BRUNSWICK, Maine — A Brunswick psychiatrist has been reprimanded by a state licensing board for unprofessional conduct toward a female patient.
In a May 25 consent agreement, Charles M. Stewart acknowledged that he told a patient he loved her in a manner she could misinterpret, massaged her back during a spasm, hugged her, and gave her money for gas and her cellphone bill.
The Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine received a complaint from the patient in December 2010 saying she felt humiliated and betrayed by Stewart’s actions. He had been her psychiatrist for 18 years.
The patient, who was not named in the consent agreement, said she felt Stewart’s actions were sexually inappropriate. She said he also asked to see her mastectomy scar.
Stewart denied any erotic intent in his behavior, but acknowledged crossing professional boundaries, according to a neuropsychiatric evaluation report referenced in the agreement.
Stewart’s license was placed on five years probation and he was ordered by the board not to treat new female patients until completing a course in medical ethics and boundaries.
Stewart also must make audio recordings of all treatment sessions involving female patients for review by an outside monitor who has full access to his practice. He additionally agreed to undergo mental health counseling.
By signing the consent agreement, Stewart conceded that the board had enough evidence to conclude that he engaged in unprofessional conduct.
Stewart, who was licensed in Maine in 1988, agreed to reimburse the board $1,501.90 for the cost of the investigation.