The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia has suspended a Halifax psychiatrist's licence to practice medicine after a complaint was laid against him.

The decision against Dr. Curtis Steele was announced Thursday morning in a small newspaper advertisement and on the college's website.

Dr. Gus Grant, the college registrar, said Steele's licence was suspended after someone laid a complaint against him.

"At present there is one complaint against Dr. Steele," Grant told CBC News. "The college is aware of the existence of the two civil actions."

Two of Steele's former patients have launched separate civil lawsuits against the psychiatrist.

In one lawsuit, a woman alleges Steele persuaded her to pose nude for him while she was his patient. Her lawsuit said she was 14 years old at the time.

A second lawsuit, filed just last week, alleges Steele made inappropriate sexual advances toward a male patient, using a dildo.

None of the allegations have been proven in court. Steele has filed a defence to the woman's lawsuit, denying any wrongdoing.

Grant would not say who laid the complaint that resulted in the suspension of Steele's licence. But, Grant said the single complaint will not limit how the college proceeds.

"When the college has a complaint, the college's investigation is not limited to the matters particularly alleged in the complaint," Grant said.

"The college's investigation can expand into areas of concern that naturally arise in the course of the investigation."

Grant said investigations take an average of six months, but it's impossible to predict how long Steele's case will take.