dates are May 11-12, 1999. According to the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), this is the last the last paper and pencil administration of the examination. A computer-based version of the USMLE Step 3 is scheduled to be implemented in October 1999.

For additional information regarding computer-based testing contact the FSMB at 817-868-4000 or


Governor Parris N. Glendening has appointed three new physician members and one new consumer member to the Board of Physician Quality Assurance. Dr. Samir R. Neimat and Dr. Carol Samuels-Botts were selected from a list of candidates provided by MedChi after a statewide election. The newly appointed representative from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is Dr. Susan T. Strahan. The new consumer member is Mrs. Gwendolyn G. Rooks.

Dr. Neimat is a cardiothoracic surgeon in private practice in Tacoma Park, Maryland. He received his M.D. from the Faculty of Medicine in Cairo, Egypt, and completed a residency in General Surgery at St. Vincent Hospital, Erie, Pennsylvania, and a surgical residency and research training at Roswell Park Memorial Hospital, Buffalo, New York.

Dr. Samuels-Botts is an external affairs representative for Mid-Atlantic Permanente Group in Largo, Maryland. She graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and did further training in pediatrics at the University of Maryland in Baltimore.

Gwendolyn G. Rooks is a retired middle school principal from Baltimore. She is a member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, in Baltimore, Maryland, and serves on the Board of the Ten Hills Community Association, and FANS, The Baltimore School for the Arts. Mrs. Rooks replaces a charter member of the Board, Mrs. Christine Moore.

Dr. Strahan supervises long term psychotherapy at the University of Maryland and is a supervisor of Unit Admissions at Spring Grove Hospital Center. Dr. Strahan is a graduate of University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, and did her residency in psychiatry at the University of Maryland Hospital. Dr. Strahan comes to the Board as her father, Dr. John F. Strahan, retires from the Board after 11 years of service.

Dr. John Strahan and Mrs. Moore were the only remaining members from the initial appointees to the Board when it was established in 1987. Due to a staggering of initial terms, some of the members were eligible for more than the two four year terms provided by statute.

Both Dr. Brian M. Hepburn and Dr. William C. Crawley have completed a four year term with the Board and have declined reappointment. The Board is indebted to all of the retiring members for their dedication and efforts on behalf of the citizens of Maryland. The appointments of four new members in one year is unprecedented and brings both significant challenges and opportunities. The Board looks forward to an infusion of energy and fresh ideas from these new members.


The Board of Physician Quality Assurance has appointed a physician representative to the Provider Review Panel and to the Protocol Review Committee of the EMS Board. Dr. Ira N. Brecher will be the representative to the Provider Review Panel and Dr. J. Andrew Sumner will be the representative to the Protocol Review Committee.

BPQA has had statutory authority for the oversight of Emergency Medical Technicians-Paramedics and Cardiac Rescue Technicians. As of January 1, 1999, the responsibility was transferred to the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Board and BPQA's statutory authority will be repealed. The EMS Board will have the responsibility for the development of protocols for EMS providers, licensing and certifying EMS providers and discipline of EMS providers. However, as EMS providers function under the delegated practice of medicine and the oversight of physicians, BPQA will have a continuing role in regards to emergency medical services in Maryland.

Additionally, by statute BPQA and the EMS Board shall jointly adopt any regulations of the EMS Board, which concern the practice of medicine.


The most frequent question asked of both Board members and BPQA staff has created some confusion. "Why does license renewal cost so much?" Even though an explanation is included in the renewal packet, there is often some misunderstanding on the subject.

Every two years, physicians pay $520 to renew their medical licenses. Any assumption that BPQA keeps all of this money is not correct. BPQA receives $320 from the two-year renewal fee, or $160 per year per physician, for its operation. The amount retained by BPQA has not changed since 1991. The remaining $200 of the $520 two-year renewal fee is broken down as follows: $50 MedChi's Physician Rehabilitation and "Peer Review" Programs; $70 Health Care Access and Cost Commission; $24 Maryland General Fund; $56 State Scholarship Fund.

Licensure fees vary widely among the state licensing boards. In the northeast region of the United States, the average yearly fee is $156 (Maryland $160 per year) but the range goes from $40 (Pennsylvania) to $450 (Connecticut). Some boards, like the Maryland Board, must reimburse their states for rent, postage, the cost of administrative hearings, the salaries of their prosecutors, etc. In other states, these expenses do not come out of licensing monies. Some states retain monies obtained from fines. In Maryland, fines against medical licensees revert to the state coffers.