Md. doctor's license is suspended

March 28, 2006|By NICOLE FULLER | NICOLE FULLER,SUN REPORTER

California authorities temporarily suspended yesterday the medical license of a Maryland osteopathic pediatrician who was caught up in a network television hidden-camera investigation of sexually charged Internet conversations with children.

Dr. Jeffrey R. Beck resigned from his position as an emergency room physician at the Memorial Hospital at Easton in December, shortly after the Dateline NBC program aired, said Patti Willis, a hospital spokeswoman.

Beck, who was also licensed in California, sought to have his license there reactivated about the same time, said Russ Heimerich, a spokesman for the California Department of Consumer Affairs, which oversees the medical board. Beck obtained a medical license in California in 1979, and it had expired.

Maryland medical authorities alerted authorities in California to the situation, and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California launched an investigation into Beck's activities, according to Heimerich.

"It certainly was enough cause to go after this guy for unprofessional conduct," Heimerich said. "Because he was doing that and his clientele was kids, the board will likely seek to revoke his license."

According to a profile on the Maryland Board of Physicians' Web site, Beck maintains an active license. It was issued on Aug. 6, 1999, and will expire Sept. 30. A board spokeswoman could not be reached last night.

According to a transcript of the show, Beck chatted online with someone he thought was a 14-year-old boy named Luke but who was actually a trained volunteer working for a child protection organization. Dateline set up hidden cameras at a Rockville home where Beck arranged to meet the boy. Instead, he was met by a reporter.

Beck denied any malicious intent and said he was worried about the boy being alone at home.

nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

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