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Univ. of Iowa Hospital Physician Punished for Alcohol Use

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IOWA CITY, Iowa - A radiology professor and physician with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics cited in 2011 for excessive use of alcohol has been punished again for violating her probation by drinking.

Wendy R.K. Smoker, who started as an intern with the UI's radiology department in 1977 and is now a professor and board-certified practitioner, was originally charged in June 2010 with excessive use of alcohol and suffering from a condition that might hinder her ability to practice medicine.

In January 2011, the Iowa Board of Medicine concluded that Smoker had engaged in excessive use of alcohol, and it fined her $5,000, according to public records. Smoker also was ordered to five years probation, requiring her to comply with monitoring and drug screening programs, attend alcohol abuse meetings, participate in therapy, file quarterly reports and refrain from consuming alcohol or drugs.

On July 26, 2012, the board filed new charges against Smoker for her failure to pay the fine in a timely manner and for drinking alcohol while vacationing in another country. Last week, the board issued a ruling fining her another $5,000 and ordering her to another five years on probation.

Smoker's probation comes with all the same conditions as last time, plus worksite monitoring, meaning a physician who regularly works with Smoker will be in charge of watching her and submitting reports to the board. The monitor must immediately report any indication of impairment.

If Smoker violates her probation again, according to the agreement, the board can suspend or revoke her Iowa medical license.

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