Van Buren Anesthesiologist Arrested in Drug Case

Posted on: 3:07 pm, April 11, 2013, by and , updated on: 10:19pm, April 11, 2013

A River Valley anesthesiologist was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office. Now, the Arkansas Medical Board says his medical license is under question.

Brett Whatcott, 48, of Fort Smith, was arrested during a traffic stop by Arkansas State Police on Tuesday (April 9), according to a Crawford County Sheriff Ron Brown.

Whatcott bonded out of jail Tuesday night, Brown said. Now, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is investigating the incident.

Whatcott was listed as an anesthesiologist on both the Sparks Regional Medical Center and Summit Medical Center websites. As of Thursday (April 11) evening, he has been removed from both of those websites.

A woman who says she worked with Whatcott for several years was very surprised when she heard the news.

“I’ve known him for many years and he is an incredibly knowledgeable doctor,” she said. “His patients have always loved him.”

Donna Bragg, a spokesperson for Sparks Health System, says the hospital uses a third-party called EmCare to contract anesthesiologists. Summit Medical Center also uses EmCare to contract their anesthesiologists.

EmCare told 5NEWS that they are investigating the case, but that no other information is available.