Board Issues Order Restricting Psychiatrist Adam Travis' Treatment of Female Patients

August 28, 2018


On July 25, 2018, the Medical Board of California issued a Decision in the case of psychiatrist Adam D. Travis, placing him on probation for five years with conditions which include having a third-party chaperone present when consulting, examining or treating female patients, as well as having to keep a log of all female patient he sees, including their initials, patient record number, and date of service.

The Board initially restricted Dr. Travis’ practice on April 20, 2018, barring him from treating female patients without a female third party chaperone present.

The Board’s Accusation, which it issued on May 9th, tells the Board’s reasons for this disciplinary action:

“On June 16, 2017, the Board received an 805 report [a report which peer review bodies, most commonly found in hospitals, are required to submit to the licensing board containing specific information regarding licensees] from the Permanente Medical Group which reported that, effective June 8, 2017, [Travis] had resigned…. The report stated that ‘following the commencement of an investigation regarding a personal relationship Dr. Travis disclosed involving a patient, he voluntarily residing his employment with The Permanente Medical Group.’ The Board also received documents, including email communications…which revealed that [Travis] admitted to having developed very strong feelings for a married patient in his psychiatric practice and that he anticipated converting to her religion in order that they could marry once his own marriage was dissolved.”

TPMG medical and human resources staff interviewed Dr. Travis, who “acknowledged that after several appointment he had developed romantic feelings for a female patient. At least one of the appointment followed a meeting in a park, where [he] had talked with the patient about his personal life and feelings [and that he] allowed his romantic attachment to the patient affect his care.”

The document continues, illustrating how his standard of care was affected: “[Travis] complied with her request for zolpidem, a hypnotic sleep medication, in extremely high doses. When another physician denied the patient an early refill…[Travis] interceded on her behalf.”

Although he admitted many times to TPMG staff that he had crossed professional boundaries many times, he insisted that the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) guidelines, which provide that a clinician shall not engage in a personal relationship with a current or former patient, did not apply. He advised that he and the patient planned to take a six-month “break,” after which they would resume their social relationship. He asserted that his plan was consistent with American Medical Association guidelines.

The Medical Board also interviewed him. Though he initially described his relationship with the patient as a friendship, the acknowledged that his own email stated that the relationship was a romantic one. In addition to office visits (which exceeded the time necessary to properly treat the patient), Dr. Travis conceded that he was meeting the patient socially outside the office and that their relationship included hugging, kissing, holding hands, and exchanging gifts.

Dr. Travis continued to justify his conduct to the Board by asserting that APA prohibition against relationships with current/former patients did not apply because he was not an American Psychiatric Association member and because he was only providing medication management rather than psychotherapy.

Source: Stipulation and Order Re Interim Restriction of Practice, Accusation, and Stipulated Settlement and Disciplinary Order In the Matter of the Accusation Against Adam David Travis, M.D. Physician’s and Surgeon’s Certificate No. 80122, Case No. 800-2017-033792, Medical Board of California.


No comments.

Post your own comment here:

Your Comment