Medical board charges Modesto doctor with negligence in weight-loss program

Recommended by Dr. Michael White, Updated on May 4th, 2015
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Hill Chiropractic at 3609 Oakdale Road in Modesto on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.

ANDY ALFARO aalfaro@modbee.com Buy Photo

The Medical Board of California has leveled a charge of gross negligence against a Modesto doctor who worked with patients in a controversial weight-loss program.

Dr. Prithvi Shankar was a medical doctor for The Hill Center for Integrated Medicine on Oakdale Road and was responsible for patients on hormone therapy programs and the Hill Diet, a 500-calorie-per-day regimen thats commonly known as an HCG program. The Food and Drug Administration has advised consumers to stay away from HCG weight-loss products and issued warnings to companies about selling the drugs and making unsupported claims about them.

The Medical Board investigated a womans complaint that she suffered serious side effects from the diet and hormone therapy done under Shankars supervision.

According to the Jan. 15 Medical Board accusation, a female patient at the Hill Center was given a shot containing testosterone, a steroid not approved for use in women. Investigators determined that Shankar failed to tell the patient about potential side effects of the diet or hormone therapy. The accusation further charges that the doctor lacked knowledge of what was in the shots given to patients by nursing staff and did not examine or take down the medical histories of patients before they were approved for the diet.

Investigators found the womans chart was devoid of information about her medical or surgical history, the medications she took and the medical reason for giving her testosterone.

The patient was on the Hill Diet from April to August in 2011, even though its supposed to be a six-week diet. She complained of hair loss that June and was given what the center called a womens shot containing testosterone, carnitine and vitamin B12, according to the accusation.

About 10 days after the injection, the patient complained of genital swelling, extreme muscle soreness and mood changes. The symptoms went away over a few weeks, the complaint says.

Brent Hill, a chiropractor who owns the center, said testosterone injections were occasionally given to men and women under certain circumstances, but they are not part of the Hill Diet. He said the center has offered the diet for five or six years. Hill Chiropractic and The Hill Center for Integrated Medicine, which offers an array of services from colonic cleansing to injectable vitamins and teeth whitening, are separate corporations, Hill said.

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Medical board charges Modesto doctor with negligence in weight-loss program

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