California Medical Board Orders Psychiatrist Dirk DeBrito to Cease Practicing

May 23, 2019

On May 14, 2019, the Medical Board of California issued a Cease Practice Order to psychiatrist Dirk DeBrito of Pasadena California as a result of his failure to comply with the terms of an earlier Board order. 

That order, issued on January 25, 2019, placed DeBrito on probation for three years with terms and conditions. One of the conditions required him to submit to the Board within 30 days the names and qualifications of one or more licensed physicians for prior approval as a practice monitor. 

This probation order was the Board's final action in its case against DeBrito, which began in 2015, based on complaints it received regarding two altercations which he was involved in which resulted in him being arrested twice.

The first arrest was based on an October 14, 2015 assault of his son's nanny, whom DeBrito is alleged to have grabbed by the neck, put in a headlock, pushed to the floor, and punched her in the face several times. During the incident, DeBrito threatened that he was going to kill her, and that he would “dig a f------ hole in the back and put you in it.” 

The second arrest occurred on January 12, 2016 while DeBrito was out on bail from the first arrest, at which time he was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. In this incident, DeBrito is reported to have physically assaulted a former employee, upon whom he pulled a handgun. 

On May 2, 2017, Dr. De Brito was convicted of making criminal threats (regarding the nanny) and assault by means of forces likely to produce great bodily injury (regarding the former employee). The court sentenced him to three years’ probation with conditions which included a 52-week anger management course or 52 weeks of psychiatric counseling.

In addition to being required to provide the names of potential practice monitors, the terms of the Board's probation also required DeBrito to enroll in anger management and to successfully complete an ethics course. 

On September 28, 2017, the Board petitioned for, and was granted, an Interim Suspension Order against DeBrito. (In such cases, the Executive Director of the Medical Board files the petition with a state Administrative Law Judges, who presides over a hearing and issues an order.) Among the findings of fact presented in the petition were that during a Board-ordered psychological evaluation, DeBrito "attempted to justify his behavior by explaining that he was being set up by the victims."   It also contained information about his lengthy history of psychiatric treatment and that he has been on prescribed amphetamines since he was in his residency.

Source: Cease Practice Order in the Matter of the Decision and Order against Dirk DeBrito, M.D., Physician’s & Surgeon’s Certificate No. A66604, Medical Board of California, May 14, 2019 and Decision in the Matter of the Accusation Against Dirk DeBrito, M.D., license no. A66604, Case No. 800-2015-018088, Medical Board of California, December 27, 2018.


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