The Medical Board of California revoked the license of a Clovis doctor for a long list of offenses, including negligently prescribing large amounts of painkillers to patients who may not have needed them and helping others mask their marijuana use from employee drug tests.
Dr. Clair L. Pettinger, who specialized in emergency medicine at a practice at 2491 E. Alluvial Ave., Suite 55, had his license revoked on Jan. 14 and no longer will be able to practice medicine in California.
Pettinger could not be reached for comment.
The 33-page report by the medical board outlines dozens of offenses committed over the last few years. Most revolve around Pettinger’s negligent prescribing practices. The physicians who reviewed Pettinger’s patient files noted he prescribed as many as 500 pain pills in one appointment to people who may not have needed any medication at all.
The board also noted Pettinger’s criminal convictions.
In 2011, Pettinger prescribed medical marijuana and painkillers to undercover U.S. Department of Justice and FBI agents without verifying their false medical records. When one of the undercover agents told the doctor he was worried about not passing a drug test, Pettinger prescribed him Marinol to mask the marijuana.
One of the agents told Pettinger that she used pain pills recreationally to “feel good.” According to the medical board, Pettinger told her there was “no good reason” for her to take pills, but he said that if she had an MRI exam and sent the results to him, he would prescribe her drugs regardless of the diagnosis.
He was convicted of five felonies and one misdemeanor related to the undercover operation. On March 17, 2015, he was sentenced to one year in state prison, which was suspended provided he completes a work program with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office and five years of probation. In December, his work program was transferred to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
The board also noted that Pettinger had failed to keep accurate records.
He first received his medical license in 1975.