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June 5 2014

Maryland suspends doctor with 1987 rape conviction

Revelations that a former Catonsville doctor obtained his Maryland medical license despite having a rape conviction on his record is sparking a push for criminal background checks of physicians - a proposal that has failed and been ignored in recent years.

The doctor convicted of raping a Florida woman at gunpoint in 1986 had his medical license in Maryland suspended Thursday after two women patients complained he molested them at a walk-in clinic this year.

The Maryland Board of Physicians in suspending the license also revealed that Dr. William T. Dando disclosed on his 1996 license application that he had been incarcerated for a criminal conviction but didn’t specify the crime. He “stated that he had ‘assaulted someone’ while under the influence of alcohol,” Christine Farrelly, the board’s acting executive director, wrote in the summary suspension order.

The Maryland board doesn’t routinely run criminal background checks on applicants. Farrelly said the board is discussing making such checks for both applicants and licensees part of a legislative proposal this fall.

This case has regulators and legislators talking about reforms in Maryland, one of 13 states that does not conduct background checks on physicians, according to the Federation of State Medical Boards. Now that the board has made other suggested reforms, including reducing a backlog of complaints, it plans to focus on the background check issue, said Chairwoman Dr. Andrea Mathias.