GBHWC psychiatrist resigns in wake of complaints

Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center Director Theresa Arriola (PNC file photo)

A psychiatrist accused of inappropriately touching patients has resigned from the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center.

Six of the facility’s patients have submitted complaints to the Guam Board of Medical Examiners and authorities accusing Dr. Abner Pasatiempo of inappropriate sexual conduct.

The doctor has been working on Guam since April 2018.

Once the complaints were received in December, Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center Director Theresa Arriola suspended Pasatiempo’s medical license, forbidding him from serving on Guam.

Pasatiempo resigned shortly after and withdrew his re-licensing application with the Board of Medical Examiners.

According to Arriola, Pasatiempo was hired by the center’s previous director and board of medical examiners. Before he worked on Guam, Pasatiempo’s license was suspended by the Maryland Board of Examiners in 2006 for having a relationship with a patient.

Arriola said she doesn’t know whether the board knew about the incident in Maryland during the hiring process.

Loading the player...

“I don’t know. I’m assuming they did. My understanding from some recordings is that they did and they discussed it, so that’s all I know,” Arriola said.

Arriola says that incidents like Pasatiempo’s case happen rarely at the facility and that this is the first time during her term dealing with such an issue.

Loading the player...

“When things of this nature … when any patient is violated, I strongly believe that everyone deserves that they’re going to be taken care of by professionals who will not abuse their power,” Arriola said.

Currently, the center is working to recruit more psychiatrists and psychologists.