LODI (CBS13) – A Lodi doctor is accused of getting high and watching porn while treating patients.
It was an emergency the California Medical Board says couldn’t wait.
“We need to move quickly, this man is not acting properly,” said Dan Wood, California Medical Board Spokesman.
An experienced obstetrician was immediately suspended because they say he is hooked on inhalants.
“A situation we felt was dangerous enough that we felt he could actually possibly harm somebody,” said Wood.
The doctor is 56-year-old Peter Hickox, who worked at Lodi memorial and P. Gill Medical Group, until a janitor uncovered his potentially dangerous secret.
More than a year ago, Hickox was allegedly hooked on what are known as poppers, chemicals used to clean video cassette players.
According to the medical board investigation, the janitor found dozens of inhalants in the doctor’s trash can, noticed the doctor had red, swollen lips, and found a $400 receipt for nail polish remover.
When confronted, Medical Board documents show the doctor admitted “he had inhaled substances and had been doing so for quite some time.”
He also told his bosses “he had watched gay pornography and masturbated in his office in conjunction with his use of inhalants.”
The board says the poppers, called jungle juice and maximum impact, “are used to get high and to enhance sexual arousal, pleasure and performance.”
But it’s what they can do to a doctor’s ability to care for his patients that concerns them most.
“You might make a wrong judgment, you might possibly, accidentally, kill somebody,” said Wood.
Hickox was suspended from the hospital and medical group, and promised to get help. Instead, the doctor got another job at Sutter Gould Medical Group in Stockton.
When the board tried to investigate, they were blocked.
“Our investigator showed up at his office asking to speak with him, and he had our officer escorted off the ground and refused to talk to her,” said Wood.
The suspension is indefinite, and Hickox is no longer working at the Sutter Gould Medical Group.