Soldotna surgeon’s license suspended

A Soldotna orthopedic surgeon’s medical license will be suspended effective July 1 after he admitted to engaging in inappropriate conduct with female patients.

Dr. Herbert Bote, founder of SportsMed Alaska in Soldotna, was investigated by the Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing under the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. The president of the Alaska State Medical Board signed an order and consent agreement suspending his medical license on May 5.

According to the consent agreement, Bote’s license will be suspended for 90 days starting July 1 and he will be on probation for the next three years.

In the agreement, Bote admits to inappropriate behavior with two female patients throughout 2015. On one occasion in January 2015, Bote “was flirtatious with (the patient) by asking her if she was a flirt and asking her to phone him if she engaged in masturbation after the appointment,” according to the agreement.

Bote also admitted to engaging in inappropriate text conversations with another patient during January and February 2015 in which he asked her personal questions, including “asking her on a dinner date,” according to the agreement.

Also listed in the agreement is an incident in which Bote kissed the hand of one of the patients, and another time in May 2015 when he hugged the other patient and tried to kiss her on the cheek. While Bote admitted both these actions, he said the patient whom he hugged had “misunderstood his intent,” the agreement states.

The investigation into Bote’s behavior began when he reported himself in July 2015, said Angela Birt, chief investigator for the Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing.

Cases typically come to the state medical board and get routed to the division for investigation, Birt said.

The investigations consist of interviews and fact collection, and investigation materials are reviewed by a panel of licensed physicians on the board, she said. Any discipline handed down is based on what measures have been taken in similar cases in the past, Birt said.

Bote is required to have a third-party chaperone with him while he consults, examines or treats female patients for the duration of his three-year probation. He is also being required to complete 40 hours of additional education on “patient boundaries, patient-physician relationships, and ethics,” according to the consent agreement.

The consent agreement also lists two incidents alleged by the two patients but not admitted by Bote. One patient claims Bote cupped her breast during a shoulder exam in January 2015, and the other alleged that he “rubbed her inner thigh … while looking in her eyes” after her knee surgery in February 2015.

By signing the consent agreement, Bote waived his rights to legal counsel and relieved the Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing of its burden to prove the facts he admitted.

He will be required to pay a civil fine of $10,000, and will have periodic interviews with the state medical board if it requests them, according to the agreement.

A person answering the phone at Bote’s Soldotna office said he was in surgery Friday and that he would not comment. Bote founded SportsMed Alaska in 2014 when he moved to the state, according the practice’s website. According to his biography on the website for Berkshire Orthopaedic Associates Inc. in Massachusetts, Bote did his residency at Loyola University near Chicago and a fellowship in knee, shoulder and sports medicine at the Orthopaedic Specialty Hospital in Utah.

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, addresses reporters during a Wendesday, March 25, 2020 press conference in the Atwood Building in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)
State COVID officials brief Soldotna City Council in work session

The council was joined by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink and State Testing Coordinator Dr. Coleman Cutchins

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports more than 4,000 cases this week, 357 on peninsula

The state reported 462 new COVID-19 cases on Friday

Seward junior Lydia Jacoby swims in August 2019 at the Speedo Junior National Championships in Stanford, California. (Photo by Jack Spitser)
Improving through challenging times

Seward junior swimmer Jacoby wins national title at U.S. Open

Kenai Peninsula Borough Superintendent John O’Brien (courtesy photo)
Community input requested in superintendent search

The survey will be open until Dec. 7 at 11:59 p.m.

Photo courtesy Kenai Peninsula Food Bank
Kenai Peninsula Food Banks staff and volunteers assemble food bags for the cities of Kenai and Soldotna recently at the food bank, near Soldotna.
Food Bank keeps setting records

The food bank distributed 267,000 pounds of food in October.

photo illustration
Housing relief program deadlines approaching

The deadline for the Soldotna and borough-wide programs is Monday, Nov. 30 at 5 p.m.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
DHSS: 75 new peninsula cases

DHSS reported 505 new cases in Alaska Thursday.

Risk levels
Risk levels: Nov. 19

34 schools are operating 100% remotely until Nov. 25

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce addresses constituents in a YouTube video posted on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020 in Alaska. (Screenshot)
Mayors Pierce and Gabriel respond to COVID-19 in separate videos

Gabriel voiced his concern regarding Central Peninsula Hospital, which reached capacity on Monday.

Most Read