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UCLA cardiologist accused of sexual assault to have medical license revoked

A UCLA doctor’s medical license will be revoked by the Medical Board of California, following accusations of sexual assault. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Kari Lau and Bernard Mendez

May 15, 2020 11:34 p.m.

The Medical Board of California moved to revoke the medical license of a UCLA cardiologist Thursday after he was accused of sexual assault. 

The decision will go into effect June 12. 

Guillermo Andres Cortes was accused of sexually assaulting three women between 2015 and 2017 while he worked at the Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center. 

The complainant, Meena Zareh, a physician and former colleague of Cortes, first filed a civil suit against Cortes in December 2016.

Cortes began working at the David Geffen School of Medicine as a Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellow in June 2017, after each of the reported incidents occurred. 

Cortes’ medical license was temporarily suspended in May 2018 once the accusations were first leveled. UCLA also placed him on paid suspension following the accusations. 

In February, Administrative Law Judge Thomas Heller concluded there was “clear and convincing” evidence that Cortes committed sexual assault in one of the three reported cases and recommended that the board revoke Cortes’ license. 

[Related link: UCLA cardiologist accused of sexual assault should have license revoked, says judge]

Heller did not find sufficient evidence to prove Cortes committed sexual assault in the other two cases. 

Zareh accused Cortes of sexually assaulting her in the hospital’s call room in November 2015 while Zareh was a third-year medical resident at the hospital.

Following the 2015 assault, Zareh notified her residency’s program director of the incident in February 2016 and asked to not be scheduled to work with Cortes. However, Zareh still had to work with Cortes on two separate occasions after reporting the incident. 

Cortes was placed on leave later that month while the hospital conducted an internal investigation.

Once his license is revoked, Cortes will no longer be able to continue his studies at UCLA, as a medical license is required to do so, a UCLA spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times.

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Kari Lau | Assistant News editor
Bernard Mendez | News editor
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