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Annoying text messages land Fresno doctor in trouble with state medical board

A doctor who formerly worked with a UCSF-Fresno program now stands accused of harassing a teen student in the program by sending sexually oriented text messages.
A doctor who formerly worked with a UCSF-Fresno program now stands accused of harassing a teen student in the program by sending sexually oriented text messages. Fresno Bee file

The Medical Board of California is accusing a Fresno cardiologist of professional misconduct for sending harassing telephone text messages to a teenage girl who was participating in the UCSF Fresno Doctors Academy Program.

Dr. Khoi Manh Le pleaded no contest on March 6 in Fresno County Superior Court to one count of “anonymous telephone calls,” a misdemeanor, for sending “multiple annoying messages via electronic device” to a girl under 18 in July 2015.

If Le continues to attend counseling sessions, obeys a protective order and has no arrests in the next six months, he can have the criminal misdemeanor count dismissed at a hearing set for Sept. 6.

The medical board said the conviction was a cause for discipline, and that the doctor had engaged in unprofessional conduct that breached the rules of medical ethics and was unbecoming of a doctor. A medical board accusation is a formal charge of wrongdoing. The accusation is based on an investigated complaint that has been referred to the Attorney General’s Office for prosecution of the medical board charges.

Le did not respond to repeated requests to his office for comment.

Once our own investigation was completed, his appointment was terminated, effective 7/15/2015.

Brandy Nikaido, spokeswoman UCSF Fresno

According to the medical board, a Fresno police officer was sent to a Fresno high school on July 15, 2015, to investigate a complaint involving a student who was participating in the Doctors Academy Program at Community Medical Centers. The Doctors Academy is an academic program for high school and middle school students that encourages them to pursue medical and health careers. It is run through the Latino Center for Medical Education and Research at UCSF Fresno.

Le, 44, offered to provide the girl with advice related to college admissions and career plans, and he gave her his cellphone number, the medical board said in the accusation filed this month. When the student sent Le a text message, he responded by giving her another cell number to call. In early text message exchanges, the girl said she told Le she was 17 years old, but Le proceeded to send her a number of inappropriate, sexually oriented text messages, the board said. The messages included Le encouraging the girl to come to the hospital so he could spend time alone with her and offers to engage in physical acts with the student, the accusation said.

Brandy Nikaido, a spokeswoman for the University of California at San Francisco-Fresno medical education program, said the university conducted its own investigation that led to the criminal investigation by the police officer, and which resulted in charges being filed against Le. “Once our own investigation was completed, his appointment was terminated, effective 7/15/2015,” Nikaido said. Le was a volunteer faculty member and his appointment was terminated as soon as the university became aware of the allegations against him, she said. “He has no involvement with the program.”

The medical board said that it also is considering a prior misdemeanor conviction for Le. The board said Le pleaded no contest for carrying a concealed weapon. The board said it issued Le a license in 2001, but immediately revoked it, stayed the revocation and placed him on probation for two years. He was ordered to do community service and take an ethics course for the conviction and for dishonesty, knowingly making a false statement of fact on his application.

Barbara Anderson: 559-441-6310, @beehealthwriter

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