A Navy physician accused of violating Navy regulations by selling soap products and falsifying medical examinations pleaded guilty in military court yesterday and was dismissed from the service, according to Navy spokesmen.
Lt. Cathy Lee Poland, 30, medical officer for the USS Emory S. Land, received a reprimand and was fined $5,000 for neglecting her duties and violating standards of conduct on the submarine supply ship where she was stationed from July 1984 through February. Neither Poland, who testified and at times broke into tears during the court proceeding, nor her attorney would comment on the charges or the sentence, Navy spokewoman Lt. Patricia McMillan said yesterday.
The daylong court-martial in Norfolk was held after a two month investigation by the Navy prompted charges against Poland, who had been in charge of the medical care for 1,300 sailors on the ship.
Poland faced 38 allegations of improper conduct, including signing records for physical examinations she did not conduct and calling a sailor who had suffered severe burns a "wimp."
Poland had been charged with dereliction of duty, signing false medical reports and cruelty and maltreatment of subordinates. Poland pleaded guilty to the first two charges and said she was innocent of the third. She was not prosecuted on the cruelty charge, spokesmen said.
During the court-martial, Poland admitted she signed medical reports although she had never examined the patients. She also said she tried to recruit crew members to sell Amway soap products and took orders for Amway products while on the ship, spokesmen said.
Three crew members testified against Poland, including Engineman Recruit Denise Bissonett, a sailor who the Navy said was refused proper treatment by Poland. According to the charges, Poland told a subordinate that Bissonett, who had suffered severe burns on her ankle, was a "wimp" and should not receive a light duty assignment while injured.
During the court-martial yesterday, Poland said she refused to order light duty for the sailor, Navy spokesmen said.
Poland, a member of the Navy Medical Corps since 1982, is a 1981 graduate of the Oklahoma College of Osteopathic Medicine and is licensed to practice in Oklahoma, according to Navy records.