Obstetrician under state's watch after marijuana citation

by: Paige Hansen Updated:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

A doctor thousands of women across the area trusted is under close watch by the state. On Tuesday, Dr. Susan Roque was cited for marijuana possession in March 2013.

Roque has practiced in Statesville for years.

Despite the marijuana possession citation and three malpractice lawsuits, the state medical board said her license has never been suspended.

Eight thousand patients trusted Roque, an Ob-Gyn who specialized in natural births.

A 2007 lawsuit stated Roque was negligent, causing the death of a 54-year-old woman when she had a hysterectomy. There were no specifics about the $7 million judgement mentioned on the state's medical board's website except that something involving malpractice happened.

Another more recent case was dismissed and a third malpractice suit filed against Roque in 2010 is pending.

Roque opened Natural Beginnings in Statesville two years ago.

In March she was cited for having marijuana, and the state diagnosed her with a substance abuse problem.

Her suspension was never enforced because Roque agreed to the state's terms.

Roque gave Channel 9 a statement which read, "The operative terms are that I must: 1) Abstain from alcohol and other drugs; and 2) Continue to participate with the North Carolina physicians health program."

"If this licensee fails to comply the board then has authority to impose indefinite suspension," said N.C. Medical Board spokeswoman Jean Fisher Brinkley.

The board also cited three other incidents while Roque practiced at the Lake Norman Regional Medical Center. They said she was too far away from the hospital while on call, her midwife endangered a baby by giving a woman in labor the wrong medicine and she took care of another patient's delivery on the phone, failing to show up when the baby was born.

Roque's office manager said their biggest concern is their patients, and they continue to provide them with quality care.

The Iredell County court said Roque is scheduled to appear in court at the end of the month for the marijuana citation.