Effective Friday, August 3, the RI Department of Health, Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline has ordered the immediate suspension of Steven R, Pezzullo, M.D.'s right to practice medicine.
The suspension comes after the Department was notified regarding a possible instance of misconduct during a physical examination of a 70-year-old female patient on March 25, 2011 at the Pawtuxet Valley Urgent Care Center.
The complainant reported that during her physical examination for symptoms related to either bronchitis of pneumonia, Pezzullo, 62, asked her to lie down and he "started to examine my breast over and over" and "started to move his hands lower and lower pulling my slacks down as he moved toward my private (area)." While this allegedly was occurring, the complainant stated she put pressure on her pants to stop Pezzullo from lowering them any further, then he left the room. She went on to say that the examination was unnecessary because a chest x-ray has already been taken and had revealed the cause of her symptoms.
At a recent appearance before the Investigating Committee, Pezzullo told the Committee that no one had ever made a complaint of this nature in the past, despite a 1996 investigation into his alleged sexually inappropriate touching of a female patient that eventually led to a "No Unprofessional Conduct" finding.
After meeting with both Pezzullo and the complainant , the Investigating Committee concluded that Pezzullo "had touched her breasts inappropriately during a stethoscopic exam and had partly lowered her pants without informing her before doing so, as is such, he is an immediate danger to the public if he were allowed to continue to practice medicine at this time,"
Accordingly, Pezzullo is suspended from practicing medicine until further Order of the Department of Health.