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Suspended doctor gets license back

COLUMBUS - The state Medical Board yesterday reinstated the license of Toledo area pediatrician Gary F. Gladieux, who was suspended for two years after it was disclosed he had extramarital affairs with several women whose children were his patients.

In October, 1997, the board suspended Dr. Gladieux, whose practice was in Swanton, after two mothers filed complaints saying they felt manipulated by him. Dr. Gladieux fought the decision in the courts - admitting to having consensual sex with at least seven mothers of his patients from 1991 to 1993, but saying the affairs did not affect the children's care.

But the courts upheld the suspension, and Dr. Gladieux began serving it on Oct. 31, 1999.

In a voice vote without any debate yesterday, the 12-member Medical Board approved Dr. Gladieux's request for reinstatement, saying he had met the conditions for getting his license back.

To get his license back, Dr. Gladieux took a 30-hour seminar on “advanced medical ethics” with Dr. Joy Skeel, a professor of medical humanities and ethics at the Medical College of Ohio. He has passed the American Board of Pediatrics recertification exam.

Dr. Gladieux can resume his practice on Oct. 31, although he will be on probation for at least three years.

Each year, he must complete at least five credits in medical ethics, said Lauren Lubow, an attorney with the state Medical Board.

Dr. Gladieux, who did not attend the meeting, could not be reached for comment.

But as part of the course he took with Dr. Skeel to get his license back, Dr. Gladieux wrote: “After much time and reflection, it is clear to me that not only was I morally wrong in my actions with family members of my patients, but I also violated the ethics of medicine regardless of the fact that the relationships were mutual and consensual.”

In June, 1998, the American Medical Association released a policy statement: “Physicians should refrain from sexual or romantic interaction with key third parties when it is based on the use or exploitation of trust, knowledge, influence, or emotions derived from a professional relationship.”

Dr. Gladieux, who said he has rebuilt his marriage through a counseling program offered by the Catholic Church, wrote that he expects to be “under intense scrutiny” when he resumes his practice.

As a result, Dr. Gladieux said he will not discuss details of his family or personal life with parents of his patients, will leave the exam door open a few inches unless there's a need for strict privacy, have a nurse in the room if he's uncomfortable with a parent or caregiver, avoid hugging parents or care-givers, and document whether any parent or care-giver flirts with him.

Paul Coval, the Columbus attorney who represented Dr. Gladieux during the 1997 disciplinary hearings held by the state Medical Board, said he doesn't know where Dr. Gladieux will practice.

“My understanding is his [Swanton] practice was bought out by others,” said Mr. Coval, adding that Dr. Gladieux has done a “whole variety of odd jobs,” including census taker, during his two-year suspension.

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