Physician's license suspended in 2 states after allegedly using drugs on duty

The Iowa Board of Medicine has suspended the license of emergency room physician Maman Ali, MD, who allegedly was under the influence of narcotics while treating patients, Iowa Capital Dispatch reported Nov. 30. 

In February, Dr. Ali was treating patients at the emergency room at Carroll, Iowa-based St. Anthony Regional Hospital when a housekeeper entered a room for physicians on call and saw a vial of medicine and a needle. The housekeeper notified a supervisor, who then found other medications. At that point it was noted that Dr. Ali appeared to be impaired. 

Dr. Ali then admitted to the hospital's chief medical officer that he had been self- administering drugs by injecting them into his neck over the past several months, according to the board. 

Three days after the incident, according to the report, witnesses reported seeing Dr. Ali "shaking and foaming at the mouth, with a needle protruding from his arm and his eyes rolled back into his head" at a golf course in Omaha, Neb. He was taken to the hospital, where he admitted he injected himself with two drugs. 

He was charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence, and police allegedly found eight different drugs in his car. Six weeks later, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services suspended his license in the state — Dr. Ali also practiced at the Omaha-based Miracle Hills Clinic. 

In March, Dr. Ali submitted to drug testing that showed a high level of alcohol in his system, along with ketamine. Nebraska records stated that "Maman Ali is not safe to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety."

The Iowa Board of Medicine also alleges that in April 2020, Dr. Ali was found passed out in his car with the engine running and several bottles of alcohol in the vehicle. Citing the actions of Nebraska regulators, the Iowa Board of Medicine charged Dr. Ali with substance abuse in May. 

The board finalized its actions, the report said, and suspended Dr. Ali's license, specifying he can't apply for reinstatement until his Nebraska suspension is lifted. In November, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services charged Dr. Ali with continuing to practice medicine under suspension, alleging he wrote nine new prescriptions for one patient after his suspension took effect.

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