Pasadena psych Dirk de Brito, convicted of assault, license suspended

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San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Medical board suspends license of Pasadena psychiatrist convicted of assault, making criminal threats
By Stephanie K. Baer
October 5, 2017

Psychiatrist Dirk de Brito

An administrative law judge has suspended the license of a Pasadena psychiatrist convicted of assault and making criminal threats against his children’s nanny and a former employee.

In an order issued Wednesday, Judge Julie Cabos-Owen granted the Medical Board of California’s petition for an interim license suspension, ordering Dirk de Brito to not practice “any aspect of medicine” until a final decision of the board.

“It was granted on an emergency basis though an ex parte (petition, coming from one side) because we had determined the physician was an immediate threat to the public,” said Christine Valine, a spokeswoman for the medical board.

De Brito, 54, of La Cañada Flintridge runs a private psychiatry practice out of an office at 751 N. Fair Oaks Ave. in Pasadena. He specializes in adult ADHD, bipolar disorder and depression.

In May, the psychiatrist pleaded “no contest” to two misdemeanor charges related to accusations he attacked his children’s nanny at his home in October 2015 and a former employee outside his medical office in January 2016. He was sentenced to three years’ summary probation as a result of the conviction.

De Brito, who is currently facing two civil lawsuits related to the incidents, maintains he never physically harmed his employees. Before Wednesday’s order, the doctor had faced no disciplinary actions since his medical license was issued in 1998.

“The temporary order was based on false accusations made nearly two years ago, completely outside the doctor’s practice,” his attorney Edward Idell said in a statement. “There have never been any similar claims in a career spanning 30,000 patient visits; evidence of his safety to practice and the false nature of the accusations will be presented, and we have faith that the doctor will shortly be able to resume his practice.”

According to the judge’s order, the medical board began investigating complaints about de Brito’s arrests and the two separate altercations in July 2016.

In March, another doctor conducted a psychiatric examination of de Brito per a request by the board. The doctor, Mark Kalish, diagnosed de Brito with bipolar disorder and determined that his “mental illness impacts (his) ability to engage in the practice of medicine.

“Dr. Kalish further opined that (de Brito’s) ability to practice medicine was impaired such that he is a danger to the public health, safety and welfare,” the judge’s order read. “Dr. Kalish noted that (his) history and the ‘explosive’ 2015 and 2016 incidents ‘very strongly suggest that his mental condition is deteriorating and that he is becoming increasingly agitated and violent.’”

The psychiatrist will have a chance to present his case during a hearing Oct. 23 in downtown Los Angeles, according to the judge’s order.

Pasadena psych Dirk de Brito