State: Seattle doctor's license suspended indefinitely for 'sexting' during surgeries

OLYMPIA -- The state Medical Commission has indefinitely suspended the license of Seattle physician Arthur Zilberstein for sexting during surgeries, the state Department of Health announced Friday.

Zilberstein, an anesthesiologist, is required to undergo a thorough mental and behavioral evaluation and follow its recommendations, the health department said. He was also fined $5,000. He may petition for reinstatement of his license only after the completed evaluation.

"The Seattle doctor frequently exchanged sexually explicit texts during surgeries when he was the responsible anesthesiologist, improperly accessed medical-record imaging, and had sexual encounters at his workplace," the department said in its news release.

"Zilberstein also issued unauthorized prescriptions for controlled substances and legend drugs outside of his medical practice and didn’t conduct proper evaluations, diagnoses, or treatment plans for these patients," it said.

"He didn’t obtain their informed consent, provide anti-drug diversion safeguards for controlled substances, or keep medical records, and had sexual relations with one patient for whom he was prescribing drugs," the department said.

Zilberstein had privileges to perform medicine at Swedish Medical Center. After his initial license suspension, his privileges at Swedish were suspended also.

>>> Click here to see our initial story on this case.