Longtime psychiatrist suspended, sued over sexual misconduct
Tuesday, May 03, 2011 3:40 PM
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 Washington Mutual (later Chase) Bank branch on East Madison Street.
■ Dr. Richard T. Adamson, who has been suspended by the state for engaging in improper sexual relations with a patient last summer and for disclosing confidential patient information without authorization, had practiced psychiatry in the offices above the former Washington Mutual (now Chase) Bank. He has since moved his practice to Lake City. photo/Bryan Tagas
The Washington State Department of Health alleged that Adamson had, among other questionable actions, engaged in improper sexual relations last summer with a patient and had disclosed confidential patient information without authorization.
After investigating the charges, the state’s Medical Quality Assurance Commission suspended Adamson’s license to practice in late March, 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 had until mid-April to respond to the suspension, which will otherwise become permanent, according to published reports.
In the state’s case against the 56-year-old Adamson, he is accused of having engaged in an “abusive and potentially harmful” sexual relationship with the patient, whom 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 on-line Psychiatric Crime Database), Adamson encouraged his patient in November 2008 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.
He 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.”
In early April, the former patient with whom Adamson had the affair sued him in King County Superior Court, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The civil complaint reportedly accuses Adamson of negligence for having caused his former patient “severe psychological and emotional injury.”
Two new complaints
Adamson is now the subject of two new complaints of misconduct filed with the Department of Health in March, at least one of which involved 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 e-mailing 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 patient to whom Adamson allegedly disclosed this information then “ended the relationship,” according to the Amended Statement.
Adamson, who has since moved his practice 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.
BRYAN TAGAS is a Madison Park resident who also writes the Madison Park blog (www.madisonparkblogger.com), where this story was originally printed. It is reprinted with permission.