Seattle Doctor Accused of Sexting During Surgery

Suspended for allegedly sending dirty messages while patients were under.

ByABC News
June 10, 2014, 12:12 PM

June 10, 2014 — -- A Seattle doctor has been suspended amid accusations he sexted during surgery -- one time sending 45 dirty messages during a single operation, officials said.

Arthur Zilberstein's license was yanked for his "lack of focus" and allegedly putting patients at risk while he worked as an anesthesiologist during surgeries, including cesarean deliveries, labor epidurals, an appendectomy and more, according to a Washington state medical board's statement of charges.

"I'm hella busy with C sections," one text message read, according to the statement.

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Zilberstein, who worked at Swedish Medical Center, was also accused of sending X-rated selfies, wearing his hospital scrubs and badge with his genitals exposed. One alleged exchange suggested he was nearly caught in the act.

"Oh. And my partner walked in as I was pulling up my scrubs. I'm pretty sure he caught me," Zilberstein wrote in one text message, according to the state medical board.

The doctor sent multiple sex-related messages to the same woman, a patient, and invited her to visit the hospital for sex, telling her she could park in the doctor's lot to avoid paying for parking, according to the accusations.

The pair allegedly arranged to meet in the doctor's lounge or hospital call room for sexual encounters.

Zilberstein obtained the unnamed woman's medical records "not for medical purposes, but in order to view images of the patient for his own sexual gratification," the statement said.

He also prescribed drugs without keeping medical records, officials said.

The alleged violations happened between April and August 2013. The charges do not indicate that anyone was hurt by Zilberstein's alleged actions, only that he "put patients at unreasonable risk of harm."

Zilberstein could not be reached for comment and the Washington state health department did not know if he had retained a lawyer.

He went to medical school at UC-San Diego and completed his residency at the University of Washington, according to his bio page on the hospital's website. He received his license to practice medicine from Washington state in 1995.

The health department was tipped off to Zilberstein's alleged actions when it received two complaints, spokesman Donn Moyer said. One complaint came from a patient and another from a health care professional, Moyer said.

Zilberstein had 20 days from Friday, June 6, to respond to the charges and request a hearing, the health department said.