Three strikes and...yer still licensed? Connecticut Dept. of Health lets psychiatrist Peter Benet continue to practice

August 19, 2011

On August 16, 2011, the Connecticut Medical Examining Board ("Board") issued a Reinstatement Consent Order on psychiatrist Peter Benet.

This is the third Board disciplinary action in three and a half years against Benet, for obvious harm to patients yet each time the Board has merely ordered him to pay a fine. 

One has to wonder if the Board is more interested in money than in protecting the public a psychiatrist who appears to prescribing drugs with no informed consent, no meaningful patient interaction and no follow-up.

Benet's Connecticut medical license expired January 31, 2011 and he failed to renew it but continued to practice even after the license was rendered void on May 2, 2011. He applied for reinstatement sometime in mid-July 2011.

At that time, the Board charged him with treatment of a patient which failed to meet the standard of care in several ways. Specifically, Benet provided treatment to patient "P.F." on March 21, 2009 and into the summer of that year and started the patient on a course of lithium without obtaining necessary laboratory studies.*  Futher, he failed to monitor P.F.'s response to the drug and failed to return phone calls from P.F. and his wife.

The Board also charged Benet with practicing on an expired license after May 2, 2011 and until at least  July 13, 2011.

The Board ordered Benet to pay a civil penalty of $10,000.

This is not the first time Benet has been disciplined over his apparent ignorance and/or ineptitude regarding the use of lithium: In March 2008, the Board issued a Consent Order in which Benet admitted that he “deviated from the applicable standard of care” in his treatmen of patient "AKB" because he failed to coordinate his prescription of lithium with her hypothyroidism” and/or “failed to record adequate clinical justification for his diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder.” Despite the adverse effect this had on AKB's quality of life (and that of her child and family) over an extended period, Dr. Benet was merely required to pay a $3,000 civil penalty.

Just over a year later, in June 2009, the Board fined Benet for delivering substandard care to a patient who developed the incurable nerve disorder tardive dyskinesia (abbreviated “TD,” the disorder  manifests in involuntary muscle contractions of the face, neck, etc.).  According to the Board’s report, Benet prescribed the patient multiple drugs, some of which are known to cause TD. However, the patient's medical record does not reflect that Benet advised the patient of the risks associated with at least seven of the drugs he prescribed. The Board also charged Benet with failure to coordinate his prescriptions with drugs the patient was already taking for extant medical conditions. The Board fined Benet $15,000 and placed his license on probation for one year.  He was also ordered to hire a supervising psychiatrist to conduct a random review of his patient records and complete courses in TD and managing medications.

As a result of the current disciplinary action, Benet's license was placed on probation for two years and he is  again required to have a portion of his patient files reviewed by a licensed physician pre-approved by the Board.

* Lithium can be toxic to the liver and lethal to the patient, and thus patients taking the drug must be tested prior to its prescription and must receive routine testing for as long as they take it. 

Source: Reinstatement Consent Order in re: Peter Benet, M.D., Petition No. 2011-839, Petition No. 2009-20091603, State of Connecticut Depart of Health, “State medical board disciplines South Windsor psychiatrist,” Hartford Courant, June 17, 2009.

Comments
Anne-Kristine Blake
2011-08-23 08:56:48
I am sickened and appalled at the blatant negligence the STATE OF CONNECTICUT continues to exhibit with this very wealthy doctor. He continues to get a "slap on the wrist", for making the SAME life threatening judgement calls over and over.
CONNECTICUT, wake up and see that this STATE OF CORRUPTION puts profit before people. One cannot help but notice, that BENET is clearly paying his way out of all this, with the assistance of HALLORAN & SAGE law firm.
HOW DO YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT DR. BENET?

Anne-Kristine Blake
2014-03-17 08:03:29
I am also wondering why he only had to pay a $3,000.00 fine for what he has done to my life, and in 2009, the fine went up to $15,000.00?
I am worth less (no pun intended) then the next guy?
Connecticut is the state of corruption. Money buys you freedom~

philip roy
2014-07-19 10:12:01
AKB My heart goes out to you.My experience with this Devil was was the most tragic part of my life.This absolute waste of a human life has only been exsasberated by the ineffectiveness of the panel that gave this potential murderer,the right to practice. Shame on you State of ct!I came close to committing suicide when he abrubtly stopped my meds.Dr Benet was and is a very very lucky man!In my case he doesn't know how lucky he is.50,000$ in fines?He laughs at this panel 50,000$ is like ten bucks to most of us he is very wealthy! For what he did to AKB and myself is beyond morality it stinks of greed ego and worship for money.A warning to the health department pray that this guy retires or dies because he's gonna kill someone someday and the blood will be on your hands.

Anne-Kristine Blake
2014-07-22 04:40:55
I am so sorry you were a victim as well.
He is still out there, prescribing.....money buys off this state, every time.

MRH
2015-03-04 22:58:37
I have known Dr. Benet for many years (on a professional level only) and he is a very well meaning, extremely competent doctor. Although this report is extremely biased, leaving out most of the variables involved so the reader cannot understand the context of which Dr. Benet had been accused. Now ask yourself this, do you want the State of Connecticut treating you? A bunch of politicians and appointees who are more worried about the election cycle and their bottom line, rather than your well-being, or would you rather a very intelligent doctor who knows what he is doing and what his patients need, because the last time I saw a politician in an examination room, he was getting a colonoscopy for a problem that persisted for a wealth of bad choices that he made in his life. I don't know about you, but my experience with politicians is that they lookout for themselves first and if your needs happen to coincide with their wants, then you just might have a bone thrown to you. The last thing I want, is the government telling my doctor how to treat me. I suggest that anyone reading this, should keep an open mind, think critically, don't automatically condemn and most important, don't believe everything you read online. People and organizations have a really good way in which they twist the story line to suit their own agenda. This article doesn't cite any facts or evidence to back up those any facts, yet people are already screaming for government intervention between themselves and their doctor. The government cannot even properly run the government. Do you really want them running your healthcare, playing middle-man between you and your doctor, a relationship that should be one on one between you and your doctor. Finally, Doctors are humans too, and they only have the information that they have access too, otherwise, all other information is dependent on what the patient (or their guardian) reports. It's called doctor-patient trust and it used to be a very valuable relationship before the lawyers started to find out that the medical field is a cash cow, just waiting to be picked apart and fleeced, ultimately interrupting the one on one relationship with your doctor.

sharder
2015-03-31 12:02:00
Only thing I can say is a lot of his patients go to him for reasons other doctors turn you away. I'm not giving him a reason for practicing but he is in business as a "legal" drug dealer. That is how I see him. I was never a patient of his but my husband was. My husband chose him and went to him because he was and I guess still known as a Dr who will give you what you want or need. So in my eyes the people who are suing him and wanting money from him are just people who know how to manipulate what they want from a Dr and get it. He has been known to do these things for years and anyone who says that they went to him for actual "help" is either lying about why they went to him in the first place or just did not look into their options. And my husband was one of those who looked into it and found a guy to give him what he wanted when he wanted it. I can't fault the Dr100% My husband knew who he was going to and why he was going there. And we live in MA. So my husband chose to go to a Dr in CT because he knew he could get what he wanted or needed. You can't expect that a Psychiatrist is going to check for thyroidism. That is why you go see a Primary Care Dr. Anyone who goes to Dr. Benet has a drug addiction. Point Blank. Do your research and stop being sue happy America. My Father under anethstesia wasn't strapped on the table for a cancer treatment to remove a tumor from his colon, and fell off the table onto the floor. And he has not sued the hospital or the Dr. even though he has the right to for the next 7 yrs and its been 4 yrs already. It doesn't help to be sue happy!!! "I have a problem, lets find a Dr who gives me what I want but it still doesn't help" so lets bash him and sue him. Sorry....I'm not the addict, I'm the one dealing with one. And so is he every day....all day long. Then everyone wants to blame him for "THEIR" problem. Still I don't condone what he does but it pisses me off to see everyone bash him for going to him for a specific reason. And when he does say "NO" you all attack him.

Kimberly R
2015-07-06 19:53:03
This man took me off paxil cold turkey in 2002 and caused me to go to an outpatient program because of his negligence. If I knew then what I know now but experience and schooling I would have pressed charges myself. Paxil is an old medication with a lot of side effects and it needs to be weened off with support of other drugs vs ending it completly. My experience with Benet was my first time trying to get off Paxil and it was also my only other time minus my hospital stay at age 16 that i've needed the Institute of Living. At the institute I met many people that was under his care and that he screwed. If the board is at all concerned about patients and their well being they'd look at who is at the Institute of his patients and why they're there. They will find a TON of negligence. This was in 2002 ... if he's only got three strikes in 2011 then I'm sorry he needs a new job. This man should not work in psychiatry and he should become a patient himself.

Kph
2016-10-26 00:00:42
I've been seeing the doc for a few months now for suboxone and I must say he's been excellent so far. Hasn't had 1 problem yet. Maybe he finally started taking things seriously

Dk
2017-03-10 02:45:20
Funny, I had no problem with this doctor.

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