NEWARK – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs today announced that the State Board of Medical Examiners (“the Board”) has temporarily suspended the medical license of a Gloucester County family medicine practitioner following his multiple arrests on charges of domestic violence.
Dr. Jonathan M. Tavares, a Philadelphia resident who was last employed as a third-year Family Medicine Resident at Inspira Medical Center in Woodbury, was arrested by Philadelphia Police and charged with domestic violence and other offenses on three occasions this year.
“When a doctor is charged with a violent criminal offense, his professional judgment and ability to practice medicine are called into question,” said Attorney General Grewal. “By obtaining the temporary suspension of Dr. Tavares’ license pending the outcome of these charges, the Board has upheld its duty to safeguard patients and enforce the standards of the medical profession.”
In an Interim Consent Order of Voluntary Surrender of License to be Deemed a Temporary Suspension filed with the Board, Tavares agreed to surrender his license pending the resolution of the criminal charges against him, and other conditions set by the Board.
“Dr. Tavares’ multiple arrests on domestic violence charges demonstrate an imminent danger to the public,” said Paul R. Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “Under his agreement with the Board, he will not be eligible to practice medicine until these very serious matters are resolved.”
Under the terms of the Interim Consent Order, prior to any restoration of his license, Tavares must participate in the Professional Assistance Program of New Jersey ("PAP-NJ") and comply with the requirements of the program, including:
- Comply with a treatment program as recommended and approved by the PAP-NJ as well as any and all recommendations made by that program for ongoing treatment;
- Abstain from the use of all psychoactive substances, including alcohol and medications containing alcohol, unless prescribed by a treating physician for a documented medical condition, with notification from Tavares’ treating physician to the PAP-NJ of the diagnosis, treatment plan, prognosis and medications prescribed;
- Comply with random drug screens for the duration of his treatment on a frequency as determined by the Executive Medical Director of the PAP-NJ;
- Comply with face to face follow up meetings with the PAP-NJ on a monthly basis, until further Order of the Board or until the Executive Medical Director of the PAP-NJ recommends, in writing, a reduction in the frequency of these meetings; and
- Sign releases with his treating physicians and counselors in order that the PAP-NJ may ascertain his level of compliance and progress with treatment.
Tavares also must:
- Appear before the Board, or the Preliminary Evaluation Committee thereof, with the support of the PAP-NJ, to discuss his readiness to re-enter the practice of medicine. At that time, Tavares shall be prepared to propose his plans for future practice in New Jersey;
- Affirmatively establish his fitness, competence and capacity to re-enter the active practice of medicine as a physician within New Jersey;
- Provide the Board with evidence that he is capable of discharging the functions of a licensee in a manner consistent with the public’s health, safety, and welfare;
- Provide the Board with detailed discharge summaries from any programs and reports from each and every mental health professional (including but not limited to: psychologists, counselors, therapists, psychiatrists) who have participated in his care and/or treatment for the disability in this matter during the period of time from the date the Order is filed to his appearance before the Board;
- Provide the Board with a report from the PAP-NJ detailing the nature and extent of his involvement with that entity, and whether he has abided by the recommendations made by the PAP-NJ; and
- Provide the Board with a full account of his conduct during the intervening period of time from the entry of the Order of Temporary Suspension of License to his appearance.
Tavares is precluded from managing, overseeing, supervising or influencing the practice of medicine or provision of healthcare activities in the State of New Jersey until such time that all terms of the Consent Order have been met to the satisfaction of the Board, according to the Interim Consent Order.
Deputy Attorney General Cristina E. Ramundo is representing the State in this matter.
Patients who believe that they have been treated by a licensed health care professional in an inappropriate manner can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504- 6200.
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