Tennessee psychiatrist who whipped patients may lose license

Valerie Augustus

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Tennessee psychiatrist whose license was suspended last year for using riding crops on patients may now lose her license again over allegations that she violated her professional probation.

The Tennessean reports the state Board of Medical Examiners says Dr. Valerie Augustus didn’t participate in therapy sessions or reimburse the state $50,000 for the cost of the case. The newspaper recently obtained new charges the state Department of Health filed against Augustus last month, accusing her of misconduct and violating a board order.

The board has said the 57-year-old Christian Psychiatric Services operator used a crop or whip on at least 10 patients. Augustus appealed the ruling, saying the whipping was done jokingly.

A hearing is set for January. Augustus’ attorney, Darrell Baker Jr., didn’t respond to requests for comment.

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