Psychiatrist arrested for crack cocaine possesion.

Source:  Psychiatrist arrested for crack cocaine possesion.    Tag:  va board of medicine license lookup

From the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. With any luck the guy would have been working in the hospitals' drug rehab program.

A south Arkansas doctor — with a previous history of drug arrests — faces two new felony charges after police say he got high and took crack cocaine to work last week. The doctor, Paul J. Loop, has since lost his job at the Ashley County Medical Center. The Arkansas State Medical Board suspended his medical license Friday and will decide whether to revoke it at a February disciplinary hearing.

Center CEO Russ Sword said Loop, 46, joined the Crossett hospital about two weeks ago as a psychiatrist. Crossett is about 10 miles from the Louisiana border.

Police interviewed Loop at the hospital on Dec. 3 after he told another employee that he had used crack earlier in the day, Sword said.

Crossett Police Department Investigator Shelbi Hughes said she found six crack rocks, worth about $ 250, hidden in a Tylenol bottle in Loop’s pocket.

Police also found drug paraphernalia in Loop’s room at the nearby Levee Inn.

Hughes arrested Loop on felony drug possession and paraphernalia charges. He could face up to 40 years in prison and a $ 25, 000 fine if convicted.

“It’s disappointing that he’s probably thrown away his career,” Sword said.

Loop has since posted bail and could not be located on Tuesday. He listed his mailing address to police as West Plains, Mo. Loop also faces charges in Kansas.

Kristi Pankratz, a spokesman for the Topeka Police Department, said Loop faces a pending charge out of her office for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Pankratz said a Topeka police officer found Loop asleep in a car outside a Topeka business just before 8 a.m. on April 17. The officer arrested Loop after seeing drug paraphernalia inside the car.

Court documents containing additional details on the case could not be obtained Tuesday.

The district court office in Topeka was closed due to an ice storm.

Loop worked for a number of years at the Colmery-O’Neil Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Topeka, said hospital spokesman Jim Gleisberg.

Gleisberg said hospital officials knew about Loop’s arrest. He resigned from the hospital on Aug. 31.

Sword said the medical center got Loop’s name through a recruitment agency.

The hospital also relied on the Arkansas State Medical Board to run a background check of Loop’s criminal history.

Sword questioned why the board’s service did not turn up information on Loop’s previous arrest.

“The Crossett cops quickly found out he has a record,” Sword said. “It seems to me that shouldn’t be too difficult to find out.

David Wroten, executive vice president of the Arkansas Medical Society, said all Arkansas hospitals are required to use the board’s service to run background checks and verify credentials.

The checks are considered very thorough.

“ If a doctor had a two-week hiatus between medical school and residency, they find out why,” Wroten said.

Bill Trice, attorney for the Medical Board, said the group’s credential-verification service uses an FBI database to check arrest histories.

The check turned up nothing to disqualify Loop.

Trice said it’s possible Loop obtained his license prior to his April arrest. That may be why the background check did not pickup the April arrest.

He did not know when Loop originally received his license.

Sword said Loop, who graduated from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, had an “inactive license,” perhaps from pervious work in the state.

The board met Friday and approved an emergency suspension of Loop’s medical license, Trice said.

It could vote to permanently revoke Loop’s license at a disciplinary hearing scheduled for Feb. 8.