Medical board orders Iowa doctor, again, to undergo a competency evaluation

The Iowa Board of Medicine is giving an emergency physician a second shot at complying with a 2019 order to have her professional competency evaluated. (Photo via Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners)

The Iowa Board of Medicine is giving an emergency physician a second shot at complying with a 2019 order to have her professional competency evaluated.

In May 2019, the board sent a confidential Clinical Competency Evaluation Order to Dr. Linda M. Iler, a 68-year-old physician who currently practices family medicine and emergency medicine in Carroll, Iowa.

The order required Iler to successfully complete a comprehensive clinical competency evaluation within 90 days. According to the board, Iler never complied with that order.

In December 2019 , the board filed a public statement of charges against Iler, alleging she had violated the terms of the 2019 confidential order.

Now, under the terms of a new settlement agreement, Iler has been issued a warning and a $2,000 civil penalty, and ordered to successfully complete the comprehensive clinical competency evaluation at the next opportunity while fully complying with the recommendations of the evaluation program.

In addition, the board recently took these actions involving other Iowa-licensed physicians:

  • The board restored the Iowa medical license of Dr. Janice A. Kirsch, a 57-year-old physician who practices family medicine in Mason City, to full privileges, free and clear of all restrictions. In 2018, Kirsch entered into a settlement with the board, which had alleged that Kirsch engaged in improper pain management in violation of Iowa law. The board had ordered her to pay a $5,000 civil penalty and complete a chronic pain management course and a record-keeping course. The board also placed Kirsch on probation for three years, subject to board monitoring. In February, Kirsch successfully completed the terms of her settlement agreement.
  • William E. Olson, a 55-year-old physician who practices family medicine in Mason City, is facing a new set of charges by the board. In December, the board filed its initial statement of charges against Olson, alleging that he engaged in professional incompetency. The board recently added to that statement by claiming Olson was disciplined in another, unspecified jurisdiction for unspecified violations. A contested case hearing has yet to be scheduled.
  • The board restored the license of Dr. Donald R. Wirtanen, a 62-year-old physician who practices family medicine in Bloomfield, to its full privileges, free and clear of all restrictions. In 2018, Dr. Wirtanen entered into a settlement agreement with the board, which had alleged Wirtanen engaged in improper pain management in violation of the law. Wirtanen was ordered to pay a $5,000 civil penalty and complete a chronic pain management course and a record-keeping course. The board also placed him on probation for three years. He recently completed the terms of his settlement agreement.
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.