Iowa grants license to psychiatrist with history of disciplinary actions

The Iowa Board of Medicine has restored the prescribing privileges of a doctor accused last year of inappropriate pain management. (Photo: Iowa Board of Medicine)

The Iowa Board of Medicine has granted a medical license to a psychiatrist accused of repeatedly violating standards of care in another state.

The board has granted a license to Patrick Kin-Lee Chau, a 67-year-old physician who practices psychiatry in the state of Washington. At the same time, the Iowa board has issued Chau a warning for failing to meet the minimum standard of care with respect to the care of patients.

The warning is tied to the actions of the Washington Medical Quality Assurance Commission, which in 2006 suspended Chau’s Washington medical license while investigating allegations that he inappropriately prescribed amphetamine or methamphetamine for weight loss or depression; failed to properly monitor patients while on these medications; failed to maintain accurate medical records for these patients; and failed to conduct appropriate testing and evaluations, all of which resulted in “a substantial threat of harm” to his patients. The Washington Commission eventually reinstated Chau’s medical license and placed him on probation for a period of two years.

In 2008, the Washington commission determined there was an immediate danger to the public health, safety, or welfare while Chau’s medical license remained unrestricted, and it entered a summary order restricting him from prescribing any benzodiazepines, thyroid medications or stimulants pending final resolution of the case.

The following year, the commission found that Chau engaged in unprofessional conduct and violated the terms of his probation by prescribing large doses of addicting medication; by failing to obtain necessary medical records for his patients; by failing to monitor his patients; and by failing to produce records in response to the commission’s investigation. Chau’s license was again placed on probation.

In 2012, the Washington commission found that Chau again engaged in unprofessional conduct by improperly prescribing medications and failing to record his treatment of two patients.

Grinnell physician agrees to surrender license

In a separate matter, a former Grinnell physician has agreed to surrender his Iowa medical license 10 months after being sentenced to prison for sexual assault.

Roy A. Doorenbos, a 64-year-old Iowa-licensed physician who practiced family medicine in Grinnell, has entered into a settlement agreement with the Iowa Board of Medicine. The agreement requires him to surrender his license and pay a $10,000 civil penalty.

In 2017, the board alleged Doorenbos had engaged in sexual misconduct in violation of Iowa laws and rules governing the practice of medicine by having “inappropriate sexual contact” on multiple occasions with a female who was staying at Doorenbos’ home.

Court records indicate the victim told police she had been sexually assaulted by Doorenbos after he came into her room, began praying with her and then crawled into bed with her. Later, he allegedly sent her text messages saying, “Don’t refuse me,” and “I’ll be with you always,” and signed them, “your heavenly father” and “Jesus.”

Last April, a jury convicted Doorenbos of assault, and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. He was sentenced to two years in prison.

Clark Kauffman
Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has worked during the past 30 years as both an investigative reporter and editorial writer at two of Iowa’s largest newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Quad-City Times. He has won numerous state and national awards for reporting and editorial writing. His 2004 series on prosecutorial misconduct in Iowa was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. From October 2018 through November 2019, Kauffman was an assistant ombudsman for the Iowa Office of Ombudsman, an agency that investigates citizens’ complaints of wrongdoing within state and local government agencies.