Medical board reinstates Elon doctor’s medical license

The North Carolina Medical Board has reinstated the medical license for an Elon doctor who had previously admitted to abusing alcohol.

The N.C. Medical Board (NCMB) reinstated Dr. Kenneth P. Barnes of Elon with a full and unrestricted medical license two weeks ago.

Barnes will be required to maintain an existing agreement for treatment with the N.C. Physician Health Program, based on a consent order that the state medical board issued March 31. The N.C. Physician Health Program (NCPHP) provides evaluations, treatment options, and other services for medical professionals who may be struggling with substance abuse and/or mental health problems, according to a description from the organization.

Barnes had been charged with driving while impaired in Randolph County in February 2020, according to documents that the NCMB filed at the time. He voluntarily inactivated his medical license in April 2020 and subsequently completed a residential treatment program for alcohol use disorder last summer, according to the state medical board. Earlier this year, Barnes entered into a consent agreement by which the NCMB indefinitely suspended his medical license, making the suspension retroactive to April 21, 2020.

In reinstating Barnes, the state medical board concluded that “the facts and circumstances of this case do not warrant or require a limitation” to be placed on Barnes’ medical license, based on the latest consent order issued by the NCMB.

The consent order prohibits Barnes from using or possessing any alcohol and “all other mind or mood-altering substances and all controlled substances,” except for controlled substances that may be lawfully prescribed for him by someone else, according to the state medical board’s order. He may also be asked to submit to random drug and alcohol testing; and the also reserved the right to suspend Barnes’ medical license in the future if probable cause exists to do so, under the terms of the order that the NCMB issued reinstating his license.
Barnes at one time had been employed as the director of sports medicine and head athletic team physician for Elon University’s athletics department, according to the university.

Barnes had previously worked as a sports medicine fellow for Elon University’s athletic teams through Moses Cone Health System and Kernodle Clinic Orthopedics in Burlington, according to a July 2008 announcement from the university. As recently as 2015, he had been teaching as adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Exercise Science but appears to be no longer employed there, according to Elon University.

Barnes’ file with the NCMB does not specify where he is currently employed.

The state medical board is responsible for regulating and overseeing the practice of medicine in North Carolina.