At approximately 9:30 p.m., two doctors rolled a patient needing emergency ankle surgery into the operating room. The head surgeon said he needed to eat prior to the operation, and stepped away to eat in his car.
He didn't come back until the next day.
Dr. Tony Tannoury, a spinal surgeon at Boston Medical Center, had fallen asleep in his car. He is now facing a $5,000 fine and will be required to complete professional development courses after being reprimanded by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine.
The incident happened in late 2016 and was reported to the board in January 2017 after Tannoury was reprimanded from the hospital, the Boston Globe reported. The board announced disciplinary action against Tannoury's medical license on Monday, nearly five years after the incident.
There were a number of factors that caused the disciplinary action to take so long, the board's executive director, George Zachos, told the Boston Globe.
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"The patient was notified of the situation and the surgical outcome was positive," a spokesperson for Boston Medical Center said. "Dr. Tannoury is the director of spine services at Boston Medical Center and no additional issues have been raised about his services since this incident."
Tannoury has been licensed to practice medicine in Massachusetts since 2005 and is also licensed to practice medicine in Maine. He is an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the Boston University School of Medicine.
Tannoury did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Massachusetts doctor fined for sleeping in his car and missing surgery