Police: Ohio physician arrested, charged with assault following dispute with colleague

An Ohio nephrologist was arrested and charged with assault following a dispute with another physician about patient care at St. Elizabeth Boardman (Ohio) Hospital, part of Mercy Health, local CBS affiliate WKBN reported April 23.

According to police, Daniel Barton, MD, a nephrologist, was booked into the Mahoning County Jail April 22 on an assault charge and is now free on bond.

A cardiologist at the hospital told police the argument began when he texted Dr. Barton to ask why he stopped administering a medication he had prescribed to the patient. When following up in person, the cardiologist said Dr. Barton accused him of going behind his back to continue giving the patient the medication. 

As the conflict escalated and the cardiologist asked Dr. Barton to lower his voice, police said Dr. Barton pushed the heart physician. A nurse and employee stepped in to separate the two, police said. 

Mercy Health told the news station Dr. Barton wasn't employed by the health system and has his own nearby nephrology practice.

The health system shared the following statement with WKBN.

"Mercy Health is a faith-based organization, and as such we hold our associates and affiliates to the highest ethical standards. Additionally, the safety, security, and well-being of our patients, their families and our associates remain part of our core values as a healthcare ministry.

"When we were notified of an alleged incident regarding a non-employed physician, we launched an internal investigation and notified our local authorities — the incident remains under investigation.

"There was never a threat to any patients. We have and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement." 

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