New Mexico’s Dr. Robert Zuniga, enemy of pain patients

http://www.ktsm.com/news/hearing-suspended-las-cruces-doctor-comes-end

9/26/2012, Hearing for suspended Las Cruces doctor comes to an end

The state heard from expert witness Dr. Robert Zuniga, a board certified anesthesiologist and pain management physician from Albuquerque…

Coronado argued Jain has had privileges at Memorial Medical Center for more than 13 years and has performed more than 10,000 epidural procedures in his more than 30 year career. “You can do something 6,000 times and still do it wrong,” Zuniga said. Zuniga said in more cases the patients were poor candidates to be prescribed strong pain medication…

http://www.vitals.com/doctors/Dr_Robert_Zuniga/reviews

Nov 3rd, 2013
After Presbyterian lost the only Dr. who handled pain pumps (which they implanted)-I was sent to Dr. Zuniga. Dr. Zuniga from the 1st visit began making changes w/my pump & meds, W/O TELLING/ADVISING/ASKING ME! I realized what he was doing after the 2nd visit; he had added new meds & had decreased my pump output by 20% in 3wks, which left me in more pain & ill from withdrawals from turning the pump down so quickly. 3rd visit w/husband in tow, I tried to talk to Zuniga about this; 1st he threw my husband out of the room; then he told me that he was the Dr & didn’t have or need to consult/inform me, he became defensive & verbally assaulted me & before I could ‘fire’ him, he discharged me from his care as uncooperative. I filed a complaint w/NM Med.Board to no avail. as he had to many ‘friends’ on that board. BEWARE! Zuniga WILL do as he pleases w/o consent & throw you out if you question his treatment, or simply ask (as I did) to be involved in ALL treatment & decisions in your health care. Zuniga NEEDS to be stripped of his medical license & put in jail for medical abuse/neglect, leaving patients in life threatening state. I pray for all that end up in his care; they are HARD to find, but there are good pain management Dr.’s for people w/REAL conditions & pain. Be proactive & keep looking. Remember as the patient, the Dr. works for you! Don’t be afraid to question your care, or to ‘fire’ any Dr. that’s not giving you quality care & PLEASE file complaints w/the NM Medical Board! You have the right to be treated for pain & be treated w/dignity; Dr’s are NOT GOD’s! Don’t waste anytime w/bad Dr’s; move on to the next & get the care you need & deserve. You WONT find any help you need w/Zuniga. I encourage ALL patients that have been neglected/abused by him to report Zuniga to the Medical Board & your Ins. Company.

May 27th, 2011
I am a white male of 49 years of age, resting heart rate 55, oxygen 94%, BP 120/77. I suffer from peripheral neuropathy, and have for 14 years. I had a weight lifting accident 14 years ago. I moved here in September 2010 and saw Zuniga 5 times before leaving him. He was at Presbyterian at the time (at least through June 2011). This doctor didn’t listen to me talk. He wanted to do injections all the time, both lumbar and foraminal, and wouldn’t prescribe enough medication so that I would feel compelled to have the injections. Sure, he was nice enough, but he didn’t listen to me when I described my neuropathy, didn’t listen to me say it might be arachnoiditis, or epidural fibrosis, and to please rule those out before proceeding. Plus, he has a little bit of a chip on his shoulder, and wouldn’t change his language to match my understanding (I’m a scientist, but a physicist, not a physician, so there are tons of things he mentioned without explaining that I simply didn’t understand. I know that the injections were meant to be both diagnostic and therapeutic, because other anesthesiologists told me so, but he never explained that to me, even when I went to see him for the first time. Now that I have found a different pain clinic in Albuquerque, I get the medications I need to remain comfortable and stable, and I don’t get treated like a child.

http://www.abqjournal.com/36032/news/prominent-doctors-painkiller-prescribing-under-fire.html

6/12/2011, Prominent Doctor’s Painkiller Prescribing Under Fire

Zuniga, president of the New Mexico Pain and Spine Institute in Albuquerque, testified that Maron’s prescription writing poses a danger to the public safety, especially if the controlled substances prescribed are diverted and abused.

But what would happen to Maron’s patients if the board upholds the temporary suspension of his license? “The best way to deal with (most of) these patients is, they are going to have to go to the emergency room and start withdrawing from these drugs,” Zuniga testified. “It’s going to be complicated. They (the board) probably should warn the ERs exactly” what they could be facing.

There were no allegations that his prescribing practices led to any deaths…

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