Sunday, April 17, 2011
Longtime Madison Park psychiatrist suspended and sued over sexual misconduct
Last year, the local mental health community gained a bit of unwanted notoriety when the State announced that it was investigating longtime Madison Park psychiatrist Dr. Richard T. Adamson, who for many years practiced in offices just above the WaMu (later Chase) bank branch on E. Madison St. The Washington State Department of Health alleged last summer that Adamson had, among other questionable actions, engaged in improper sexual relations with a patient and had disclosed confidential patient information without authorization.
After investigating the charges, the State’s Medical Quality Assurance Commission late last month suspended Adamson’s license to practice, stating that his sexual relationship with the female patient had violated standards of professional conduct. Additionally, according to the State, Adamson later disclosed information about the woman to a second patient, also a violation. Adamson has until later this week to respond to the suspension, which will otherwise become permanent, according to published reports.
The State’s case against the 56-year-old Adamson is a pretty serious one. He is accused of having engaged in an “abusive and potentially harmful” sexual relationship with the patient, who he had been treating for depression. The woman, a family-practice doctor, was dealing with issues related to sexual abuse by her father. According to the State’s “Statement of Charges” (as reported by the online Psychiatric Crime Database), in November 2008 Adamson encouraged his patient to seek psychotherapy treatment from someone else, following which he immediately entered into a sexual relationship with the woman, who later left her husband. Adamson is alleged to have had sex with his former patient at both his office and her apartment. Adamson reportedly ended the relationship by stating that he was obsessed with another, younger woman with whom he had been engaging in “phone sex” and “instant messaging sex.”
Earlier this month the former patient with whom Adamson had the affair sued him in King County Superior Court, according to the Seattle PI. The civil complaint reportedly accuses Adamson of negligence for having caused his former patient “severe psychological and emotional injury.”
Publicity about these allegations has apparently not been helpful to Adamson, who is now the subject of two new complaints of misconduct filed with the Department of Health last month, at least one of them involving an allegedly improper sexual relationship with a patient. In the “Amended Statement of Charges” filed by the State, Adamson is reported to have revealed to a patient with whom he was having an affair that “he was involved sexually with numerous women, including a 30 year old married woman with whom he was currently emailing and texting, a married woman whom he had been involved with since his wife died, an infectious disease physician, and a family practice physician.” The recipient of this uninvited disclosure then “ended the relationship” with Adamson, according to the Amended Statement.
Adamson, who has since moved his practice (such as it is) to Lake City, apparently has not spoken publicly about any of the charges. His former space in Madison Park no longer houses a psychiatric office.