Gaylord Nordine, Iowa psychiatrist – in hot water for sexually exploting patients


Des Moines Register (Iowa)
W.D.M. doctor gives up license;
Psychiatrist is done for at least a year after an affair with a patient
By Leys Tony
November 24, 2005

Psychiatrist Gaylord Nordine

Psychiatrist Gaylord Nordine

A West Des Moines psychiatrist will have his medical license suspended for at least a year for having sex with a woman who had been his patient and employee.

Dr. Gaylord Nordine already is serving two years’ probation after pleading guilty in June to a criminal charge of sexually exploiting an emotionally dependent patient.

The Iowa Board of Medical Examiners, which oversees physician licenses, released documents Wednesday showing that Nordine has agreed to have his license suspended for at least a year.

Nordine, 61, was charged by police in October 2004. The former patient, Lori Larson, gave investigators evidence, including letters, receipts from gifts and trips, plus underwear with DNA evidence.

The license suspension is scheduled to begin Jan. 1. Medical-board lawyer Kent Nebel said regulators agreed to the delay so Nordine’s patients would have time to find alternative care.

Nebel said the board suspends three or four doctors a year for having inappropriate sexual conduct with patients, who often are in vulnerable situations.

“It’s such a clear-cut violation of the code of ethics,” Nebel said. The issue is particularly acute for mental-health professionals, he said. “They have such a huge emotional role as a psychiatrist, and you can’t take advantage of that for your own personal motives.”

Under the settlement Nordine reached with regulators, he agreed to pay a $5,000 fine, to undergo inpatient treatment and to continue seeing a counselor. If his license is reinstated, he will serve five years’ probation, with requirements that include regular lie-detector tests.

He did not respond to a request for comment.

The board said Nordine treated Larson for depression and anxiety for 12 years before beginning the 17-month affair in 2002.

In 2004, Larson filed a lawsuit, which is still pending.

Her lawyer, Maggi Moss, said patients who seek counseling deserve protection. “It certainly would be nice to be assured that they won’t be victims,” she said. Moss said she hopes that if the medical board ever reinstates Nordine, it puts restrictions on his treatment of women.