Maryland doctor speaks out over suspension, claims she practiced drunk

FREDERICK COUNTY, MD (KTRK) -- A Maryland doctor suspended from practicing medicine says people will die as a result of a board's decision. However, the state board of physicians says she has frequently been drinking on the job.

Dr. Grace Zeim refutes those claims. She says her patients - who receive treatment from her for chemical exposure -- will suffer following her license suspension.

Asked by local station KLEW whether she has a drinking problem, Zeim replied, "No - I don't drink.....I have never worked under the influence of drugs or alcohol in my medical practice."

Claims in public records allege Zeim was habitually drunk at work. Maryland's Medical Board claims Zeim was intoxicated at work during office hours, with staff telling the board that on approximately 24 occasions in the last two years they believed she had been drinking because she slurred her words and slammed into things.

KLEW notes that staff also claim they once found Ziem sleeping on her office floor with a vodka bottle by her bed and had to be awakened to see a patient and had to "sober up a little bit" to treat them.

Ziem says the claims are false and that she's shocked. She says she hasn't had a complaint from patients. She said, "For some who don't know me, that may happen. For the patients who know me and love me, they know something doesn't square with the doctor that they know and love."

KLEW reports Ziem says the board's action may be motivated by people whose toes she's stepped on over the years. She added that she only had a few minutes to defend herself at the initial hearing that took her license. Ziem will get another chance to defend herself at a hearing in February.
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