The District government yesterday suspended the medical license of an acupuncture specialist for three years for allegedly permitting his employees to give acupuncture treatments without the supervision of a licensed doctor.
Dr. Frederick D. Lewis, owner and medical director of the Acupuncture Clinic of America, at 4400 Jenifer St. NW, is the first physician to receive more than a one-year suspension from the District in recent years, according to city officials.
He is only the fourth doctor to have action taken against his license in recent years by the District's Commission on Licensure of Practice the Healing Art, according to the officials.
Lewis, who is also on the staff of Glenn Dale Hospital, the District's hospital for the chronically ill in Prince George's County, was found guilty of several charges brought against him by the commission.
The charges stemmed from testimony in a commission hearing last November by two D.C. police officers who, as private citizens, had gone to Lewis' clinic for weight-control treatments after seeing the clinic advertised on television.
In eight separate visits between August, 1975, and January 1976, the officers said they saw Lewis only once and were never treated by him.
Instead, they said, they were treated by two employees - an unlicensed acupuncturist and an office assistant.
Both officers said they had acupuncture needles placed in their ears and hands. Officer Hampton said she had "electrical impulses" transmitted through a staple placed in her ear on one visit. She said no licensed physician was present.
The three-member licensure commission, headed by Corporation Counsel John R. Risher Jr., said in ordering the suspension of Lewis' license that he was "indifferent" to the necessity of his presence during acupuncture treatments.
"Illustrative of this indifference," the commission said, "are (Lewis') failure to personally discuss a patient's medical history with the patient, his failure to review the procedure of acupuncture and potential adverse medical consequences in such procedures with the patient."