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Doctors Raise Fists During Operation; Patient Sleeps Through Brawl

November 27, 1993

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) _ It began when the surgeon threw a cotton swab at the anesthesiologist and ended in a brawl on an operating room floor.

The patient slept through it. The two doctors got up and resumed the operation. But they must pay $10,000 each.

The state Board of Registration in Medicine fined anesthesiologist Dr. Kwok Wei Chan and surgeon Dr. Mohan Korgaonkar last week and ordered them to undergo joint psychotherapy.

Officials at Medical Center of Central Massachusetts must monitor them for five years. Hospital officials wouldn’t say what the two argued about.

Here, according to the medical board, is what happened on Oct. 24, 1991:

Korgaonkar was about to begin surgery on an elderly woman when he and Chan started to argue.

Chan swore at Korgaonkar. Korgaonkar threw a cotton-tipped prep stick at Chan. The two raised their fists at each other and scuffled briefly on the floor while a nurse monitored the sleeping patient.

They resumed the operation, which was completed a half hour later without incident.

After the fight, the hospital placed the doctors on five years’ probation.

Korgaonkar, 49, is a 1967 graduate of the Armed Forces Medical College in India and has been licensed to practice medicine in Massachusetts since 1967.

Chan, 43, is a 1976 graduate of the University of Cambridge and has been licensed in Massachusetts since 1979.

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