Seven years ago, a 52-year-old woman was admitted to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula “complaining of severe anxiety and depression, stating she just wanted to die and did not know how she would do it, ‘maybe overdose,’ or cut her wrists,” according to a document from the Medical Board of California dated June 1. She was hospitalized for 10 days, and several days later began outpatient treatment with Eric Michael Jacobson, a psychiatrist with CHOMP’s Behavioral Health Department.
Over six years, Jacobson treated “Patient A,” as the woman is referred to in the Medical Board’s complaint, prescribing a full medicine chest’s worth of drugs designed to treat depression, seizures, bipolar and depressive disorders, schizophrenia, pain, anxiety, and other issues. This despite knowing she was taking opioids and controlled substances from other physicians, including one with a reputation for overprescribing pain meds, the complaint alleges.
“Respondent’s acts and omissions constitute gross negligence in his care and treatment of Patient A,” the complaint against Jacobson reads. It calls for a hearing to consider revoking or suspending Jacobson’s license. Part of the “disciplinary considerations” in the complaint is a public reprimand of him in 2018 in the care of a different patient not related to prescriptions.
Jacobson did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for CHOMP issued a statement saying that while the state’s review is conducted, “we will continue to focus on providing the highest-quality care to each patient in a safe environment.”
A Carmel Valley family doctor, Paul Tocchet, was accused on July 1 by the state board of prescribing opioids in excessive amounts to five patients between 2014-2018, as well as prescribing opioids and other controlled substances while knowing patients had addiction issues, prescribing drugs based on patients’ subjective complaints, among others. One patient was hospitalized twice due to falls caused by their mixture of medications and another was hospitalized for a possible overdose.
The complaint requests a hearing for Tocchet to consider revoking, suspending or denying approval of his license. On March 20, he ran an ad in the Carmel Pine Cone announcing he was closing his office. A profile on June 26 in the paper’s Healthy Lifestyles section – before the medical board complaint was made public – said Tocchet, 80, was retiring after 50 years of practicing in the valley. Tocchet could not be reached for comment.