Doctor says Gunter never touched hospital patients

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Dr. Jerrilyn Jutton, the boss of an Annapolis woman accused of stealing from her and faking medical paperwork in another county, says Shawna Gunter never touched her patients in the hospital operating room.

Gunter, 36, of Annapolis, is charged in Queen Anne's County with acting as a physician's assistant without a license. In Anne Arundel County she is accused of stealing more than $14,000 from Jutton's practice, where court records show she was employed as a surgical assistant.

The Maryland Board of Physicians tells ABC2 surgical assistants are an unlicensed position within the state. The National Surgical Assistant Association says people employed in that role can perform surgical tasks under the supervision of a physician.  

But Dr. Jutton says Gunter never touched patients in the operating room when procedures were performed at the Anne Arundel Medical Center .  On less than 10 occasions Jutton says Gunter may have held retractors during procedures at the Maryland Specialty Center, but never performed any surgical tasks, even under supervision during any procedure at any location.  Jutton, a general surgeon, told us she always personally performed her patients' procedures.

Jutton says Gunter had worked at her practice for one year and was someone she trusted, having worked with her previously at the Center for Vein Restoration in Annapolis. 

"She was a good helper, a good worker," Dr. Jutton said.

Jutton indicated she believed Gunter had valid credentials to work as a surgical assistant as well as a medical malpractice insurance policy.  

With regard to the theft charges against Gunter, Jutton said she is still in shock and recovering financially. She says she has not been repaid the $14,400 Gunter is accused of stealing from her business.

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