Report from the Charleston Gazette, out of West Virginia
A South Charleston psychiatrist has been publicly reprimanded by the state Board of Medicine and placed on probation for three years after he allegedly carried on an inappropriate personal relationship with a patient through telephone conversations, e-mail and text messages.
Dr. Russ Voltin, who also works as co-medical director of the forensic evaluation unit at South Central Regional Jail, denied any sexual contact with the patient.
Voltin said the former patient concealed her identity from him, according to a consent order filed last week by the medical board.
The patient, whose name was not disclosed, alleged the online relationship with Voltin lasted from 2004 to 2007. The Board of Medicine started investigating the complaint in March 2007.
The board concluded that Voltin took part in "unprofessional and unethical conduct." Medical board members voted to suspend Voltin's license for three years, but stayed the decision, allowing Voltin to continue to practice while on probation.
Voltin also was directed to see a board-approved psychotherapist who must submit reports on Voltin's mental health every four months.
In addition, the medical board ordered Voltin to attend medical ethics classes. The board vowed to revoke Voltin's license if he takes part in inappropriate contact with patients during the next three years.
Voltin, who became a state-licensed psychiatrist in 1989, works at PsyCare Inc. in South Charleston.
He serves as regional coordinator for forensic psychiatry and assistant professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine.
Voltin, 45, also has been a guest lecturer at WVU's law school. He was director of Thomas Memorial Hospital's psychiatric unit from 1994 to 2001.
Voltin did not return phone messages left at his South Charleston office Wednesday.