Cosmetic surgeon who posed a danger to patients is penalized

Doctor is barred from cosmetic surgery until his skills improve

Dr. LeRoy L. Yates Jr., a 64-year-old gynecologist who practiced cosmetic surgery in Davenport, has been barred from performing such procedures in Iowa until his skill level improves.

Yates’ patients at the Diamond Medical Spa and Vein Clinic allegedly experienced excessive post-operative infections and complications, some of which were not properly diagnosed or treated by Yates. At the clinic, Yates performed 600 liposuction procedures and more than two dozen “Brazilian butt lifts,” according to state records.

The Iowa Board of Medicine alleges Yates placed in his clinic waiting room a customized advertisement designed to look like an independent publication called “Radiant Life: The Aesthetic Wellness Magazine,” which featured him on the cover and an “article” inside highlighting his clinic.

In July 2016, the medical board filed a lengthy statement of charges against Yates alleging he failed to provide appropriate cosmetic surgical care to multiple patients in Davenport between 2013 and 2015. The Board alleged he failed to possess adequate training in cosmetic surgery; delegated anesthesia services to unqualified medical staff; inappropriately performed cosmetic surgical procedures under IV-type sedation in an unsafe office setting; performed cosmetic surgery on patients who were not appropriate candidates for such procedures; failed to maintain appropriate medical and anesthesia records; and failed to provide appropriate follow-up care.

Yates was also accused of failing to obtain appropriate hospital privileges; performing a large volume of  liposuction procedures under IV-type sedation in an office setting without appropriate monitoring; performed surgery on a member of his immediate family; made misleading, deceptive or untrue representations regarding his competency, his complication rates and his success rates; and used untruthful or improbable statements in advertisements.

Yates subsequently completed a clinical competency evaluation and the evaluation program determined he had demonstrated significant deficiencies in cosmetic surgery and was unable to remain in independent practice while working to improve his skills.

In 2017, the board issued an emergency order prohibiting him from practicing medicine under his Iowa medical license after determining that his continued treatment of patients constituted an immediate danger to the public health, safety, and welfare.

The board recently concluded Yates exhibited professional incompetency, issued him a citation and warning, and ordered him to pay a $5,000 civil penalty and complete a medical record-keeping course. The Board also prohibited Yates from engaging in any aspect of cosmetic surgery until he completes a training program that fully addresses and remedies all of the “deficiencies in his level of knowledge and skill.”

Other recent actions by the Iowa Board of Medicine include:

  • Dr. Jonathan Haas, a 52-year-old physician affiliated with the Center for Specialty Care, which has a clinic in Estherville, has entered into a consent agreement with the board. In 2016, the Minnesota medical board suspended Haas’ license after he was committed to the state Commissioner of Human Services due to mental illness. Later that same year, the Minnesota board reinstated Haas’ license, but based on the Minnesota board’s actions, Haas voluntarily surrendered his license to practice in Pennsylvania. In 2018, based on the Minnesota action, Haas and the Washington medical board entered into an agreement enabling him to practice there only under specific conditions. Last month, the Iowa board granted Haas a permanent medical license to practice in Iowa. The board also issued him a citation and warning due to the discipline in the three other states, and referred Haas to the Iowa Physician Health Program for mental health monitoring.
  • Dr. Richard L. Dowell, a 53-year-old physician who formerly practiced obstetrics and gynecology in Marshalltown and currently practices in Missouri, is accused of failing to respond to, or comply with, a board investigation despite numerous inquiries and a subpoena issued by the board. The board says it has received information indicating several of Dowell’s former patients have been unable to obtain their medical records from him.
  • Dr. Margaret J. Fehrle, a 56-year-old physician who formerly practiced orthopedic surgery in Marshalltown and Vinton, has entered into a settlement agreement with the board, agreeing not to seek renewal or reinstatement of her license.  The matter dates back to 2018, when the board filed a statement of charges alleging Fehrle failed to provide appropriate orthopedic surgical care to multiple patients in Marshalltown and Vinton between 2008 and 2015. Fehrle retired from the practice of medicine and surgery that same year.
  • Dr. Linda M. Iler, a 66-year-old physician who currently practices family medicine and emergency medicine in Carroll, Iowa, is facing charges related to competency. On May 29, 2019, the board issued a confidential Clinical Competency Evaluation Order requiring Iler to successfully complete a comprehensive competency evaluation within 90 days. The board now alleges that Iler has failed to complete the evaluation in violation of the laws and rules governing the practice of medicine in Iowa. A hearing is scheduled on March 5, 2020.
  • Dr. Kang Lu, a 42-year-old Iowa-licensed physician who formerly practiced radiology in Massachusetts, is facing charges related to alleged unethical or unprofessional conduct. Lu was disciplined by the Massachusetts Board of Medicine due to his conviction in Canada for illegally importing firearms into Quebec; for fraudulently renewing his Massachusetts certificate of registration; and for lacking good moral character and engaging in conduct which undermines the public confidence in the integrity of the medical profession. As of July of last year, 13 other states had suspended or revoked Lu’s license to practice medicine.
  • Dr. Scott T. Roethle, a 42-year-old Iowa-licensed physician practicing medicine in Kansas and in other states via telemedicine, has entered into settlement agreement with the board. The board alleges Roethle failed to conform to the minimal standard of acceptable and prevailing practice of medicine when he prescribed medications to a patient via telemedicine without an informed diagnosis. The board alleged he failed to perform an adequate interview of a patient to collect relevant medical history. Under the terms of the agreement, Roethle has been issued a citation and warning and ordered to pay a $5,000 civil penalty.
  • Dr. Mary P. Rosman, a 63-year-old Iowa-licensed physician who formerly practiced family medicine in Sibley, is facing charges alleging she failed to maintain appropriate medical records; that many of her medical records are incomplete; and that she failed to maintain her medical records in an organized and secure manner.
Clark Kauffman
Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has worked during the past 30 years as both an investigative reporter and editorial writer at two of Iowa’s largest newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Quad-City Times. He has won numerous state and national awards for reporting and editorial writing. His 2004 series on prosecutorial misconduct in Iowa was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. From October 2018 through November 2019, Kauffman was an assistant ombudsman for the Iowa Office of Ombudsman, an agency that investigates citizens’ complaints of wrongdoing within state and local government agencies.