Ontario Psychiatrist Nina Leah Desjardins Suspended for 1 Year for Inappropriate Communications with Patient

July 26, 2021

The regulator for Ontario doctors has suspended a psychiatrist who treated patients in London and St. Thomas after finding communications she had with a patient were “inappropriate” and contributed to the patient’s “manic state.”

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) began investigating the conduct of Dr. Nina Leah Desjardins after relatives of the patient, who was being treated for depression and anxiety between 2017 and 2019, reported her to the college.

Psychiatrist suspended for a year for 'inappropriate' exchanges with patient

Relatives of the patient alleged Desjardins, who worked at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital, was communicating with the patient outside appointment hours and engaged through social media in topics such as “politics, current conspiracy theories, QAnon, reality vs. different dimensions,” among others, the college said in its discipline decision.

“Her communications with him were inappropriate and likely exacerbated his mental condition resulting in his hospitalization,” in 2019, the college’s decision reads.

The regulator said Desjardins didn’t report her communications with the patient, who would refer to Desjardins as his “guru” or “master,” to his family or hospital staff.

Though she was aware her patient was using cannabis and “mushrooms” while also taking anti-depressants, Desjardins also failed to advise the patient against it, the college said.

The college’s discipline committee found Desjardins committed an act of professional misconduct by failing to maintain the standard of practice of the profession and engaging in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct.

As part of its discipline decision, the college suspended Desjardins’s medical license for 12 months and issued a formal reprimand. She’s also been ordered to see a psychiatrist at least once a month for two years and pay the college $6,000 in costs.

Desjardins could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

Source: “Psychiatrist suspended for a year for 'inappropriate' exchanges with patient,” London Free Press (Toronto), July 22, 2021, URL: https://lfpress.com/news/local-news/psychiatrist-suspended-for-a-year-for-inappropriate-exchanges-with-patient


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