Fate of Jefferson’s career in hands of state medical board

The fate of a local doctor’s career is now in the hands of a state medical board.

Dr. Ted Jefferson faces criminal charges after accusations that he made gun-related threats at Baptist Health Paducah.

On Wednesday, we learned his medical privileges at the hospital were revoked and the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure is investigating his actions. This information was sent out in a memo to hospital staff; they also sent us a copy. In it, the hospital continues to criticize Jefferson’s behavior, calling it inexcusable and saying, "We have zero tolerance for anyone making intimidating threats in our hospital."

It’s that accusation that launched an investigation by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure, which is going on right now. And, because of that, they couldn’t give specifics on what they’re doing. However, a spokesperson says one part of the investigation includes interviewing witnesses and collecting statements. Jefferson also has an opportunity to tell his side of the story.

When the investigation is complete, the information is presented to an inquiry panel on the board, and they will decide what action to take. If they choose to file charges, they would issue a complaint and the matter would go through a hearing process that’s similar to a trial. The information from the trial is then passed on to the board’s hearing panel, and they determine what sanctions are appropriate.

The spokesperson says it’s too early to predict the outcome in Jefferson’s case, which could range anywhere from no action taken to taking away his medical license.

Jefferson has said he made comments out of frustration when he received dirty surgical trays from the hospital. Baptist Health Paducah fights those accusations, citing an investigation by the Kentucky Office of the Inspector General that showed Jefferson’s complaints were unsubstantiated.

The orthopedic surgeon still has privileges to practice medicine at Lourdes Out-Patient Surgery Center in Paducah.

Jefferson is scheduled to be back in court on Tuesday.

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