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Doctor who prescribed drugs based on dog X-ray suspended

A Glendora police detective leads Dr. Rolando Lodevico Atiga from his urgent care clinic to a police car June 12.

The license of a Glendora physician who prescribed addictive medications to an undercover sheriff’s deputy who showed him an X-ray of her dog was suspended this week, pending a full hearing.

Dr. Rolando Lodevico Atiga, 69, would “endanger the public health, safety and welfare” if he continued to practice medicine unrestricted, the Medical Board of California stated in a ruling on a three-page interim suspension order made public Wednesday.

Atiga, according to law enforcement officials, wrote prescriptions to three deputies posing as patients, including the deputy who showed the doctor an X-ray for a German shepherd. The X-ray showed the dog's tail and had the dog’s name, Recon, and the name of an animal hospital printed on it.

“That’s the hip joint right there,” the doctor said, apparently indicating one of the dog’s bones, according to an audio recording of the undercover visit reviewed by The Times.

Interim suspension requests and decisions by the medical board are rare and sought only when it is believed a doctor could cause harm before a formal decision can be made, according to the board.

Atiga was arrested July 12 on suspicion of improperly prescribing addictive medications to people with no legitimate medical need for them and led handcuffed from his urgent care clinic off the 210 Freeway.

He was released from custody later that day, pending further investigation, according to Glendora police. A hearing for the doctor has been scheduled for Aug. 31 at the Office of Administrative Hearings in Los Angeles.


Dog X-ray used in arrest of doctor in prescription probe

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-- Hailey Branson-Potts


Photo: A Glendora police detective leads Dr. Rolando Lodevico Atiga from his urgent care clinic to a police car June 12. Credit: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times

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