Updated September 15, 2023 - 5:00 pm
Nevada medical regulators revoked the license of a Las Vegas OB-GYN for two years on Friday after he was found to have engaged in misconduct with patients. But the board suspended the revocation as long as Dr. George Chambers complies with certain conditions, including completing training, paying a fine and seeing patients only with a chaperone.
The Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners approved a hearing officer’s findings that Chambers engaged in disreputable conduct and demonstrated a “continual failure to practice medicine properly” by offering two patients $1,000 each to pose nude for advertisements for cosmetic gynecological surgery.
The board also agreed with hearing officer Nancy Moss Ghusn’s findings that the preponderance of evidence did not support counts related to allegations of an inappropriate exam with a third patient.
The medical board voted to stay the revocation provided that Chambers take 60 hours of continuing medical education courses in ethics and boundaries, pay a $6,000 fine and $54,000 in costs associated with the proceedings, use an approved chaperone with patients and refrain from photographing patients. It also issued a public reprimand, wrote board general counsel Deonne Contine in an email following the proceeding.
Two of the three patients referenced in the complaint said the discipline didn’t go far enough. The Review-Journal has not spoken with the third patient in the complaint. The complaint does not identify the women.
“I did my part to come forward and testify against him,” said Angela, one of the patients offered money to pose nude.
“The only reason I did was to help protect the women in the community in Las Vegas,” said the former patient, identified in the complaint as Patient B. “I feel like that medical board should have done their part and given him a harsher punishment.” She spoke with the Review-Journal on the condition that her full name not be used.
Before the vote, Chambers’ attorney Libo Agwara told the board the penalty was too harsh for the findings against his client. It was Chambers’ first disciplinary action.
“Make sure it fits the crime and it stops the behavior the board wants to stop,” said Agwara, who after the proceeding said his client would seek judicial review of the decision in an attempt to overturn it.
When asked to comment, Chambers swore at the reporter.
Patients say punishment wasn’t enough
The board approved Ghusn’s finding that the preponderance of evidence did not support allegations by Patient A of an improper exam that she said caused both pain and humiliation. The OB-GYN was accused in a complaint by the board’s investigative committee of using a slang term with the patient to describe his attempt to stick his entire hand in her vagina.
“It doesn’t go far enough, that’s the bottom line,” said the complaint’s Patient A about the discipline.
She said about the board members: “I believe if they understood the full gravity of the decision they made today, they would feel ashamed and guilty that they are allowing the women of Nevada to be in harm’s way.”
The administrative hearing spanned 22 hours in May and June, but the votes were taken Friday at the board’s regularly scheduled meeting with no comment from board members.
The committee’s complaint stated that Chambers, licensed in Nevada in 2003, “repeatedly exploited his relationships with patients and violated patients’ trust by engaging in sexual improprieties that constitute sexual misconduct.”
Board members met in Reno, with the proceedings teleconferenced to its Las Vegas office, which at times were inaudible.
Chambers sat next to Agwara as the attorney asked for leniency.
“If we’re back for the same offense, then bring down the hammer,” Agwara said.
In cases where the board determines that a violation has occurred, potential disciplinary action includes probation, public reprimand, limiting the practice of medicine to a specific branch, license suspension or revocation. Other possible measures include requiring participation in a corrective program, requiring practice supervision and imposing a fine.
Nicolette Matthews, who has filed a separate complaint with the medical board and a lawsuit alleging sexual assault by Chambers during an office visit, attended Friday’s meeting. Chambers has denied the allegations in her lawsuit.
Matthews described the board’s action as a slap on the wrist.
“This is just the beginning,” she said. “He’s going to see me and the med board again.”
Contact Mary Hynes at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @MaryHynes1 on X. Hynes is a member of the Review-Journal’s investigative team, focusing on reporting that holds leaders and agencies accountable and exposes wrongdoing.