Surgeon dismissed, medical board investigating after CEO participates in surgery without a license

Tennessee-based Ballad Health dismissed Nathan Smith, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon who invited then-CEO of Bristol Regional Medical Center Greg Neal to participate in a surgery without a medical license. Neal was in the operating room to observe the procedure, but upon Smith’s invitation, he made the initial incision. After conducting an investigation, Ballad asked Neal to resign.

According to newspaper reports, Smith began working at Bristol Regional Medical Center in July , the same month he completed a cardiothoracic surgery fellowship program in Albany, NY. Following Ballad’s investigation, his employment was terminated.

Additionally, the Sullivan County District Attorney General has stepped in, requesting that the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners conduct its own investigation regarding Neal’s actions. The Attorney General asked specifically for the Board to “investigate any alleged criminal violation of Title 63, Chapter 6 of Tennessee Code by Greg Neal” and to report any violations warranting criminal prosecution. The Attorney General’s office and the Sullivan Country Grand Jury will review any reported violations to determine the next steps.

A spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Health stated, “Any complaint and/or investigation is confidential unless and until the board takes action.”

Source: Becker's Hospital Review