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Surgeon found using drugs, state agrees on probation

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YAKIMA — The state Department of Health has reached a probation agreement with a local surgeon who was found to be operating under the influence of narcotics in 2012, allowing him to continue practicing as long as he meets certain conditions.

Dr. Michael Thomas, an osteopathic surgeon, was performing neck and spine surgery on a woman in March 2012 when others in the operating room observed “abnormal behavior,” according to Department of Health reports. A drug test later that day showed the presence of narcotics and benzodiazepines in his system, resulting in his loss of privileges at Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center, where the operation took place. The patient later complained of postoperative difficulties.

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