A three-member panel of the D.C. Commission on Healing Arts yesterday heard arguments on whether the city should revoke the medical license of Dr. Hellfried Sartori, whose Maryland license was revoked last September for professional incompetence.
Sartori has been practicing in the District for the last five years, according to his attorney. He lost his Maryland license after the state's medical board found that he used "medically inappropriate" techniques in treating patients, did not diagnose medical conditions properly, and was "seriously deficient" in medical knowledge.
Sartori has a history of problems in other states. In 1976 a hospital in Jacksonville, N.C., restricted his practice because of concerns about his abilities and did not recommend him for reappointment to its staff.
Two years later he received a less than honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy because of his medical practice. In 1979, the medical staff of Grant Memorial Hospital in Petersburg, W.Va., voted to deny him permanent privileges because he performed surgery without the permission of hospital authorities.
He then moved to Maryland, where he worked in a group practice in White Flint and then practiced from his home in Rockville. In late 1980 he also opened an office in an apartment building in Northwest Washington, where he continues to treat patients.
The District of Columbia plus 14 states reserve the right to revoke a medical license based on the actions of another state.
Sartori's attorney, Richard L. Fields, argued that because Sartori has appealed his Maryland revocation to a circuit court, the District board would be acting on "a mere allegation."
Robin Alexander-Smith, an attorney with the D.C. Office of Corporation Counsel, disagreed, noting that the revocation is a final action of the Maryland board.
The D.C. commission, which first voted to take action on the case last October, will not make a decision for four to seven weeks, according to P. Joseph Sarnella, director of the board.
Sartori also holds medical licenses in Virginia, Texas, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
He voluntarily surrendered his North Carolina license in January, an action that the North Carolina board reported to the National Federation of State Medical Boards as a disciplinary proceeding.