A Seattle anesthesiologist was recently suspended following allegations that he sent explicit pictures of himself and sent sexually related texts during surgeries. 

Arthur K. Zilberstein, 47, is alleged to have sent almost 250 sexually charged text messages during numerous procedures including appendectomies, epidurals, C-sections, tubal ligations, and cardiac-probe insertions. 

In addition, it is alleged that Zilberstein improperly accessed images in medical records for the purpose of sexual gratification, and that he had sexual encounters at his workplace.

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The Washington State Medical Quality Assurance Commission said that Zilberstein “compromised patient safety due to his preoccupation with sexual matters while he was on hospital duty between at least April and August 2013.”

The Commission has suspended his medical license until charges are resolved. Zilberstein cannot practice as a physician and must respond to charges within 20 days and request a hearing.

Zilberstein is also being charged with issuing at least 29 unauthorized prescriptions for controlled substances and drugs outside his medical practice, and is accused of not conducting proper evaluations, making diagnoses, or creating treatment plans for those patients. 

The physician is also accused of failing to obtain informed consent, failing to provide anti-drug diversion safeguards for patients on controlled substances, failing to keep adequate medical records, and allegedly having a sexual relationship with a patient for whom he was prescribing medications.

Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, where Zilberstein practiced, suspended the physician. “Once we learned that the State had suspended this physician’s medical license, the physician’s medical staff membership and privileges were immediately suspended,” announced the facility in a press release.

“We just recently learned of these allegations and are conducting our own internal review of the physician, who is not directly employed by Swedish.”


  1. Washington State Department of Health. News release: Sexting during surgery among allegations in suspension of physician’s license. June 9, 2014. Retrieved from: http://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/2014NewsReleases/14079ZilbersteinSuspensionRelease.aspx