New York Doctor Loses License After Sex Texts to Teen Patient

Marcia Frellick

March 05, 2020

New York state on Monday revoked the medical license of a pediatric gastroenterologist who allegedly sent explicit texts starting in 2017 to a female patient, who was 17 at the time.

Dr Mirza Beg

Mirza B. Beg, 56, who practiced at Karjoo Family Center for Pediatric Gastroenterology in Syracuse and at Upstate University Hospital, was charged with 11 specifications of moral unfitness to practice, gross negligence, and negligence on more than one occasion.

According to a statement of charges from the state Board for Professional Medical Conduct, Beg "has been practicing medicine as a pediatric gastroenterologist in group practice in Saudi Arabia since July 2019."

Doctor Acknowledged Misconduct

In January of this year, the state board recommended that Beg's license be revoked. It stated that Beg "acknowledged committing professional misconduct and seeks forgiveness and a penalty that falls short of revocation."

Syracuse.com reported that in a January hearing Beg said that at the time he sent the texts, "he was under a lot of stress because of marital problems, a busy work schedule and the need to study for a gastroenterology board exam."

Syracuse.com also reported that the state of New York temporarily banned Beg from practicing in New York earlier this year and Upstate placed him on administrative leave in February 2018 because of the allegations.

Beg's attorney, Andrew M. Knoll, MD, JD, told Medscape Medical News, "While disappointed with the outcome, we respect the decision of the committee as well as the process itself, which is one of peer review with community input."

Knoll, with Cohen Compagni Beckman Appler & Knoll, PLLC, in Syracuse, said, "This is how physician practice and quality of care issues should be determined, through the procedures established by the New York Public Health Law and the provision of due process to the affected physician, even if the ultimate results are not always as hoped for."

According to the statement of charges, Beg was authorized to practice medicine in New York beginning in 2004 and he provided care to the patient, diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, from roughly November 2009 through February 2018.

According to the complaint, the doctor told the patient at the end of September 2017 that "he wanted to keep in touch with her" and they exchanged cell phone numbers. After that, the doctor had multiple conversations with her that included talk of use of alcohol and of sex and love, the complaint states.

The complaint says the doctor had conversations regarding "sex with Patient A, including sending to Patient A pictures with captions (i.e., "memes") depicting women in various stages of undress and memes with sexually explicit language."

The doctor "also conducted electronic conversations in which (he) expresses his love for Patient A," the complaint states.

It also states that the patient testified that she found Beg's messages to be "'unusual,' 'strange,' 'weird' and 'wrong' and that they made her 'uncomfortable' and 'confused.'"

The hearing committee determined that Beg was "an extreme risk to his patients" and that his interactions with the patient "were completely unacceptable, unjustifiable, and unforgiveable in the practice of medicine."

The state of New York agreed and, effective this week, his license was revoked.

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