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Judge denies New London doctor's request to get her license back

By MICHAEL COUSINEAU
New Hampshire Union Leader

November 28. 2017 11:48AM
Dr. Anna M. Konopka of New London, who opened a pediatric and internal medicine practice in New Hampshire in 1989, has never been sued for malpractice in the state, according to the Board of Medicine. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER FILE)



CONCORD — A judge commended 84-year-old New London physician Anna Konopka for her "devotion to her patients" but refused to restore her medical license, which she surrendered partly because she didn't use a computer for medical record keeping.

Merrimack Count Judge John Kissinger wrote that Konopka "has failed to demonstrate that the extraordinary remedy of an injunction allowing her to continue to practice medicine is appropriate."

Konopka asked Kissinger last week to reconsider his decision and is awaiting his ruling.

"I'm not giving up," Konopka said Tuesday. "If they refuse, I'm going to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Konopka has maintained the state medical board pressured her to surrender her medical license earlier this year.

Kissinger said that Konopka received legal advice.

"Following a period of negotiations and with the assistance of legal counsel, Dr. Konopka signed a document agreeing to surrender her license to resolve pending allegations concerning her practice," the judge wrote in a four-page decision. "At no time did either Dr. Konopka or her counsel challenge the legitimacy of her voluntary surrender; nor did she seek to have the surrender document set aside or vacated."

In September, the Board of Medicine announced Konopka, a solo practitioner family doctor, had agreed to voluntarily surrender her license in light of an investigation into her record-keeping, prescribing practices and medical decision-making.

Last year, state medical officials enacted regulations that require physicians who prescribe opiates and other addictive medicine to register with the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and check online to make sure patients are not receiving opioids or other addictive drugs from other doctors.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Lyn Cusack said Konopka surrendered her license after Board of Medicine investigators confronted her with the results of four separate investigations.

Cusack would not discuss the investigations, saying they remain confidential under state law.

Konopka told the court she had been practicing medicine for 55 years, including in pediatrics and general medicine for 46 years. She has maintained a private practice in New London since 1968.

"It is clear to the court that Dr. Konopka has spent her career helping people in her medical practice and has a genuine commitment to address the needs of those not able to afford medical care elsewhere," Kissinger wrote. "Her motivation to seek an injunction allowing her to continue to practice comes from a sincere desire to continue to help her patients.

mcousineau@unionleader.com


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