Dr. Edward Michael Linzey Surrenders Medical License Due to Competency Issues

The bad doctor is in. Illustration by Matt Coker

An Irvine obstetrician-gynecologist surrendered his license to practice medicine due to “mental or physical illness affecting competency,” according to the Medical Board of California.

With their signatures to a state acceptance letter in May, Dr. Edward Michael Linzey and his attorneys Dennis K. Ames and Pogey Henderson agreed to the license surrender and the facts stipulated in the medical board investigation that led to the discipline that became effective on June 7.

Click here to read the order.

Also known as Dr. E. Michael Linzey, he was investigated for his care and treatment of a woman who ultrasounds showed had a pelvic cystic mass before she delivered twins in 2007 as well as before giving birth to a third child in 2010. However, no cysts were seen in her pelvis during both Cesarean section deliveries.

The cysts turned up again during a routine exam in Linzey’s office in 2011, and the OB/GYN eventually sent her to another physician for a robotic-assisted ovarian cystectomy. But the cyst was unchanged when she returned to Linzey’s office in January 2012, so he referred her for another robotic-assisted ovarian cystectomy. Because the doctor who was going to perform the procedure was going to be out on vacation, Linzey did the surgery via a laparotomy incision, which was scheduled for April 6, 2012.

He opened the mass and tried to drain cerebrospinal fluid from the area, but there were complications that left the woman with headaches, bladder pain and feeling cold. Suspecting meningocele–a protrusion of the three membranes covering the brain and spinal cord–Linzey ordered an MRI and referred the patient to a neurosurgeon. It was determined that she likely had had a veterbral column defect since she was born, and she got a lot worse through her treatment on it before she got better.

The medical board investigation concluded Linzey had been incompetent, unprofessional and grossly negligent for failing to have a consultation with a neurosurgeon or general surgeon before the laparotomy and, after opening the woman up and seeing what he was dealing with, he should have closed her up again rather than creating “significant risk of neurological injury” from a procedure that was “outside the scope of practice for an obstetrician-gynecologist.”

The medical board probe also concluded “that his ability to practice his profession safely is impaired due to mental or physical illness affecting competency.”

Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.

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