Complaint to the Office of Professional Medical Conduct, NYS Dept. of Health:
I was hospitalized at Hutchings Psychiatric Center for suicidal depression for about three weeks; the attending psychiatrist was Jane Kou.
I only recall seeing Dr. Kou four times for a total of less than an hour during those three weeks, and one of the times was the discharge meeting.
The first time, she came and sat with me at a small table in a public area. I was frustrated and angry because I had waited days for this first conversation with a doctor. After five or ten minutes of conversation, I became so angry about my mistreatment and Dr. Kou’s failure to provide care that I lifted the edge of the table about three inches and dropped it back to the floor. Dr. Kou terminated the interview, saying I was becoming violent.
The second time, Dr. Kou, the chief of service, and one or two other people came to my room. The chief of service and I talked for about fifteen minutes. Dr. Kou made a few comments to him but did not speak to me.
The third time, Dr. Kou and a social worker came and sat at my table in the dining room during lunch, told me I was to go to Continuing Day Treatment at St. Joseph’s, then left.
The fourth time, I was summoned to Dr. Kou’s office where I met with her and a social worker. I had been admitted suicidally depressed and was in that condition when I was called to her office. Dr. Kou told me I was being discharged. I had a thirty-year history of depression with six suicide attempts. Dr. Kou had refused to continue the antidepressants I had been taking when I was admitted.
I begged Dr. Kou not to discharge me without having at least a therapist; she refused. Dr. Kou then discharged me, suicidal and without medication, therapist or psychiatrist.
I walked out the door in a state of incomparable suicidal distress. I knew that if I went home, I would kill myself, so I got in my car and drove blindly, irrationally, and quite dangerously for several hours. I ended up in a snowstorm in the dark on the side of a mountain about a hundred miles away. I returned to Syracuse and went directly to the Emergency Room of another hospital, where they committed me back to Hutchings.
I had received neither psychotherapy nor pharmacotherapy from Dr. Kou during the three weeks I was hospitalized under her care.
To file a complaint against a physician, or to search for actions already taken against a physician, go to the NYS Dept. of Health, Office of Professional Conduct, website at http://www.health.state.ny.us/professionals/doctors/conduct/file_a_complaint.htm