Surf City Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Rick F. Pospisil Faces Medical License Accusation

The bad doctor is in. Illustration by Matt Coker

An accusation has been filed that could lead to the revocation or suspension of the license to practice medicine in California of a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in Huntington Beach.

Click here to read the accusation that was filed with the Medical Board of California on Feb. 9 against the license of Dr. Rick Frank Pospisil. 

At the center of the accusation is Pospisil’s treatment of a 39-year-old woman who, due to a torn meniscus from a 1999 work incident, suffered from years of knee pain. That resulted in surgery by a different orthopedic surgeon to repair the meniscus. However, her pain continued, so in 2011 her primary orthopedic surgeon referred her to Pospisil for a knee replacement.

Records from her initial visit on April 3, 2012, do not document that Pospisil performed a comprehensive physical examination of her knee, which would be required for him to receive payment from her worker’s compensation carrier, according to the medical board staff, which further accuses Pospisil of failing to document that he looked at the patient’s previous x-rays from other physicians or that he ordered new x-rays.

Dr. Rick Pospisil. Photo courtesy of US News Health

However, in a report drafted after the visit that Pospisil submitted to the patient’s worker’s compensation carrier, he wrote, “Review of the history with the patient, physicial examination, interpretation of x-rays, review of her medical records, and dictation/review of final report have been performed by the undersigned.”

On May 14, 2012, Pospisil performed the knee replacement surgery, but he failed to document any discussions of rehabilitation options with the patient or any orders for post-op x-rays, according to the medical board staff.

Then, on July 27, 2012, Pospisil placed the patient under anesthesia and manipulated her left knee to treat her continued complaints of pain, but he did not document any other treatment options nor adequate patient informed consent, according to the accusation.

The patient returned to Pospisil six times between Aug. 7, 2012, and Jan. 8, 2013, complaining of continued pain, but the doctor’s records contain no information about investigating other treatment options or addressing those complaints.

For his treatment of the patient, Pospisil is accused of repeated negligent acts, false documents, creation of a false medical records, dishonesty or corruption, inadequate record keeping and unprofessional conduct.

The staff is requesting the medical board hold a hearing to consider revoking or suspending Pospisil’s license to practice medicine in California.

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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