Dr. Terri Hill, a state delegate and board-certified plastic surgeon, was slammed with a whopping $15,000 fine after she admitted to attending two legislative meetings from an operating room.
Hill claimed that both of her patients gave her permission to attend the meetings. However, one patient revealed that they did not remember discussing the matter with the Maryland state lawmaker.
“Patient 1 also said that it was a little discomforting that attention was taken away from her during the surgery,” the state’s Board of Physicians report said, The Associated Press reported.
The Columbia University alum released a statement following the controversy.
“As a physician and a professional, I always look for ways to improve my practice,” Hill said, according to The Baltimore Sun. “Sometimes this includes accepting constructive criticism from others. I accept the Board’s decision that I could have done better.” Hill added that it wasn’t her intention to put her patients at risk.
During the Health and Government Operations Committee hearing back in March, Hill was seen on camera allegedly performing a “major abdominal and back surgery,” The Associated Press noted. This year, Maryland’s legislative committee meetings were held via Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The public was also given the ability to live-stream the meetings and hearings.
According to the board’s report, Hill was “positioned under the surgical lights, focused downward, and would occasionally shift, reach for surgical instruments, or adjust the lights.” It also noted that she and other surgical staff who were present would “occasionally” move “surgical equipment and blood-stained towels so that they were briefly visible on the video feed.”
The report also highlighted another instance, presumably from February, where Hill took part in a voting session while wearing “a surgical gown, facemask, and surgical cap.” The 62-year-old openly shared to the board’s disciplinary panel that she attended two committee meetings, one in February where she was reportedly testifying for a bill she was sponsoring, in addition to the incident that occurred in March.
However, the Maryland delegate further maintained her innocence, stating that her patients were fully aware of her scheduled meetings during both instances. When the panel questioned her about her patient’s inability to remember her request, Hill said that “there was a lot going on, getting the patient to the hospital, getting them to the OR. I’m sure she was nervous.”
Hill is a member of the Maryland House of Delegates representing the state’s 12th District. The former Harvard student was first elected in 2015. “She is also a licensed plastic surgeon and has maintained a practice in Ellicott City, just outside of Baltimore, since 1991,” Newsweek noted.