Sunday, March 18, 2012

Doctor Nicola Riley Essay of being caught performing a legal abortion, a female medical procedure, in Maryland and how that has changed her life

November 1, 2011

Karl G. Perry (USB 2570)
Assistant Attorney General
Mark L. Shurtleff (USB 4666)
Utah Attorney General
Commercial Enforcement Division
160 East 300 South, 5th Floor
P.O. Box 140872
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-0872
Attorneys for Division of Occupational & Professional Licensing
To Messrs. Perry and Shurtleff:

I would like to thank the Utah Board of Medicine for the opportunity to put into words
what I have learned over the past year about myself, how inaccurate reporting on professional
applications affected my license and my medical practice.

As everyone now knows, twenty years ago, while serving in the military, I was convicted
of a felony. The actions that led to the felony conviction caused me a profound sense of shame
that I still carry with me today. My behavior at the time was uncharacteristic of anything I had
done before, or since. I embarrassed my family, my country and myself.

When I was discharged from Ft. Leavenworth Military barracks in 1992, I did everything
possible to put the past behind me. I did not want my terrible mistake to define who I was. In
retrospect, I understand that I was in denial of what I had done. I rarely discussed my criminal
actions with my family and had chosen to tell only a few very close friends. I never reviewed
my discharge papers. I could not face doing so. My denial was so all encompassing that it
never even occurred to me to obtain another set of discharge papers after I lost the originals.
I also never tried to have my record expunged. When I was asked to answer questions about
my past, I did everything possible to continue to minimalize what I had done. I did so not to
defraud anyone, but because I did not want to confront my own past. It was and remains terribly
painful. But it is my past, not my present.

Each less than perfect act that I have ever done has been laid bare before the public. My
patients have questioned me extensively about my past. I answer them as openly and honestly
as I can. I know now that I must not flinch away from the past. I have no secrets to withhold.
For the first time, a patient under my care suffered a medical complication and I have had to live
with that knowledge and these subsequent repercussions.

Despite the newspaper reports, internet stories and local news, I still have family, friends,
patients and other doctors who support me. Although my practice is a shadow of what it once
was, every week there are patients that make the decision to trust me again. I feel blessed and
humbled by their trust in me. Their faith in me must be repaid by giving them the best and most
ethical treatment that I can. I pledge that to them.

Finally what I have lost professionally is profound based on the unfortunate events of the
last year and the Utah DOPL sanctions:

1 A summary suspension of my Maryland medical license;
2 The surrender of my Wyoming license since I did not have the financial means to
defend myself in multiple legal venues;
3 Revocation of my American Board of Family Medicine certification, with
subsequent job position termination due to revocation of board certification;
4 Loss of my hospital privileges at Alta View l and St. Mark’s hospitals in Utah;
5 Termination of participation in several major insurance panels, with subsequent
loss of longstanding patients;
6 A malpractice claim and termination of insurance coverage;
7 An agreement with DOPL to cease performing termination procedures; and,
8 A  public reprimand by DOPL, a $10,000 fine and this essay.

Although I am essentially unemployable in Salt Lake City and my income is
approximately sixty percent of what it once was and I am struggling to keep my home and
provide for my family; the most difficult obstacles I face are those that involve rebuilding the
trust of my family, patients and colleagues.

Thank you.


Nicola Riley, MD
SMP Family Medicine & Homecare, PC