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Notice of Reprimand – Nova Scotia Psychiatrist

A Nova Scotia psychiatrist has consented to a reprimand issued by Investigation Committee “A” of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia. To protect patient confidentiality, the identity of the psychiatrist will not be disclosed.

In its letter of reprimand, the Investigation Committee expressed concern that the psychiatrist had failed to establish and maintain appropriate professional boundaries by being involved in the psychiatric care of a family member; specifically:

1. Providing primary psychiatric care to a family member despite the ready availability of a local psychiatrist who had already cared for the patient. (A contravention of the Canadian Medical Association Code of Ethics [2004], Section 11.)

2. Prescribing new psychotropic medications (Dexedrine and Risperidol) for a family member without consulting the psychiatrist of record.

3. Renewing prescriptions for a family member’s psychotropic medications and initiating dosage changes without consulting the psychiatrist of record.

The Committee also expressed concerns that the psychiatrist had displayed conduct that was inappropriate and unbecoming to the medical profession when interacting with health care practitioners who were caring for the family member.

The decision, which constitutes a finding of professional misconduct and conduct unbecoming, has been noted on the psychiatrist’s formal discipline record. The psychiatrist has agreed that a notice of this decision would appear on the College’s website.