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Democrat & Chronicle
Pittsford psychiatrist loses medical license
By Patti Singer
April 26, 2014

Psychiatrist Melvin Pisetzner

Psychiatrist Melvin Pisetzner

A Pittsford psychiatrist has had his medical license revoked for misconduct, including gross negligence, gross incompetence and moral unfitness to practice medicine.

Dr. Melvin K. Pisetzner, whose practice is at 1000 Pittsford-Victor Road, gives up his license Monday, according to the state Department of Health.

A hearing committee of the department’s Board for Professional Medical Conduct sustained numerous allegations on six charges.

The charges also were for negligence on more than one occasion, incompetence on more than one occasion and failure to maintain records. They related to Pisetzner’s care for five patients that in some cases went back decades.

Phone messages left Friday afternoon for Pisetzner and his attorney, Thomas C. Burke, were not immediately returned.

It was the second time Pisetzner, 71, had been disciplined by the health department. In April 1999, he was placed on probation for four years after being found guilty of repeatedly failing to file personal income and earnings taxes.

In revoking Pisetzner’s license, the state said the psychiatrist failed to maintain records with all five patients. According to the committee report, Pisetzner conceded the health department’s criticism that he failed to document medications, dosages and rationales for prescribing, re-prescribing for long periods without office visits and summarizing multiple visits rather than document each one.

Pisetzner argued that he “is essentially guilty of little more than ‘sloppy recordkeeping,’ ” according to the committee report. He claimed he provided good care and should be able to continue to practice.

The committee unanimously sustained allegations that included Pisetzner engaged in a sexual relationship with a patient in the early years of that patient’s treatment. The committee also found he made unexplained and inappropriate payments to that patient; failed to treat the person’s chemical dependency and prescribed a high dose of opiates for 10 years; and failed to explain why he could not produce records of the patient’s treatment from the 1970s until 2000.

Pisetzner denied that he had a sexual relationship with the patient, but the committee concluded that a “preponderance of the evidence establishes otherwise.”

The committee also wrote that even if it were unable to support the allegation of the sexual relationship, revoking the license still was appropriate.

The committee also sustained allegations that for some of the five patients, Pisetzner prescribed high doses of medication or changed medication without rationale for other patients; prescribed medications, including controlled substances, without seeing patients for long stretches; and didn’t keep current notes.

The Department of Health released an updated list of allegations. The hearing committee did not sustain some of the charges.