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Doctor claims drug vendetta

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A doctor accused of masturbating in front of a female patient is scheduled to be arraigned today on a lewd and lascivious conduct charge.

A 40-year-old Worcester woman told police that Dr. Patrick P. Hogan, 61, of 17 Coachman Ridge, Shrewsbury, fondled his genitals in front of her July 15 in his office at the UMass Memorial Medical Group Office of Lincoln Street, Obstetrics and Gynecology, at 121 Lincoln St., according to Central District Court records.

Through his lawyer, Paul R. Cirel, Dr. Hogan denied the allegations yesterday.

The alleged victim told investigators Dr. Hogan fondled himself, over and under his "scrub" pants, while asking her personal questions about her sex life and espousing the benefits of self-stimulation during an office visit, court records show. Police Officer Dianne McFadden sought a criminal complaint against Dr. Hogan as a result of the allegations. The complaint was issued Oct. 2.

"I have every confidence that this is going to be dismissed," Mr. Cirel said yesterday. "Dr. Hogan denies the allegations. He's a guy who's practiced in the area for over 30 years with an unblemished record.

"This is a patient who, frankly, was irate that he would not prescribe narcotic medication for her and this is payback," Mr. Cirel said.

"Anybody can make an unsubstantiated and, I would say, scurrilous allegation like this" and establish probable cause for the issuance of a criminal complaint against another individual, the lawyer said.

Mr. Cirel also said the state Board of Registration in Medicine and UMass Memorial Medical Center officials were aware of the allegations and had taken no disciplinary action against Dr. Hogan.

The board of registration's Web site listed the status of Dr. Hogan's license as active yesterday and a receptionist at the Lincoln Street offices where he works said he was seeing patients yesterday morning. The board of registration Web site also indicates that Dr. Hogan, whose specialty is gynecology, has had no criminal convictions, board or hospital discipline or medical malpractice payouts in the last 10 years.

Russell Aims, board spokesman, said he could neither confirm nor deny the existence of an open complaint against a particular doctor or an ongoing investigation. Generally speaking, he said, it could take some time for the board to act on a matter only recently brought to its attention.

Alison M. Duffy, a spokeswoman for UMass Memorial, confirmed that the hospital has not taken any disciplinary action against Dr. Hogan and said an investigation was begun once UMass Memorial officials were made aware of the allegations against him.

"Naturally, our chief focus is the health, safety and comfort of our patients, and we respond quickly and cautiously to any concern our patients might have about their experience. We began an internal investigation as soon as this concern was brought to our attention. We continue to cooperate with the Worcester police and the Board of Registration in Medicine and expect this will be brought to a conclusion shortly," Ms. Duffy said.
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