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License taken from skin doctor over alcohol abuse

Citizen Staff Writer



The Arizona Medical Board has revoked the license of a Tucson dermatologist because of chronic alcohol abuse.

Rachel Schacht, 35, is not allowed to reapply for a license for five years, according to the Oct. 18 board order.

Schacht, who received her medical degree from Medical College of Pennsylvania in May 1993, was first licensed in Arizona in January 2002. She was employed by Sheftel Associates Dermatology, 1595 E. River Road, until March 2003, when the board prohibited her from treating patients.

The board ruled that her drinking was a threat to public health and safety. She needs to permanently abstain from alcohol to eliminate that risk, the board said in the order.

Schacht, in a brief telephone conversation, said she never drank on the job. She declined further comment.

She estimated for the board that she has sought treatment at least 14 times for alcoholism and other psychiatric issues. The board documented seven inpatient stints, starting in 2000, for alcoholism.

Schacht did not report her alcoholism as required when applying for an Arizona license. The board could have given her a probationary license if she had disclosed her history.

The board became aware of her drinking issues after her arrest in September 2002 on a driving-under-the-influence charge. The charge was later dropped.

She was charged with another DUI after being involved in a serious accident on Feb. 23, 2003, according to the board document.

According to the account given in the document, she drove her BMW sport utility vehicle through a red light on Skyline Drive. Driving in the wrong direction at a high rate of speed, she hit one car and kept going until she hit another car head-on.

Both she and the other driver were taken to a hospital, where her blood-alcohol level reportedly tested at 0.282 percent, according to the board’s account. That’s more than three times the legal limit for driving. The DUI charge is pending in that case, the board said.

The board said Schacht has a history of alcohol-related blackouts and there is evidence she experienced a blackout during the automobile accident.

The board has no other open investigations on Schacht. There also is no record of any disciplinary action against Schacht In Illinois, where she completed her dermatology residency and is still licensed to practice.

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