The five-year probation term imposed on an Irvine-based doctor by the Medical Board of California took effect Friday at 5 p.m.
The probation requires Dr. Naguib Bebawi, who practices at Advantage Plus Medical Center in Irvine, to complete clinical training, medical records and prescribing practices courses. The probationary terms also prohibit Bebawi from treating patients younger than 16 before he finishes the clinical training.
The three specific cases detailed in the document, two dating back to 2004 and one to 2007, all involve pediatrics patients. In one case, Bebawi diagnosed an infant with asthmatic bronchitis without "documentation to support this diagnosis or treatment."
In the next case, Bebawi saw a five-week-old patient for the first time, but didn't "document a birth history, a family history, an interval history since birth, a developmental history, the results of any physical examination, or a review of vaccinations." Later, Bebawi prescribed the child twice the recommended amount of an asthma medicine.
The document alleges that in the third case Bebawi prescribed "far less than the minimum recommended dose" of a medication and the child "returned to the clinic three days later in significantly worse condition."
Bebawi admitted that "his dosing regimens were a result of his experience and clinical judgments," not necessarily the recommended doses based on a patient's age or weight.
Based on the doctor's testimony regarding the allegations, he doesn't think the conduct in any of the three aforementioned cases fell "below the standard of care." During his testimony, Bebawi did, however, admit that his record-keeping practices were "substandard" before he got accustomed to an electronic medical record-keeping system, which was implemented in 2008.
The board cited Bebawi in 2006 for "maintaining inadequate medical records," but he paid a fine instead of attending a medical-records course, because the fine was cheaper.
During his testimony, Bebawi noted that he has treated over 100,000 pediatrics patients over the years. He's never been sued for malpractice. Bebawi didn't return a call for comment by press time.