A Maryland state legislator, who is also a doctor, has been fined $15,000 and reprimanded by the Board of Physicians for logging into remote legislative meetings from her operating room.
Terri Hill, 62, who is a Democratic delegate for the Maryland General Assembly and a board-certified plastic surgeon, appeared to at least two Zoom meetings from her operating room while she performed surgeries on two patients.
She has been fined $15,000 and was reprimanded by the Maryland Board of Physicians on October 19, 2021.
A complaint was filed against her in March by a retired doctor after the Baltimore Sun revealed she had appeared at two legislative meetings on February 19 and March 12 – both where her attendance was not required – from her operating room.
The lawmaker said in a statement that she ‘accepted’ the Board’s decision.
‘As a physician and a professional, I always look for ways to improve my practice,’ she said. ‘Sometimes this includes accepting constructive criticism from others. I accept the Board’s decision that I could have done better.’
Maryland General Assembly Delegate Terri Hill, 62, has been fined and officially reprimanded by the Maryland Board of Physicians after the Baltimore Sun revealed she had attended at least two legislative meetings while performing surgeries
She attended two Zoom meetings (her box circled in red) on February 19 and March 12 while performing major surgeries on patients, who’s consent forms do not reflect their approval. The first patient does not recall giving Hill verbal consent, the second did remember
Hill had her camera tilted toward the surgical lights and appeared on screen from the shoulders up. The Board’s report cited that legislators could see ‘blood-stained towels’ occasionally and staff members throughout the meetings
Doctor Alan Robin filed the complaint and said he was ‘outraged and appauled’ to learn Hill was with patients while attending the meetings.
‘To me, personally, surgery is a very serious thing,’ Robin told the Baltimore Sun.
‘She’s endangering a patient’s wellbeing by not focusing on the surgery and/or delaying a case by zooming with the legislature. This behavior is not appropriate and should not be allowed,’ he said in March.
The Board of Physicians opened an investigation on Hill following the complaint and reviewed medical records and watched recordings of the meetings.
Hill claimed she asked for permission from both patients and said back in March: ‘Had there been any safety or privacy concerns, then I wouldn’t have done it.’
On February 19, she performed ‘major adnominal surgery’ on a patient, who does not ‘recall’ giving Hill consent to ‘participate in a legislative committee meeting,’ according to the Board.
When she logged on, Committee Chair Kumar P. Barve reportedly asked her: ‘Are you at work? What’s going on here?’
She reportedly responded: ‘I’m at work, yes. You’re at work. I’m at work.’
She was a sponsor of a bill and spoke for approximately three minutes before logging off, the report found.
The Board also stated that the patient recalled Hill’s participation in the Environment and Transportation Committee meeting was a ‘little discomforting’ because the ‘attention was taken away from her during the surgery,’ the report said.
An unidentified physician’s assistant said Hill stepped back from the table and spoke on the phone ‘for a few minutes’ before returning. Hill was allegedly in the middle of the suturing process when she took the call.
She has been ordered to pay a $15,000 fine within a year and has been reprimanded. She is still a licensed physician in the state of Maryland
On March 12, her patient was receiving ‘major abdominal and back surgery’ when she attended a Health and Government Operations Committee voting session.
The Board noted that Hill’s ‘camera was angled upward’ toward the surgical lighting and only the ‘top of the Respondent’s [Hill] head and shoulders were visible’ and she would ‘occasionally shift’ to reach for medical tools.
It was also noted that there were several staff members moving around in the background and that ‘surgical equipment and blood-stained towels’ were also occasionally visible.
The second patient stated she ‘agreed’ to let Hill participate in the voting session during surgery.
Hill reportedly did not speak during this meeting, besides to cast a ‘yea’ vote.
Neither patient’s consent forms detailed that she would be taking a meeting during their surgery, the panel found.
A nurse who was also interviewed by the board said she felt it ‘uncomfortable,’ but didn’t feel she had the authority to ‘tell the physician what to do,’ the report said.
In an interview with the board, Hill said the medical director told her to appreciate the ‘sanctity’ of the operation room and said she now understands ‘the idea of “don’t invite the public into the operating room.”‘
Hill has a year to pay the $15,000 fine to the Board of Physicians. Her license will not renewed until the fine is paid.
She remains a licensed physician in Maryland, according to the Baltimore Sun.
DailyMail.com requested a comment from Hill.