AUGUSTA — Waterville physician Paul Gosselin, accused of being impaired by drugs while practicing medicine, will not get his license to practice medicine back while his appeal of its suspension is pending in Kennebec County Superior Court.

A judge on Thursday denied a request by Gosselin to lift a board-imposed 450 day suspension during the appeal.

Justice Robert Mullen concluded, among other things, “In this case there was competent evidence for the board to conclude that the petitioner practiced medicine after consuming a battery of controlled substances as well as taking medication for which he did not have a valid prescription.”

Mullen also wrote that “although the events that led to the board’s actions took place over a year ago … that petitioner has offered no evidence that he has taken any steps to address the reasonable concerns raised by his conduct.”

Gosselin, through attorney Eric Mehnert, asked for the license suspension to be lifted indefinitely, or alternatively for a three-week period, so Gosselin could help transition a number of patients to other medical providers.

The state Board of Osteopathic Licensure suspended Gosselin’s license for 450 days effective July 17, giving him one week to transfer his 1,400 patients, most of them receiving treatment for chronic pain.

The board, through Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Bolton, asked Mullen to uphold the suspension, and on Thursday Bolton said, “We’re very pleased with the judge’s decision for the reasons we discussed with the judge in the hearing.”

Mullen heard oral arguments over whether the license suspension should be lifted in Kennebec County Superior Court on Wednesday and issued his ruling on Thursday.

The board action to suspend Gosselin was in response to a report that Gosselin was charged with operating under the influence in connection with a crash that occurred March 7, 2013, in Fairfield.

Gosselin pleaded guilty to the charge in December and was given a deferred disposition, requiring him to participate in the Driver Education and Evaluation Programs of the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, among other conditions.

Mehnert had argued that the state Board of Osteopathic Licensure violated Gosselin’s due process rights when it initiated a complaint against him, prosecuted it and found that he had violated rules of professional conduct, then gave him seven days’ notice that it was suspending his license to practice medicine.

A number of Gosselin’s patients have said they have had great difficulty finding new caregivers.

According to state records, Gosselin had been before the board on disciplinary matters twice before the July hearing.

In 2002, he agreed that he had demonstrated unprofessional conduct by calling pharmacies, pretending to be his own physician’s assistant and ordering prescription drugs and by responding to an emergency call from an intensive care unit when not on call and after consuming alcoholic beverages in October 1999, which was three months after he first was licensed to practice medicine in Maine.

Gosselin received another warning in June 2011. He was ordered to take a course in professional boundaries and undergo a mental examination in 2011 after allegations of unprofessional conduct by treating a family member not allowed by board rules and of sexual misconduct with a patient.

In July 2012, the board ruled that Gosselin had complied with the sanctions in that case, including the requirement for a mental evaluation and the requirement that he enroll in a course on professional boundaries. The board issued a final order in that case, stating that it was satisfied that he “does not pose a threat of harm to the public.”

In the most recent case, the board’s order that Gosselin’s license be suspended 450 days can be reduced to 90 days followed by five years probation provided that Gosselin undergoes substance abuse and mental health evaluations and submits a plan to respond to the results of the assessment.

Mehnert said Thursday that Gosselin “is moving forward with complying with the conditions” and hopes to keep the suspension at the 90 day minimum.

In its suspension order, the board found that Gosselin, among other things, practiced medicine after ingesting drugs and had prescribed medicines for himself in “circumstances that did not warrant self-treatment.”

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]com

Twitter: @betadams

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