State reprimands psychiatrist David Israelstam for attempting to recruit patient for "sexual relationship"

July 19, 2011

On June 15, 2011, the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing Medical Examining Board reprimanded psychiatrist David M. Israelstam for negligence.

According to the Board’s document, Israelstam treated a 21-year-old female patient beginning in August 2007.  The patient was at that time under guardianship. He initially prescribed her the antidepressants Zoloft and Lexapro and the antipsychotics Abilify and Lamictal, the tranquilizer Restoril and the anticonvulsant Neurontin. He saw her monthly for “medication management.”

A staff member of the licensed home where the patient resided was present at each of the patient’s appointments with Israelstam. At the first appointment, Israelstam was provided with the patient’s treatment records, which showed that the patient had a history of physical and sexual abuse by her stepfather, placement in foster care at age 5, placement in a mental health center from age 8 to 10 followed by unsuccessful community placements and thereafter, continuing behavioral and emotional impairments.

On January 8, 2009, the patient, accompanied by the administrator of her residential placement, had an appointment with Israelstam. At the end of the appointment, Israelstam told the patient that he knew a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome who was looking for a young woman with whom to have a sexual relationship and asked if that was something that the patient would be interested in. She said she was not and not long after she ceased seeing Israelstam due to being uncomfortable about what occurred. 

Israelstam was previously reprimanded by the state in 2000, for sharing personal information with a patient about his difficulties with his mother, ex-wife and daughter, as well as making comments of a sexual nature to the patient.

Source: Final Decision and Order in the Matter of the Disciplinary Proceedings Against David M. Israelstam, M.D., Order 0000903.


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