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The Associated Press State & Local Wire

December 10, 1998, Thursday, AM cycle

State revokes psychiatrist’s license for sexual relationship

BYLINE: By DAVID TIRRELL-WYSOCKI, Associated Press Writer

SECTION: State and Regional

LENGTH: 400 words

DATELINE: CONCORD, N.H.

The state has revoked a Bedford psychiatrist’s license for at least three years, finding he was unethical for having a sexual relationship with a patient.
Having an affair with the woman also undermined Dr. Pierre Durand’s treatment of her young son, the Board of Registration in Medicine ruled.
Durand has been licensed in New Hampshire since 1965. He specializes in child and adolescent psychiatry.
The woman met him in 1995 when she sought treatment for her son, then 4, the board said. He did not treat children that young, but agreed to monitor her son’s medications while an associate treated the boy.
Four months later, the mother began seeing Durand about personal problems of her own. The board found Durand did not keep accurate records, did not discuss a treatment plan for her and did not develop a plan, grounds by themselves for discipline.
Her therapy sessions ended in December 1996, but Durand continued prescribing medicine for her until August 1997, indicating a doctor-patient relationship continued until then.
Before the sessions ended in 1996, the woman told the doctor she had romantic feelings toward him, the board said. It found that a sexual and romantic relationship began while she was still his patient and continued until July 1997. Durand also hired the woman to do office work for him.
The relationship came to light when the woman went to another doctor for advice about her son’s continuing behavior problems. She told the new doctor about the relationship and said it was straining her marriage. He reported it.
The board found that Durand’s personal relationship with the woman harmed her son’s treatment by straining her marriage.
“Instead of enhancing the functionality of (the) family, Dr. Durand undermined it,” the board said.
The board said Durand can apply to have his license reinstated in three years. But it said he should not expect automatic reinstatement in light of his lack of empathy toward the woman during the disciplinary process and his showing of “only minimal respect” for the board’s public protection responsibilities.
“In any reinstatement proceeding, Dr. Durand shall bear a heavy burden of demonstrating that he has participated in an active program designed to restore and enhance his professional competence to the level where he may again warrant the confidence of the board – and the public,” the board said.