DENVER (KDVR) — Dr. Geoffrey Kim has reached an agreement with the Colorado Medical Board that allows him to keep practicing as a plastic surgeon in Greenwood Village, despite his felony conviction for attempted reckless manslaughter following the death of patient Emmalyn Nguyen.
Nguyen was an 18-year-old patient who went to see Kim for breast enhancement surgery in August of 2019. Investigators determined she slipped into a coma after being given too much anesthesia. Prosecutors said Kim ordered staff not to call 911 for about five hours after Nguyen went into cardiac arrest. She would die 14 months later in October 2020 from medical complications.
Kim was convicted on June 14 of the felony and obstructing telephone service, a misdemeanor.
Felony convictions are considered a violation of the state Medical Practices Act, according to Lee Rasizer, a spokesman for the Department of Regulatory Agencies.
But in an email, Rasizer told FOX31 that while felony convictions are considered unprofessional conduct, “It is not an automatic disqualifier from practice; rather, the board renders a decision relative to the information received and discipline is determined on a case-by-case basis.”
The interim practice agreement signed on Aug. 21 allows Kim to keep practicing as long as he notifies his patients in writing of his felony conviction.
Rasizer told the Problem Solvers that because the practice agreement is an interim agreement, the board could still take further action once its investigation is complete.
Kim has not returned phone messages from FOX31 and his attorney has so far not responded to an email for comment.
Kim is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, Sept. 8, though his attorneys have filed a motion to postpone the hearing.
FOX31 reached Nguyen’s mother, Lynn Nguyen, by phone and she repeatedly said “I’m speechless,” but offered no other comment.
The 18th Judicial District Attorney sent FOX31 the following statement:
“Our role as prosecutors is always focused on seeking justice for victims while ensuring offenders are punished when they are convicted of a crime. Our Office does not have oversight or authority to regulate, suspend, or revoke a person’s license to practice medicine. However, we encourage all licensing boards to consider the facts and evidence presented in criminal cases when determining what civil penalties or administrative sanctions they impose.”