Surgeon Accused of Performing Unauthorized Genital Exams Returns to Practice


Female otolaryngologist allegedly performed exams on anesthetized male patients without their consent.

An otolaryngologist who allegedly performed genital exams and drew images on the bodies of anesthetized patients without their consent will retain her medical license and be allowed to continue practicing under several terms and conditions set by the New Mexico Medical Board. Twana Sparks

According to a notice of contemplated action issued in April, Twana Sparks, MD (pictured), was accused of performing genital exams on "many" male ear, nose and throat patients while they were under anesthesia without obtaining their written consent, the Silver City Sun-News reports. This behavior allegedly went on for "many years up to and including at least July 17, 2007." She's also been accused of writing messages or drawing images on anesthetized patients' bodies during ENT surgeries at Gila Regional Medical Center without obtaining their written consent. Dr. Sparks did not request a hearing with the state medical board but instead reportedly signed an agreed order last month — in which she denied the charges — that allows her to retain her license and her right to practice under several conditions. For example:

  • A chaperone over the age of 18 must witness all her interactions with patients.

  • Dr. Sparks may only diagnose and treat ENT conditions and refer patients for all other conditions to other providers.

  • She must participate in the Resource Center for Health Professionals, engage in regular psychotherapy sessions and undergo polygraph exams every 4 months.

  • A worksite monitor at every facility where she performs surgery must report any behavioral concerns regarding Dr. Sparks to the board on a quarterly basis.

  • If she's found in violation of any of the terms the board may immediate suspend her license.

    Dr. Sparks requested leave from Gila Regional Medical Center in August but has since returned to work there. A spokeswoman for the center says the facility conducted an investigation into the accusations against Dr. Sparks but legally cannot comment on it. "We are aware of the New Mexico Medical Board's investigation and recommendations and that we trust they have acted in the manner they feel is best," the spokeswoman said. Calls for comment to Dr. Sparks's office and her Albuquerque attorney, Deborah Solove, were not returned.

    Irene Tsikitas

    Photo: Sparks Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic

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