BC psychiatrist Mayer Nelken fined, disciplined over transcranial magnetic stimulation

March 14, 2011

On May 18, 2010, the British Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeon disciplined psychiatrist Mayer Nelken for violating the Medical Practice Act by failing to acquire the College’s consent.  The College fined him $15,000 and removed his license from the class of Full-Specialty registration and placed it in the class of Conditional-Disciplined. 

According to the College’s press release, Nelken oversaw the treatment of a patient receiving repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) treatment at the MindCare Centre in Toronto.  rTMS is an alleged treatment for depression which is non-invasive, using magnetic fields to induce electric currents in the brain. 

The College’s release further states that Nelken failed to obtain College consent to practice in association with MindCare, contrary to the requirements of the Medical Practitioners Act; he had rental arrangements with MindCare which constituted a conflict of interest and were ethically inappropriate; he was represented as the rTMS psychiatrist and Medical Director of the MindCare clinics in both Vancouver and Toronto, when he had no experience or expertise in rTMS and was not registered to practice medicine in Ontario; he accepted the patient for rTMS treatment at MindCare without seeing the patient, obtaining appropriate consent or collateral data; he had no involvement in the patient’s treatment but co-signed the Patient Discharge Report without any knowledge of the treatment provided or the patient’s response to treatment, among other things.

Source: Dr. Nelken, Mayer, Richmond, B.C., Media release – May 17, 2010, College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia.


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