August 2015 Newsletter

Posted in Latest News on August 25, 2015.

Bernardo Fernandez, M.D.
Bernardo Fernandez, M.D.
Sarvam TerKonda, M.D.
Sarvam TerKonda, M.D.
Vice Chairman

The Board of Medicine meets six times each year to conduct disciplinary hearings, licensure hearings and to handle board business including creating and amending rules of the Board. Another role of the Board is to recognize outstanding Florida medical students, residents, physicians, members and staff.
At the August meeting, Dr. Bernardo Fernandez took over as Chairman and Dr. Sarvam TerKonda began his term as Vice Chairman.

Board Recognizes Residents

At this meeting, the Board recognized four residents as part of the Resident Recognition Program: Isabel Gross, M.D. – University of South Florida, Pediatrics Department, Jeremey Miles, M.D. – University of South Florida, Orthopaedics Department, Jessica Frakes, M.D. – University of South Florida – Radiology/Oncology Department and Yilien Alonso, M.D. – Cleveland Clinic, Internal medicine Department. The Board recognized these residents because, among other things, they demonstrate extraordinary medical and social competence and skill expected of young medical professionals. Congratulations to the awards recipients!

Boards Says Goodbye to Member

The Board presented an award to George Thomas, M.D. who served as a member of the board for over eight years (below).  During his tenure Dr. Thomas served as Chairman of the Board, Chairman of the Credentials Committee and Chairman of the Probation Committee.  In addition, he has served at one time or another on all of the Board’s committees.  Thank you Dr. Thomas for your years of service and hard work!

Board Welcomes New Member

The Board welcomes new board member, Seela Ramesh, M.D. who was appointed by the Governor effective August 10th.  Dr. Ramesh will serve a four year term, ending on October 31, 2019.  Dr. Ramesh is Board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology.  Dr. Ramesh practices at Florida Hospital-Orlando.  Welcome to the Board!

Controlled substance prescriber not required on profile

The Department has received numerous calls in recent weeks from physicians expressing concerns that some pharmacists are not filling controlled substance prescriptions if the physician is not listed as a controlled substance prescriber on the practitioner profile on the Department of Health’s website. While there may be many reasons a pharmacist may decide in his or her professional judgment not to fill a prescription, the Department wants to ensure that any confusion concerning the physician registration requirements is addressed.

The lack of a designation on the physician profile concerning controlled substances does not necessarily mean that the physician cannot prescribe controlled substances. Section 456.44, Florida Statutes, requires a physician licensed under chapter 458, chapter 459, chapter 461 or chapter 466 who prescribes controlled substances listed in Schedule II, Schedule III, or Schedule IV for the treatment of chronic nonmalignant pain, to designate himself or herself as a controlled substance prescribing practitioner on the physician’s practitioner profile. This requirement is applicable only to those physicians that are treating patients for chronic nonmalignant pain. Therefore, physicians that are not treating patients for chronic nonmalignant pain are not required to register and may continue prescribing controlled substances for other diagnoses.

By Allison Dudley, J.D., Executive Director
Board of Pharmacy

Rules Update
The Board continues to work on rules for Telemedicine [Rule 64B8-9.0141, F.A.C.] and Office Surgery [Rule 64B8-9.009, F.A.C.].  Both of these rules will be discussed on October 8, 2015.  Stay tuned to our web page for more information.

Rule 64B8-10.003, F.A.C.—Costs for Reproduction of Medical Records has not changed at this time.  To view the current rule, go to Florida Administrative Code Rule 64B8 and view Rule 64B8-10.003, F.A.C.


Martha Brown, M.D., Assistant Director PRN, provided a presentation on disruptive physicians to the Board Members at the August 2015 Board Meeting.  Disruptive behavior can lead to miscommunication and patient harm; this is an area of concern and future discussion for the Board.  To view this presentation, go to the Board’s web site under the “Latest News” tab.

Licensure Statistics from the

August 6-7, 2015 Board Meeting

The Board of Medicine is tasked with ensuring applicants meet the current requirements for licensure.  If issues are identified in the application, the applicant may be asked to appear before the Credentials Committee.

Licensure StatisticsMedical Doctor ApplicantsPhysician Assistant Applicants
Licenses approved after appearance242
Licenses ratified by the Board2,43790
Licenses approved with conditions7NA
Licenses denied2NA
Tabled or no action41
Applications withdrawn11
Request for Modification of License on Conditions – Denied1NA
Request for Modification of License on Conditions – Approved1NA

Discipline Statistics from the August 6-7, 2015 Board Meeting

Restriction on Practice1
No Action0

In addition to licensing qualified practitioners, the Board conducts disciplinary hearings at the Board Meetings.  You may examine the agenda, agenda materials, and listen to the audio of these meetings at under the “Meetings” tab.

Board Meeting Attendance for CME Credit
Florida Administrative Code Rule 64B8-13.005 allows physicians to attend a full day of disciplinary hearings to earn five (5) hours CME credit in risk management or ethics.  The Board’s next meeting is scheduled for October 9, 2015 at the B Resort, 1905 Hotel Plaza Blvd., Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  The meeting begins at 8:00 am.  Be sure to sign in with staff upon arrival to ensure proper credit.

Did you know . . . .
Renewals for Physician Assistants and Physician licenses that end in an even number will begin in October.  Be sure your correct mailing address is on file and that your practitioner profile is up to date.  You can do this by going to under the “Provider Services” tab.  Remember this is the first mandatory CE Broker Reporting cycle, too.  We recommend you that you do not wait until the last minute to renew your license in case you have questions.


Florida Board of Medicine
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin C03
Tallahassee, FL  32399
(850) 245-4131 Telephone    (850) 488-0596 Fax /


Bernardo Fernandez, M.D., ChairmanJames W. Orr, Jr., M.D.
Sarvam TerKonda, M.D., Vice ChairmanSteven Rosenberg, M.D.
Magdalena Averhoff, M.D.Merle P. Stringer, M.D.
Gary Dolin, M.D.Seela Ramesh, M.D.
Nabil El Sanadi, M.D.Joy A. Tootle, J.D., Consumer Member
Enrique Ginzburg, M.D.Zachariah P. Zachariah, M.D.
Brigitte Goersch, Consume MemberVacant Consumer Member
Jorge Lopez, M.D.


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