October 2015 Newsletter

Posted in Latest News on November 3, 2015.


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

Board Recognizes Residents

At the October 2015 meeting, the Board recognized two residents as part of the Resident Recognition Program: Jack D. Stringham, M.D.— University of Miami Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and William Taylor Palfrey, Jr., M.D.— University of Florida—Jacksonville. The Board recognized these residents because, among other things, they demonstrate extraordinary medical and social competence and skill expected of young medical professionals.

The Board also recognized Elissa R. Engel — medical student at University of Central Florida. Medical students are nominated by their Deans for professionalism, moral character, compassion and intellect essential to the future leaders of our medical profession and because peers and faculty already respect the medical student as an outstanding physician to be. Congratulations to the awards recipients!


Board members with Dr. Stringham


Board members with Dr. Palfrey


Board members with Ms. Engel

 Rule Discussions Continue

The Board of Medicine will continue discussions regarding Rule 64B8-9.009, F.A.C.—Standards for Office Surgery on December 4, 2015 at 10:30 a.m.

The Board, at the last meeting, proposed new language for the Board’s Telemedicine Rule 64B8-9.014, F.A.C. regarding the prescribing of controlled substances for the treatment of psychiatric conditions via telemedicine.  In December, the Board will review the proposed language for final approval.  The Board will also begin discussions on Wrong Site Surgery and Disruptive Behavior.  These committees will meet on December 3, 2015.  The agenda’s will be available online at www.FLBoardofMedicine.gov under the “Meetings” tab.

The December meetings are being held at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, 222 East Coastline Drive, Jacksonville, Florida.

Retired Status License versus Retired Physician

In the State of Florida, a physician that chooses to close her/his practice, but would like to write prescriptions and/or perform volunteer work is still required to keep an active status license.

A physician that is not practicing in the state of Florida, but maintains a retired license status, is not authorized to practice in the state of Florida. The practitioner is not obligated to update his/her profile data.  If a physician wishes to place her/his license on retired status, the cost to change an active status license to a retired status at the time of renewal is $55, and $155 outside of the renewal period.  The retired status license cannot be renewed by the normal renewal process and the physician will no longer receive notifications from the Department of Health. Please be aware that physicians choosing to change the retired status to active status will be required to pay all past renewal fees, demonstrate he/she has completed all required CME credits, and if the physician has not practiced two of the proceeding four years, will be required to pass the Special Purpose Examination (SPEX) before reactivating the license.


Licensure Statistics from the October 8-9, 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 appearance13NA
Licenses ratified by the Board593NA
Licenses approved with conditions16NA
Licenses denied0NA
Tabled or no action5NA
Applications withdrawn2NA
Request for Modification of License on Conditions – Denied0NA
Request for Modification of License on Conditions – Approved2NA

Discipline Statistics from the October 9, 2015 Board Meeting

Restriction on Practice0
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
www.FLBoardofMedicine.gov under the “Meetings” tab.

Information on Stem-cell Clinics Offering Unapproved Therapies

Physicians and their patients should be aware of the risks involved in unapproved stem-cell therapies and regenerative medicine offered in clinics throughout Florida. Although certain stem-cell therapies offer hope and hold great potential in treating devastating conditions, the FDA has approved few treatments involving stem cells. The Florida Board of Medicine encourages physicians and their patients to educate themselves about the potential risks associated with therapies offered by stem-cell clinics. Physicians are also encouraged to consider the regulatory consequences when providing unapproved stem-cell therapies.

FDA approved therapies use hematopoietic stem cells to treat diseases of the blood and immune system. But the majority of therapies offered by stem-cell clinics use adipose-derived stem cells packaged as a product called stromal vascular fraction (SVF). Procedures using SVF have become increasingly popular because of the relative ease of acquiring the cells.  Although the FDA has not determined that SVF is safe or effective in treating any disease, U.S. clinics sell SVF-based procedures to patients with myriad conditions from benign conditions such as hair loss to chronic and life-threatening diseases such as heart failure, muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson’s disease. These clinics neither claim their treatments are effective nor explicitly state that they’re unfounded. Their websites frame their work as experimental, although none of the clinics are conducting FDA-approved clinical trials, and emphasize the potential regenerative capabilities of stem cells. Their language is intentionally imprecise and exploits the vulnerability of patients with debilitating diseases¹.

Physicians providing or considering providing stem-cell therapies should have an IND (Investigational New Drug Application) or a Single Patient IND for Compassionate or Emergency Use.  If you have a question about providing stem-cell therapies to your patients it is recommended that you look at applicable FDA guidance or contact the FDA.  Links with information about FDA guidance and Compassionate Use INDs are provided below.  Licensed Florida physicians providing unapproved stem-cell therapies could potentially face disciplinary action against their medical license.  Physicians could face allegations of violating the Medical Practice Act for failing to meet the prevailing professional standard of care, or for performing any procedure or prescribing any therapy which, by the prevailing standards of medical practice in the community, would constitute experimentation on a human subject, without first obtaining full, informed, and written consent.  Physicians may also run afoul of federal law which may have adverse consequences on their medical licensure.  For additional information about stem-cell therapies please visit:

FDA Physician Request for a Single Patient IND for Compassionate or Emergency Use:  http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofMedicalProductsandTobacco/CDER/ucm163982.htm

FDA Cellular & Gene Therapy Guidelines:

¹Weiner, Zivin. N Engl J Med 2015; 373:985-987.

Healthiest Weight Florida: A Life Course Approach

Healthiest Weight Florida is pleased to announce the availability of a free, 2-credit Continuing Medical Education (CME) course, Healthiest Weight: A Life Course Approach. This monograph was produced as a collaboration between the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Medical Association (FMA). It is available free of charge to all physicians licensed in Florida, whether they are FMA members or non-members. For information on accessing the course, click the link below: http://www.healthiestweightflorida.com/activities/life-course.html

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 December 4, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, 222 East Coastline Drive, Jacksonville, Florida.  The meeting begins at 8:00 am.  Be sure to sign in with staff upon arrival to ensure proper credit.

Did you know . . . . The renewal window for physician’s whose licenses expire January 31, 2016.  To renew, go to www.FLBoardofMedicine.gov.  Once there, click on the Renew tab and follow the online instructions.  Be sure to upload all of your CME to your account at www.ceatrenewal.com.

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

Board of Medicine Members

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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