The Medical Board of California has accused a longtime Fresno urologist of unprofessional conduct against two former employees, both female ultrasound technicians.
In an accusation filed Aug. 3, the medical board said the two technicians claim Dr. Narayana Sirman Ambati inappropriately touched them during ultrasound prostate procedures on several occasions over a period of years at Urology Associates of Central California Medical Group.
The medical board said the alleged incidents happened during prostate biopsy ultrasounds, when the technician and the doctor were in a darkened ultrasound room where patients are placed on the examination table facing the wall and have their backs to the technician and the doctor. The incidents occurred only when the technician and doctor were the only people in the room with a patient, the board said.
Ambati has not had a hearing or been found guilty of any charges.
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Fresno lawyer Mike Ball said: “Dr. Ambati denies the allegations in the accusation and has already requested a full hearing regarding the same.” Ambati requested a hearing on Aug 8, Ball said.
Ambati is listed on the Urology Associates’ website as a founding member of the group. The doctor has had a “very long and distinguished career here in the Central Valley without any other complaints or harassment or other improper conduct from patients or employees,” Ball said.
According to the medical board accusation, Ambati inappropriately touched one of the technicians, identified only as Witness A, by rubbing against her buttocks in a sexual manner. The alleged improper conduct occurred during prostate procedures from January 2013 to about Aug. 12, 2014. The board said the technician told investigators she found Ambati’s conduct “offensive, unwelcome and made Witness A feel extremely uncomfortable, nervous and caused her to begin to shake.” And she said the doctor’s inappropriate touching had made it more difficult to get good images of a patient’s prostate, the board said.
Witness B said the doctor’s inappropriate conduct began at the end of 2009 and continued through 2014. In addition to rubbing against her buttocks during procedures, Witness B said on some occasions Ambati would hug her and rub against her breast with the side of his hand in the dark examination room, the board said.
The technicians feared retaliation if they reported the doctor’s conduct because he was a doctor and part owner of the medical practice, the board said. They came forward with their complaints to a human resources representative at Urology Associates in 2014, the board said.
Lawyer: Complaints withdrawn
Ball said complaints were filed with the medical board in 2015, and “I know for a fact that the two employees withdrew their complaints back in 2015,” he said. “They sent letters to the Medical Board of California requesting that their complaints be withdrawn.”
The medical board was unable to confirm that the complaints were withdrawn. Investigations are confidential, said Carlos Villatoro, a spokesman for the board.
According to the medical board, Ambati graduated from the Andhra University, Andhra Medical College in India in 1964 and has had a license to practice medicine in California since 1984. According to the Urology Associates website, he completed his residency in Ireland at the Royal College of Surgeons. He came to the United States to the University of Iowa to serve on the faculty of the Urology Department there. He is a clinical professor of urology at UCSF Fresno.