Dr. Malini Rao “exaggerated her limited work during the pandemic to the point of it becoming an insult to medical professionals.”
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A Queens doctor used “a tragedy to make herself look better” when she exaggerated her work at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, state documents show.
Dr. Malini Rao, an anesthesiologist who was on probation for an earlier disciplinary action, told a state investigator in 2020 that she was treating coronavirus patients at Northwell Health hospitals in April and May of that year during the start of the pandemic.
But Rao, 47, worked only a handful of shifts at Glen Cove and Syosset hospitals on Long Island before she was axed on April 13, 2020, when a supervisor found out about the previous disciplinary action against her, according to state records.
The state “found [Rao] exuded a false sympathetic appeal with an emphasis on exaggerating her limited work during the pandemic to the point of it becoming an insult to medical professionals who genuinely worked tirelessly and selflessly through the pandemic,” according to hearing records.
A New Jersey disciplinary board had suspended Rao’s medical license in 2017 over allegations that she failed to properly place an epidural catheter in a patient. Based on that action, a New York board in 2018 suspended her license for 15 months and placed her on probation for three years.
The terms of the probation required her to report her work history to the state and to “conform to moral and professional standards of conduct and governing law.”
Rao was also accused of failing to disclose her disciplinary history in an application for credentials at Nassau University Medical Center.
A hearing committee from the state Office of Professional Medical Conduct found her testimony to be “evasive, unreliable and dishonest.”
The committee last month revoked Rao’s medical license. Rao declined to comment.