New York psychiatrist Stephen M. Shapiro’s license revocation for 7-year sexual relationship with patient

October 27, 2008

On October 27, 2008, the Administrative Review Board (ARB) of the New York Board for Professional Medical Conduct (BPMC) affirmed an April 1, 2008 decision to revoke psychiatrist Stephen M. Shapiro’s license. In the April 1 decision, the BPMC found Dr. Shapiro guilty of gross negligence, negligence on more than one occasion, engaging in conduct that evidences moral unfitness and failing to maintain accurate patient records. The Board accused Shapiro of carrying on a seven-year sexual relationship with a female patient he treated for depression. The Board’s hearing committee stated in their order that Shapiro “exploited [the patient’s] feelings and vulnerabilities for his own gratification.” Though Dr. Shapiro denied any sexual involvement with the patient, she gave detailed descriptions of Shapiro’s home and body—including the location of surgery scars—which Shapiro conceded were accurate. Following the decision, Shapiro requested of the ARB nullification of the hearing committee’s findings or a reduction of the sanction against on the basis that the former patient was not a credible witness. However, the ARB found the patient credible in her testimony.1

1 Administrative Review Board Determination and Order No. 08-43, In the Matter of Stephen M. Shapiro, M.D. (Respondent), A proceeding to review a Determination by a Committee (Committee) from the Board for Professional Medical Conduct (PBMC), State of New York Department of Health, 30 Sept. 2008.

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