BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – A 68-year-old former Fort Madison surgeon has been cited by the Iowa Board of Medicine for sexual misconduct.
Joseph C. Darrow, Jr., who, according to a release from the board, currently practices in Kirksville, Mo., entered into an agreement on Dec. 15, with the board that spells out the charges and disposition of the events leading to the investigation. Darrow was an orthopedic surgeon at Fort Madison Community Hospital for a time period that ended in 2016.
The release from the board on Dec. 20 said Darrow was charged with engaging in sexual misconduct when he engaged in a sexual relationship “concurrent with, or immediately following, the physician-patient relationship in Fort Madison, Iowa, in 2014”. Darrow and the patient have since married.
Under the terms of the agreement, Darrow was issued a citation and warning ordering him to pay a $5,000 civil penalty, complete neuropsychological testing under the direction of a board-approved neuropsychologist, complete a board-approved treatment program for professional boundaries, and establish a worksite monitor with the board.
Darrow is still licensed to practice in Iowa until April 1, 2019. The sexual misconduct falls under Iowa Code 148.6 (2)(i) and 653 IAC 23.1. According to 23.1 “A physician shall not engage in any sexual conduct with a former patient unless the physician-patient relationship was completely terminated before the sexual conduct occurred. In considering whether that relationship was completely terminated, the board will consider the duration of the physician-patient relationship, the nature of the medical services provided, the lapse of time since the physician-patient relationship ended, the degree of dependence in the physician-patient relationship, and the extent to which the physician used or exploited the trust, knowledge, emotions, or influence derived from the physician-patient relationship.”
Darrow worked at FMCH for several years before leaving Fort Madison for Kirksville where he worked at the Northeast Regional Medical Center’s Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Clinic until August of 2017.
Spokespersons at the Missouri hospital and FMCH wouldn’t comment on the reasons for Darrow’s separation, or time of employment at each facility.