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Following up recent news of UCSD physician John Peter Serra pleading guilty to criminal charges, another staff doctor is in trouble.

The Medical Board of California has filed an accusation against Bradley Glenn Hay, M.D., who allegedly has a long history of alcohol and drug abuse, and was found passed out on the floor after injecting himself with Sufentanil, a controlled substance, after completing an operation in which he was the anesthesiologist.

The accusation details a long history of drug abuse by Hay, and attempts to get clean, such as going to treatment centers. The accusation observes that in 2008, Hay was confronted by UCSD colleagues who observed him impaired on duty. He was sent to the university's Well Being Committee, which referred him to the Betty Ford addiction treatment center. At Ford, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

He returned to work at UCSD and was allegedly drug-free through 2014. In 2015, Hay stopped seeing his psychiatrist and began self-prescribing psychiatric medications. By the next year, he was ordering Modafinil, a controlled substance, from India. In 2016, his use of Fentanyl gradually increased, says the medical board. That year, he received treatment at an addiction center but did not inform UCSD, according to the accusation.

On January 27, 2017, he performed anesthesia on two patients. He made an error giving anesthesia to one of the patients, according to the accusation. After the surgery was complete, he went into a bathroom and injected himself with Sufentanil, according to the accusation, and was found unconscious on the floor, "covered in vomit, with his pants down around his ankles," says he accusation. Three syringes were found nearby. There will be a hearing, at which Hay could lose his license.

On September 28 of this year, the Reader reported that employees of UCSD's Jacobs Medical Center had received a memo, instructing them to report to senior officials if they saw signs of impaired employees. This does not appear to be the same case.

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Comments

Don Bauder Nov. 23, 2017 @ 11:33 p.m.

AlexClarke. I Hope you are wrong on that. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh Nov. 23, 2017 @ 10:11 a.m.

We all like to think that medical doctors are somehow superhuman, and we entrust them with vast discretion to use powerful medications. It's sobering (for us especially) to learn that many of them are very fragile humans. Doctors are supposed to know how to stay well, and if there is any group of professionals who should fear addiction, it is they. And yet, with the availability of opiates and opioids, there is a wide-open door for docs to get and abuse them. After his history of bouts of abuse, he's a poor risk for rehabilitation, and a poor risk to patients. A shame considering the cost and complexity of a medical education.

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Don Bauder Nov. 23, 2017 @ 11:43 p.m.

Visduh. Those are perceptive comments. II wonder if anesthesiologists have worse drug records among doctors. I also wonder what is going on at UCSD. I have reported on four serious incidents at med facilities there recently. Three of them deal with drugs, and the fourth may too, once we have very all the information. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 23, 2017 @ 11:47 p.m.

Debra Kuzma. The cure you talk about sounds too easy to me. From all I read, addiction is quite difficult to beat. Best, Don Bauder

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swell Nov. 24, 2017 @ 2:34 p.m.

It's often assumed that people take drugs for fun, to get high, to have a good time. More often than not people take drugs to stop pain. It can be physical pain or emotional. Rich or poor, everyone has pain and for some people it is intolerable.

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Don Bauder Nov. 24, 2017 @ 5:18 p.m.

swell: You raise an excellent point. How much of the opioid crisis stems from people taking them for pain, and then getting hooked. But then there are those who take them for a high. I would love to see studies on roots of this crisis. Best, Don Bauder

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