‘Shrink Next Door’ Doctor Loses Bid to Keep Medical License
(Bloomberg) -- Isaac “Ike” Herschkopf, the New York psychiatrist whose client relationships were the subject of “The Shrink Next Door” podcast, must surrender his medical license immediately after losing a bid to overturn professional misconduct charges.
Herschkopf displayed gross negligence, gross incompetence, undue influence and fraudulent practice in his work with three clients, a New York State Department of Health medical board determined in April. On Thursday, a state review board wrote to Herschkopf that it had upheld those findings and denied his appeal of the ruling. The board informed him that his “administrative remedies” had been exhausted and ordered him to surrender his license within five days.
The ruling lends a note of finality to a drama that first became public when one of his patients, Marty Markowitz, revealed what he alleged was a three-decade effort by Herschkopf to gain control of his life. Markowitz alleged Herschkopf persuaded him to break off relationships with family members, inserted himself into his business and finances and hosted parties at Markowitz’s home in New York’s Hamptons.
Herschkopf and his lawyer, Anthony Scher, didn't respond to requests for comment.
Markowitz, who first alerted New York regulators in 2016, was a central voice in “The Shrink Next Door,” a 2019 podcast from Bloomberg and Wondery. A dramatization of the story starring Paul Rudd as Herschkopf, Will Farrell as Markowitz and Kathryn Hahn as Markowitz’s sister, Phyllis, debuted on the Apple+ streaming service in November.
New York’s Department of Health brought charges against Herschkopf a month after the podcast aired. The agency’s Board for Professional Medical Conduct ruled in favor of the state on all 16 allegations brought against the psychiatrist. Responding to Herschkopf’s appeal of the ruling, the state’s Professional Medical Conduct Administrative Review Board upheld the findings, saying Herschkopf “has engaged in repeated patterns of disregarding the property of others, lying and deception that deviates from acceptable standards of care.”
“Clearly, the respondent lacks insight into his misconduct, exhibiting no remorse, and continues to believe he acted appropriately,” the panel wrote. “It appears that neither retraining nor continuing medical education will give the respondent such insight, or protect the public from his egocentricity.”
Markowitz said that, in all, he spent more than a decade attempting to raise concerns about his onetime doctor to various oversight bodies and professional groups—efforts that went nowhere until mid-2019.
“I find the whole thing very satisfying. It took me 11 years to get to the hearing, and another year to get the decision,” he said in an interview on Friday. “It’s transformed my life. I’m over this thing. I’m ready to start a whole new chapter.”
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