Facing charges of incompetence, Iowa doctor gives up license

By: - August 30, 2021 2:30 pm

The Iowa Board of Medicine says Dr. Richard L. Dowell, a 55-year-old Iowa licensed physician who now practices obstetrics and gynecology in Kansas City, Mo., “violated a lawful order of the board.” (Photo: Iowa Board of Medicine)

An eastern Iowa physician who has faced disciplinary charges on five occasions and has been hit with an $18 million malpractice verdict has surrendered her license.

Dr. Lynette Iles, a 57-year-old physician from Washington County who has practiced family medicine in Iowa for decades, agreed to surrender her license earlier this month after the Iowa Board of Medicine accused her of incompetence.

The board had also accused Iles of failure to comply with a board subpoena and failure to comply with a board investigation. The board did not publicly disclose the basis for any of the charges against Iles as part of its statement of charges or as part of the final settlement.

In February 2009, the board accused Iles of failing to provide appropriate medical care and treatment for patients with chronic pain and failure to maintain appropriate professional boundaries with patients. As a result, Iles agreed to complete 30 credit hours of additional education and to be monitored by the Iowa Physician Health Program while her license remained on probation for the next five years.

In January 2014, the board accused Iles of failing to provide obstetrical care to multiple patients at her Washington practice between 2005 and 2010. She was ordered to pay a $5,000 civil penalty and barred from practicing obstetrics, her license was placed on probation for an additional five years and she was required to undergo remedial education and training and monitoring.

In May 2015, the board accused Iles of failing to comply with the terms of her 2014 settlement agreement, in part by failing to complete the educational requirements imposed earlier. As a result, she was fined an additional $5,000.

In June 2017, the board again accused Iles of failing to comply with the terms of her 2014 settlement agreement. As a result, she was fined $10,000 and her medical license was suspended for 30 days.

Earlier that same year, a Washington County jury found that Iles was negligent in the care provided to a pregnant patient and her child. The child sustained brain damage immediately prior to birth, leaving her permanently disabled. At trial, the jury awarded the child’s mother $18.1 million.

According to the Board of Medicine, Iles only responded to the most recent allegations against her after the board compelled her to appear in court regarding her failure to comply with a subpoena seeking information on patient care.

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Clark Kauffman
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.

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