A Placentia doctor has surrendered her license to practice medicine in California for consulting at a cosmetic surgery clinic where procedures were performed without a licensed doctor present.
Dr. Elena G. Ezpeleta on July 31 signed a Medical Board of California document accepting the punishment, which became effective on Sept. 26.
In 2015, Ezpeleta was the owner, CEO and chief medical officer at Regen Medical Clinic in Los Angeles, where cosmetic surgery procedures were performed, according to medical board investigators.
“Respondent did not perform procedures at the clinic,” reads the medical board’s “First Cause for Discipline (Conviction of a Crime)” dated June 5. “She performed consultations, but she was not always available to do so.”
A registered nurse and acupuncturist identified as S.H. also performed consultations, and in a Regen examination room on Aug. 4, 2015, he met an undercover agent posing as a female patient seeking a mole removal and Botox treatment. S.H. examined her face, extolled the benefits of getting the requested treatments and informed her he would be administering them, according to medical board documents.
On Nov. 10, 2015, the agent/patient was greeted at Regen by S.H. and an aesthetician identified as S.K. No licensed medical doctor was present as S.H. informed the woman he would be injecting her with Botox, says the medical board, which adds that, “Respondent aided and abetted the practice.”
That was made doubly clear on May 26, 2016, when Ezpeleta was charged in Los Angeles County Superior Court with conspiring or aiding and abetting another to practice medicine without a certificate. She pleaded no contest on July 18, 2016, and was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service and pay fees and fines.
Ezpeleta was also prohibited from practicing medicine while on probation without the permission of the medical board, which notes that conviction of a crime also makes physicians subject to procedures to strip them of their medical licenses under state law.
The license Ezpeleta was first issued in July of 1981 expired on Aug. 31, 2016, and was not renewed. In now agreeing to surrender her license, she waives her legal rights to fight the board’s case against her. Should see seek reinstatement of her license at a future date, the board is free to impose conditions, or even deny the request, in application proceedings.