CA Medical Board Revokes License of Psychiatrist James Matthew Crowley Ryan

February 5, 2020

On January 31, 2020, the Medical Board of California revoked the license of psychiatrist James Matthew Crowley Ryan.

Ryan’s California medical license was suspended on a emergency basis in March 2019 following an investigation of allegations that he’d engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with three patients:

  • Regarding “Patient A,” Ryan committed sexual misconduct by engaging in sexual contact; engaged in telephonic, email, and/or text message correspondence with sexual overtones; and advised the patient to have extramarital affairs).
  • Ryan violated "Patient B’s" boundaries by ignoring her express requests that he not touch her because of her history as a victim of sexual assault, and by rubbing her hands, her back, and her inner upper thighs close to her groin area. Further, he engaged in other unprofessional behaviors by showing the patient photos of himself without a shirt on for no medical reason and stating “Honey, I’ll prescribe whatever you want,” while holding her hand and rubbing her arm. He prescribed excessive amounts of multiple high-dose benzodiazepines to the patient without scientific rationale; failed to document his treatment and prescriptions of controlled substances in the patient’s record, and destroyed the patient’s medical records.
  • Ryan prescribed controlled substances to "Patient C" without any diagnostic rationale or by leaving progress notes to justify the prescriptions on multiple occasions; diverted for his own use the controlled substances he had prescribed for the patient; dated the patient starting a month after the alleged end of the physician-patient relationship.

The California Board’s document also states that, following Ryan’s sexual misconduct with Patient A and boundary violations of Patient B that Patient A’s husband made a formal complaint to Ryan’s employer and that Patient B told her husband and friend about Ryan’s conduct and then filed a police complaint against him.

The California Medical Board provided its information to the Arizona Medical Board, as Ryan was found to also be licensed in that state.

During an investigational interview with staff of the Arizona Medical Board, Ryan denied all allegations documented in the California Board’s Accusation, stating that he was unable to recall events during that time period due to suffering from delirium.

The Arizona Medical Board then issued an Order to require Ryan to complete an mental evaluation with a Board-approved provider within 14 days. Ryan failed to comply with the order. The Arizona Board then issued an Order restricting his practice. Ryan informed the Board that he did not intend to comply with the Order. The Arizona Board then suspended his license on an emergency basis and ultimate revoked it in August 2019.

In January 2019, Ryan requested a hearing with the California Medical Board. This was granted and scheduled for October 2019. However, in September 2019, Ryan’s attorney contacted the Board to advise that he was withdrawing as counsel due to having not been able to locate or communicate with Ryan for some time.

Ryan failed to appear at his hearing. A default was declared and the Board revoked his license.

Source: Default Decision and Order in the matter of the First Amended Accusation Against James Matthew Crowley Ryan, M.D., Physician and Surgeon’s License No. A 136356, Case No. 800-2016-022096, Medical Board of California, January 3, 2020 and Accusation in the matter of the Accusation Against James Matthew Crowley Ryan, M.D., Physician's and Surgeon's Certificate No. A136356, Case No. 800-2016-022096, Medical Board of California, December 11, 2018.


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