SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS
Psychiatrist accused of sex with patient punished
Doctor had lived in the Houston area
By KARISA KING
The Texas Medical Board has reprimanded a San Antonio psychiatrist for having sex with a patient who sought his treatment because she was suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts.
The doctor, Alan T. Lloyd, also prescribed unneeded, dangerous drugs to the woman, according to an order from the Texas Medical Board.
Lloyd, 48, was practicing psychiatry in the Houston area when he first began treating the woman in 2003. He now lives with the woman and works in San Antonio at the Laurel Ridge Treatment Center, a psychiatric hospital that provides acute residential care.
Lloyd denies that the sexual relationship began while the woman was under his care, according to the Feb. 6 order. He did not return calls for this story.
The woman first was referred to Lloyd in January 2003 after she spent a week in a hospital for depression and thoughts of suicide, according to board documents. The next month, Lloyd began psychotherapy sessions with the woman twice a week, and the treatment lasted until 2007.
Although Lloyd denied the allegation, the board found that he began the sexual relationship while he was treating the woman.
As punishment, Lloyd must take a course on “professional boundaries” and pay a $10,000 fine. He also must pass a medical law exam within a year or his medical license will be suspended.
The woman, while she was in psychotherapy with Lloyd, was arrested in December 2006 at a Walgreens drive-thru pharmacy in Kingwood, Houston police spokesman John Cannon said. A pharmacist told investigators that she had dropped off a prescription earlier in the day, and it appeared to have been photocopied and forged, Cannon said. When police called the woman’s doctor, whose name was not publicly released, the physician told investigators she had not signed the prescription.
Police charged her with fraudulently obtaining drugs and referred the case to a district court in Houston, Cannon said. It’s not clear how the case was resolved. Court records on the case are not public.
The medical board’s ruling on Lloyd, which does not prohibit him from treating patients, drew criticism from advocates who questioned whether the decision went far enough.
“This is a population that can become dependent on their provider for validation, reassurance and any number of things,” said Lee Spiller, a spokesman for Citizens Commission on Human Rights, an advocacy group for people with mental illness. “When somebody in a position of that much trust betrays that trust, it’s serious.”
Ruling causes concern
The ruling from the agency also troubled the ex-husband of the woman who was Lloyd’s patient.
“I thought they would take his license away. I was shocked,” said the man, who was divorced from the woman in 2007. “They’re obviously there to protect doctors, not so much other people like me.”
The Express-News is not naming the man or his ex-wife because the newspaper doesn’t identify potential victims of sexual abuse.
State law makes it illegal for doctors to have sex with their patients, and in some cases doctors can face a felony charge.
Board spokeswoman Jill Wiggins declined to comment on whether the agency referred Lloyd’s case to law enforcement authorities, and much about the case remains confidential.
The order doesn’t disclose how or when the complaint against Lloyd initially surfaced, or how long it took the board to rule on the case. But Wiggins said Texas law requires the board to issue findings within a year of a complaint.
She said the agency doesn’t take cases of sexual misconduct lightly.
“It’s very egregious when it happens,” Wiggins said. “Our mission is public protection. It’s not: ‘Let’s take care of the doctors.’.”
The patient advocacy director for Laurel Ridge Treatment Center, Adis HaneyÖ, declined to comment on any aspect of the case, including whether hospital administrators knew about the reprimand.
Lloyd graduated from the University of Utah School of Medicine in 1984, and worked in Michigan before receiving his Texas medical license in 1994.
Board records show it was the first order issued against him.