Dr. Robert M. Roaney Surrenders License Due to Poor Eyesight

A Fountain Valley general practice physician surrendered his medical license effective last Thursday due to his poor eyesight, according to state officials.

A Medical Board of California investigation, whose findings Dr. Robert M. Roaney and his lawyer Jeffrey W. Grass signed off on March 30, concluded that the physician was grossly negligent in his care for a patient identified only as A.E.

Despite having a history of macular degeneration in both eyes since 2010, Roaney continued to practice. At Cypress Urgent Care in July 2014, he attempted for about an hour to suture a laceration on A.E.’s right thigh, but he had a hard time completing the procedure due to his poor eyesight and shaky hands, and he was unable to read the print on the suture box, kept missing while trying to insert thread in the needle and he had difficulty clamping the needle, medical board investigators discovered.

A medical assistant pulled A.E.’s daughter aside and suggested she find her mother care elsewhere. The daughter asked Roaney to stop, but the doctor insisted on continuing—until A.E. told him she appreciated his care but no longer felt comfortable because he was struggling. With Roaney unable to close the laceration, A.E. went to Seal Beach Family Medical Group to have the wound re-opened and re-sutured, according to the board.

Roaney was faulted for exercising poor judgment and failing to recognize his limitations. The board also faulted the doctor for failing to maintain adequate and accurate medical records.

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