A doctor in America has been suspended after state officials discovered he was allegedly sending sexually explicit text messages during some two dozen operations last year.
The charges against Arthur Zilberstein, of Seattle, suggest he looked through a patient's medical records to obtain pictures for his own sexual gratification, and may also have been exchanging sexually explicit texts with that patient, according to documents made public by the Washington Department of Health. In one instance, health officials allege he sent a picture of his genitals to someone while wearing scrubs.
The health department said Zilberstein engaged in similar misconduct during about two dozen operations, ranging from caesarean sections to an appendectomy, in a five-month span from April to August last year, according to records.
Reached at his home, Zilberstein had little to say. "I know you have a report to do," he said. "But I have nothing to tell you. Thanks for calling."
During one procedure last August, Zilberstein, who worked as an anaesthesiologist, allegedly sent 45 messages with sexual innuendo in less than two hours.
Last July, the doctor allegedly sent more than a dozen messages arranging a sexual encounter with his girlfriend at the hospital.
He was involved in an operation at the time, according to the health department documents.
On several occasions, Zilberstein also allegedly texted pictures of himself wearing either scrubs or his hospital badge while exposing his genitals. In one case, he was nearly caught, health officials say.
"Oh, and my partner walked in as I was pulling up my pants. I'm pretty sure he caught me," one text included in the file reads.
Zilberstein has permission to perform procedures at Swedish Medical Centre in Seattle, but was not employed by the facility, a hospital spokesman said.
"The safety of our patients is our No. 1 priority. Once we learned that the state had suspended this physician's medical licence, the physician's medical staff membership and privileges were immediately suspended," Clay Holtzman, a spokesman for the facility, said.