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Surgeon Fined For Leaving Patient In Operating Room To Eat And Sleep In His Car

 

The head of spine surgery at Boston Medical Center has been fined over a 2016 incident in which he fell asleep in his car and missed a procedure.


The Boston Globe reports Dr. Tony Tannoury, 54, has been fined $5,000 after he admitted to missing an emergency ankle surgery one evening in November 2016 because he left the hospital to go eat in his car, where he fell asleep. State regulators have ordered  Dr. Tannoury to complete five continuing education classes in “professionalism.”


According to a consent order released Monday by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, Dr. Tannoury “left the OR when the patient was being prepped for surgery and before the surgery began, intending to get something to eat prior to performing the surgery.” He exited Boston Medical Center, “bought something to eat in his parked car, and fell asleep in the vehicle.”


Dr. James Rickert, president of the Society for Patient Centered Orthopedics, called Dr. Tannoury’s actions “egregious,” adding that the $5,000 fine is “inadequate” and that regulators should’ve determined a punishment long before five years had elapsed.


“That’s just the proverbial slap on the wrist,” Rickert told the Globe. “I can’t believe that if that was a board composed mostly of patients that they wouldn’t have had a much harsher penalty.”


Since 2006, Dr. Tannoury has directed spine surgery at the Boston University School of Medicine, an affiliate of BMC. Boston University School of Medicine’s biography page credits him as “a pioneer in spine surgery, specifically through minimally invasive procedures.

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