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Needham doctor's medical license suspended after overdoses

Posted by Ralph Ranalli June 21, 2007 07:21 AM

NEEDHAM

State officials ordered a Needham doctor yesterday to stop practicing medicine, charging that he provided poor care to at least 30 patients, including improperly prescribing strong painkillers to some who later died of overdoses.

In three cases, patients died within several days of their appointments, during which the physician prescribed drugs such as methadone and OxyContin, Globe Heath & Science writer Liz Kowalczyk reported today.

The state Board of Registration in Medicine, which licenses physicians in Massachusetts, said Dr. Joseph Z. Zolot, 56, a specialist in nonsurgical orthopedics, "poses an immediate and serious threat to the public health, safety, or welfare," requiring immediate suspension of his license. The board ordered Zolot to surrender his wall certificate and wallet-size card.

Zolot can appeal the temporary suspension. One of his lawyers, Jeffrey Catalano, did not return a phone call to his Boston office yesterday.

A woman who identified herself as Zolot's wife, Jane , said in a telephone interview last night that her husband was not available. "He denies all the allegations and the decision of the medical board will be appealed. That's all we can say," she said.

Zolot also is under investigation by law enforcement officials. Federal and state officials armed with a search warrant raided his office May 17, seizing dozens of patient records, according to one law enforcement official.

Read more about the suspension of Zolot's license in the Globe's City & Region section.

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