John Petraglia, Newport Beach Pain Doctor, Probed by State Medical Board for O.D. Deaths

The state medical board may strip a Newport Beach-based pain management specialist of his license to practice after an investigation into the deaths of two patients who died of prescription drug overdoses.

A California Medical Board spokesperson says Dr. John Petraglia, who has International Pain Medicine offices on Dove Street and in Fresno, could have his license revoked or suspended.


One of his patients, Tabatha Salo, sought treatment from Petraglia for back pain and again following breast-reduction surgery before the 23-year-old Costa Mesa High School graduate overdosed and died in 2011. The physician is accused of failing to investigate when tests showed Salo was taking higher doses than prescribed, reports the Orange County Register.

Petraglia's online bio indicates he's a board-certified anesthesiologist and pain management specialist who was educated at the State University of New York at Brooklyn, where he “developed compassionate and caring bedside manner, sub serving the underserved, urban communities.” He is said to have completed an anesthesiology residency with special training in pain management and cardio-thoracic anesthesia at New York Hospital, Cornell-Weill Medical Center.

“The doctor maintains privileges at over 15 fully accredited hospitals and surgical centers, where his expertise guides patients seamlessly through potentially treacherous operations and procedures,” states the bio, adding he maintains society memberships in more than 12 pain and anesthesia component societies.

He has not faced criminal charges for either death, and his lawyer says he'll make his response to medical board officials. They are not the only ones he'll be answering to. The attorney for Salo's mother has filed a request for the deceased young woman's medical records from Petraglia's office and a 90-day notice of intent to sue the physician.

Email: mc****@oc******.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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