Medical board reprimands psychiatrist Nicole Poliquin-Williams for negligent prescribing

July 25, 2011

On July 15, 2011, the Medical Board of California publicly reprimanded psychiatrist Nicole Poliquin-Williams for gross negligence, repeated negligent acts and failure to maintain adequate and accurate medical records. According to the Board’s document, Poliquin-Williams, among other things:

  • Rendered a diagnosis without documenting the symptoms to substantiate such a diagnosis
  • Added/discontinued/adjusted more than two drug doses at a time
  • Failed to consistently document her rationale for adding/discontinuing/adjusting drug doses
  • Failed to order regular lab tests of patient’s blood, CBC, liver, thyroid and chemistry panels
  • Failed to consistently gather and document information regarding effects and/or side effects of drugs she prescribed

In the case of one patient, a six-year-old boy, the document states that over a two-year period, Poliquin-Williams prescribed him 13 drugs, in varying dosages, with little to no substantiation for the use, discontinuation or changes in dosage: Trileptal (anticonvulsant), Depakote (a “mood stabilizer”), Adderall XR (prescribed for “ADHD”), Metadate CD (for “ADHD”), Risperdal (antipsychotic), Lithium (“mood stabilizer”), Prozac (antidepressant), Concerta (for “ADHD”), Seroquel (antipsychotic), Ritalin (for “ADHD”), Geodon (antipsychotic), Tenex (a blood pressure medication) and Cogentin (for treatment of tremors and Parkinson’s Disease).

In the case of Depakote, Poliquin-Williams prescribed it without noting the patient’s weight; the initial dosage of this drugs is determined based on the patient’s weight.

In the case of the other patient mentioned in the document (a 36-year-old female), Poliquin-Williams treated her over a six-year period during which she jockeyed numerous prescriptions the patient was already on, as well as adding new ones and discontinuing others. Poliquin-Williams maintained the patient on as many as eight psychiatric drugs at a time.

In addition to the reprimand, the state required Poliquin-Williams to complete a medical records keeping course, a prescribing practices course and a psychopharmacology course.

Source: Decision and Order in the Matter of the Accusation Against Nicole Poliquin-Williams, M.D., License No. A-30419, Case No. 06-2007-187121, Before the Medical Board of California.


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