Ethic Complaint v. Confidentiality

I am a school psychologist with a very vigorous administrative hearing schedule. (I average about 50 hours of testimony time a year. Not including prep and expert consultation. I also have some 9th circuit cases pending.)

In my work, I see some pretty terrible ethics violations from Dr. "Buy-a-diagnosis"

Some of these hurt children's education, parents' finances (six figures in one case), and potentially worse in cases of serious psycho-pathology.

Here is my question... is there a way to report the more serious violations to their licensing boards without violating FERPA for that student?

Obviously, parents will not grant me a release to go after someone that conned them into thinking they are trying to help them against the evil school district.

I take some solace in having one's credibility completely impeached on the public record.

However, the money that this guy makes more than makes up for it if his license is not under review.

What type of information would you want to release?

FERPA allows disclosures pursuant to an active government investigation or subpoena (the application of this varies based on state law), so I would think a call to the appropriate licensing board that states "Dr. X is selling diagnoses" would allow the licensing board to review his records and, if necessary, obtain records.

If you are saying that you want to give the licensing board your notes to disprove the diagnosis of Dr. X (without the aforementioned subpoena), I agree that you will have issues, either through FERPA or through your own ethical obligations of privacy.

Note that FERPA does not apply to certain records. In particular, pure counseling records for students over 18 are not covered (other laws such as state privacy requirements or HIPAA may apply, hoewever.)

I think the "tip off" call described above is your best bet.

I did not think of a tip-off call.

I was thinking that I need a level of specificity to back-up my assertion that it would put specific student cases in the limelight.


You might. It depends on the level of interest and the workload of the investigator you talk to. It's worth a shot though, before you start treading in dangerous territory.