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August 29, 2011

Former Charlestown physician under investigation

Pain management doctor no longer with medical group

CHARLESTOWN — A former Charlestown doctor is under investigation after he surrendered his Drug Enforcement Administration license, which allows a medical professional to prescribe controlled substances.

Dr. Mazen Ibrahim, a family medicine and pain management physician, had been practicing in Charlestown for more than 30 years until his abrupt departure last month. After completing medical school in Cairo, Egypt, in 1969, Ibrahim moved to the United States. He ran a solo practice in Charlestown from 1979 until 2008, when he joined the Floyd Memorial Medical Group’s Charlestown office along Ind. 403, according to his biography on Floyd Memorial’s website.

Cindy Ferree, marketing and public relations specialist for Floyd Memorial Hospital & Health Services, said Ibrahim was no longer with Floyd Memorial as of July 1. She said she could not disclose whether he left voluntarily or was fired.

HIS STATUS

Ferree said there have been no lapses in coverage for any of their patients. All the patients have been able to receive treatment from other doctors, although some have had to go to the hospital in New Albany.

Ibrahim’s medical license was set to expire June 30, and he was sent a standard questionnaire by the state’s medical board in order to have his license renewed. Indiana Medical Licensing Board President Kristen Kelley said Ibrahim answered yes to the question: “Since you last renewed your license, have you surrendered your DEA registration or had any limitations or discipline placed on your DEA registration?”

A spokesperson for the DEA said any matters regarding a DEA license are confidential.

Ibrahim appeared before the Indiana Medical Licensing Board in Indianapolis without legal counsel June 23. According to minutes from the meeting, Ibrahim signed a memorandum of agreement with the DEA to voluntarily surrender his DEA registration.

The board voted neither to renew nor deny Ibrahim’s medical license. His license status was changed to “valid to practice while being reviewed.” Kelley said the case was then submitted to the Indiana Attorney General’s Office for an investigation to determine whether Ibrahim committed any violations. He would be allowed to practice until the attorney general either files a formal licensing action against him or closes the case, neither of which has happened yet.

Bryan Corbin, public information officer for the attorney general, said their office legally cannot confirm or deny the existence of any investigation.

“In Indiana, complaints about all licensed health professionals are confidential, unless and until a licensing action is filed with the medical licensing board,” Corbin said.

Ibrahim’s Indiana license was issued in 1978. He also has a medical license in Kentucky, which is set to expire in February 2012. The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure still shows him listed as working at the Charlestown office.

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