Doctor cited for texting, ‘kissing’ patient

FRONT ROYAL – A local chiropractor continues to practice in Front Royal after state regulators reprimanded him for inappropriate behavior with a patient.

Daniel L. Carrier practices in Front Royal and the Department of Health Professions lists his license as active since May 1996. The license expires at the end of December. Carrier recently complied with terms and conditions set forth by the Virginia Board of Medicine after a finding that he violated regulations pertaining to the medical practice. He received a letter of compliance after he completed a class on boundaries between doctors and patients, according to a department official.

Carrier did not return calls for comment.

The former patient said in a recent interview that she continues to suffer trauma and is undergoing therapy as a result of the chiropractor’s actions and messages he sent. The Northern Virginia Daily is not publishing the identity of the former patient given the nature of the matter.

Members of the Board of Medicine serving on the Special Conference Committee held an informal conference with Carrier in Henrico on April 20 to inquire about allegations that the chiropractor might have violated certain laws and regulations governing the practice of chiropractic in Virginia, according to documents filed with the state agency.

The committee determined that Carrier violated sections of the board’s regulations, specifically “Dr. Carrier engaged in excessive and inappropriate texting with Patient A from approximately 2013 through approximately March 2015.” The report on the findings also states that, during an office visit in January 2014, “Dr. Carrier kissed the back of Patient A’s neck while he was performing adjustments on her as she lay face down on the examining table.

“Dr. Carrier stated that Patient A came to the office around seven years ago with problems associated with running,” the report states. “Patient A came to the office frequently, not just as a patient but also to bring in food and visit with staff. A couple of years ago … Patient A offered to help with (Carrier’s) son … and she gave him her mobile number.

“Around this same time, Dr. Carrier and Patient A began texting,” the report goes on to state. “Dr. Carrier also noticed that Patient A jogged in the streets, and he offered her the option of running on the trails behind his house. Patient A volunteered at Dr. Carrier’s office, and showed up there frequently. Dr. Carrier stated over the seven-year physician/patient relationship, their relationship progressed to a friendship with frequent interaction, both in and outside the office, which he acknowledged he should not have allowed.”

“Dr. Carrier acknowledged kissing Patient A’s neck in the examining room,” the report states. “He stated he did not have a chaperone in the room, but he had left the examination room door open. Dr. Carrier stated he regrets that this misunderstanding occurred.”

The committee ordered that Carrier be issued a reprimand and also ordered that his medical license be subject to the following terms: within six months from entry of the order, the doctor shall submit evidence satisfactory to the board verifying that he has completed at least 20 hours of approved, continuing education in the subject of proper physician/patient boundaries. Such education must be conducted in face-to-face, interactive sessions. Once the board received evidence that Carrier has complied with the term, the board authorizes Dr. William Harp, executive director of the Board of Medicine, to close the case.

Carrier had until June 1 to notify Harp in writing that he wanted a formal administrative hearing before the board.

A letter to Carrier from Harp dated Feb. 18 notifying the chiropractor of the April 20 committee hearing includes more claims provided by the former patient and lists text messages she states the doctor sent to her. The letter states that the patient reports that Carrier invited her to his home on several occasions in the summer of 2013. The patient indicates that she and the doctor began sending texts to each other and characterized some of the messages sent by Carrier as “flirty.”

The patient reported that she worked as an unpaid volunteer in Carrier’s office from November 2013 until approximately February 2014, at which point the doctor informed the patient that her services were no longer needed, the letter states.

Patient A filed a police report alleging that Carrier verbally and physically assaulted her during an altercation at his home on April 1, 2015, the letter states. No charges were brought against Carrier.

“As a result of the foregoing incidents, Patient A asserts she has suffered severe anxiety, depression, and elevated blood pressure, which have required medication management,” the letter states. “In addition, Patient A has sought the help of professional counseling and has been diagnosed with acute post traumatic stress syndrome.”

The Feb. 18 letter goes on to state that two members of Carriers’ staff reported to a Department of Health Professions’ investigator that they witnessed inappropriate text messages sent between the doctor and the patient as well as heard him make inappropriate, personal comments to her. An employee told the investigator she saw the doctor kiss the patient on the hand and cheek while another worker described their relationship as a “love-hate” relationship.

Visit http://tiny.cc/p2bzcy and click on the doctor’s name to view documents related to the agency’s disciplinary action.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com

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