Two Richmond area doctors have licenses suspended by Virginia Board of Medicine

Posted at 9:25 AM, Feb 29, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-29 13:09:18-05

RICHMOND, VA., — The Virginia Board of Medicine has suspended the licenses of two Richmond area doctors for alleged inappropriate relationships with their patients.

On February 15, the Board suspended Dr. Patrick Anthony Oliver’s license to practice medicine in Virginia.

An order of summary suspension alleges a relationship began in January 2022 when a patient sought his ketamine infusion therapy to treat her suicide ideation. She stated she experienced “suicidal thoughts daily” and attempted to take her own life in 2021.

Dr. Oliver founded MindPeace Clinics in 2017 to offer ketamine therapy to patients who don’t respond to other medications and therapies, according to the clinic’s website.

The former Bon Secours emergency room doctor appeared on WTVR’s Virginia This Morning program during the pandemic to tout his ketamine therapy. His clinic was also featured in numerous articles including the Washington Postand Richmond Magazine.

The Board documents detailed a progression to a sexual relationship between the doctor and patient involving late-night texts and calls.

The doctor asked the patient to communicate through an app called Signal which deletes messages after they are read, according to the suspension.

The documents showed Dr. Oliver told the patient: “No one can know, they would take my license, I will lose everything.” and “If you tell anyone about this it will end my world, I need you stay quiet at least until you’re healthy and not getting regular infusions from me anymore.”

Dr. Oliver told the investigators that he thought he wasn’t breaking any laws or regulations because the patient’s treatment ended four days before their sexual relationship.

The doctor added that the patient “consented to the relationship without hesitation,” and that the patient “initiated [the sexual relationship], and that [he] succumbed to it.”

The patient did require a booster infusion on March 10, 2022 contrary to Dr. Oliver’s assertion that the practitioner–patient relationship had ended.

The patient is quoted in the suspension saying she realized how inappropriate her relationship was and told Dr. Oliver not to call her again and blocked his phone number. The relationship ended in March 2022.

CBS 6’s Brendan King stopped by his Museum District home on Wednesday.

He told Brendan “not right now” when asked to comment on his suspension and that he’d have to talk to his attorney first before speaking with us.

Dr. Oliver’s biography has since been removed from the MindPeace Clinics’ website.

The clinic did not return a request for comment about his suspension.

Dr. Samuel Thomas Clanton voluntarily surrendered license

On February 21, the Virginia Board of Medicine accepted Dr. Samuel Thomas Clanton’s voluntary surrender of his license after engaging “in a personal romantic and sexual relationship” with a patient, according to a consent order. The board first suspended his license in November 2023.

The order said Dr. Clanton, who worked at Sheltering Arms Institute, developed a relationship with a patient who had a history of repeat head injuries and concussions.

The patient told Dr. Clanton they suffered from passive suicide ideation, mood disturbance, and a history of depression.

He gave the patient his phone number at their second visit on July 6, 2022, according to the documents. The order stated that their relationship began in February or March 2023 and disclosed his personal and marital problems to her.

“Dr. Clanton’s boundary violations with Patient A caused harm to Patient A,” the order said.

In her written complaint, the patient said her mental health worsened during the relationship.

The doctor alleged that he was “sucked in” by the patient and he tried to push them away.

Dr. Clanton can seek reinstatement of his license in five years.

Patients with suicide ideation are “so isolated”

Alexandra Cromer is a licensed professional counselor withThriveworks in Downtown Richmond.

She said it’s very common to treat people with depression and suicide ideation.

“They describe it as the darkness where it's so lonely, and they're so isolated,” Cromer explained. “I also like to try to respect that headspace of you must have suffered through so much to get to this headspace where being not alive, seems like the best solution.”

Cromer spoke to CBS 6 generally about the patients she works with and not specifically about any case.

Cromer also oversees new counselors during their residencies where she drills in the importance of ethics.

"It's not enough to just not do harm to your clients, you're supposed to do good to them and protect them," she noted.

She said ethics between health professionals and patients was front and center at her alma mater William and Mary.

“You are the helping professional and you have these degrees on your wall. When someone is in so much pain, they're going to be in a vulnerable position,” she stated.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, there is help available. The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is 988. You can also text 988 for help.

Depend on CBS 6 News and for in-depth coverage of this important local story. Anyone with more information can email to send a tip.

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