By Sabina Mollot
Patients First medical center, a family health practice that had done business in Peter Cooper Village for 21 years, closed its doors on August 21.
Patients of the clinic, which had previously been run by Dr. Glen Marin, were alerted in a written notice two weeks ago that if they couldn’t continue to see Marin at another practice he runs in Oakland Gardens, Queens, that they could contact an internist named Veronica Zaharia.
An employee reached at Zaharia’s office on Tuesday confirmed that Zaharia is now taking appointments for any interested former Patients First patients. Her practice is located at 237 East 20th Street.
In July, Town & Village reported that Patients First had reduced its hours to just two days a week and had reduced its staff.
At the time, an employee said the office at 350 First Avenue was in danger of losing its lease. CWCapital declined then to comment on lease negotiations and this week declined to comment about what future plans, if any, there were for the space.
However, Marin may have had other problems besides his lease. When asked this week for the reason for the closure, an employee at the Queens office would only say that the Manhattan location “had some issues.”
But there were also license issues.
According to a New York State-run website profiling doctors, nydoctorprofile.com, on May 23, 2013, Marin faced a license restriction in which he was only allowed to treat female patients with a chaperone present. According to the site, the restriction became effective 120 days after the date of the order for as long as the physician “has a license to practice in New York State.”
He also faced three years of probation. A public document from the state Board for Professional Medical Conduct states that the chaperone decision was made after he was accused of inappropriate conduct with a patient in 2007. Specifically, during an appointment, Marin allegedly “engaged in inappropriate verbal and/or physical conduct.”
The doctor profile site also notes that Marin has made three malpractice payouts within the last 10 years. One was in 2005, the others were in 2007 and 2010. The latter two were for “average” amounts, the first for an “above average” amount.
He also had mixed reviews online with Yelpers’ sentiments on Marin ranging from “top notch” to “negligent” to “a total creep.”
Calls to the Queens office asking Marin if his license restriction was a factor in the decision to close the Manhattan office was not returned.