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Sumner, Michael Godfrey (CPSO#: 56396)

Current Status: Expired: Resigned from membership as of 13 Aug 2013

CPSO Registration Class: None as of 13 Aug 2013

Indicates a concern or additional information

Summary

Former Name: No Former Name

Gender: Male

Languages Spoken: English

Education:Hahnemann Medical College, 1966

Practice Information

Primary Location of Practice
Practice Address Not Available

Medical Records Location

Address: RSRS 111 St. Regis Crescent South Toronto ON M3J 1Y6
Instructions: Call 416.398.0638 or 1.888.563.3732
Date Received: 09 Sep 2013

Specialties

Specialty Issued On Type
Psychiatry Effective: 07 Jun 1988 RCPSC Specialist

Registration History

Action Issue Date
First certificate of registration issued: Independent Practice Certificate Effective: 24 Oct 1985
Transfer of class of certificate to: Restricted certificate Effective: 30 Jan 2006
Terms and conditions amended Effective: 22 Jan 2007
Terms and conditions amended Effective: 10 Jul 2009
Terms and conditions amended Effective: 04 Mar 2013
Suspension of registration imposed: Discipline Committee Effective: 15 Apr 2013
Suspension of registration removed Effective: 15 Jul 2013
Expired: Resigned from membership. Expiry: 13 Aug 2013

Previous Discipline Hearings

Committee: Discipline
Decision Date: 04 Mar 2013
Summary:

On March 4, 2013, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Michael Godfrey Sumner committed 
an act of professional misconduct, in that he has failed to maintain the standard of practice of the 
profession. Dr. Sumner admitted the allegation.  
 
Dr. Sumner is a psychiatrist.   An expert retained by the College reviewed Dr. Sumner's care of 
15 patients and concluded that Dr. Sumner failed to maintain the standard of practice in his care 
and treatment of 4 of  them. The expert found some aspects of Dr. Sumner's practice to be 
commendable, and noted that he was a well-intentioned psychiatrist who has a real sense of 
advocacy on behalf of his patients. However, he had a number of concerns regarding Dr. 
Sumner's care of certain patients, including the following: 
(a)   The lack of documentation of any cognitive testing in certain patients for whom Dr. 
      Sumner had made a diagnosis of brain injury with cognitive deficits; 
(b)   made diagnoses of brain injury where there was no clear or compelling evidence to 
      support the diagnosis;  
(c)   provided treatment to certain patients that did not follow from the diagnosis made; 
(d)   charts failed to explore/ document certain patients' presenting problem or chief complaint; 
(e)   failed to recognize that deficits in attention and concentration are not specific to an 
      acquired brain injury but are also a core feature of affective disorders; and 
(f)   did not provide certain patients with standard pharmacotherapy for their depression, 
      anxiety and psychosis. 
 
The expert noted that Dr. Sumner's below standard care in the four charts identified resulted in 
his patients being exposed to the following risks: 
      Patients were exposed unnecessarily to psychotropic medications, specifically 
      anticonvulsants, psychostimulants and cholinesterase inhibitors. However, there is no 
      evidence from the charts reviewed that any significant harm or injury resulted from this 
      unnecessary exposure; 
      Dr. Sumner failed to provide standard treatment, or provided inadequate treatment, of 
      certain patients' underlying serious mental illness such as major depression, anxiety and 
      psychosis, thus prolonging patients' suffering and increasing the risk of consequences as a 
      result of the untreated underlying illness. However, there was no evidence that any 
      serious permanent harm   occurred; and   
      One patient's psychotic symptoms were extremely likely to have been precipitated and 
      perpetuated by Dr. Sumner's clinical care. 
 
An expert retained by Dr. Sumner opined on Dr. Sumner's use of topiramate and concluded that 
although Dr. Sumner employs topiramate earlier in the treatment algorithm than would be 
considered common practice by most practitioners and treatment guidelines, it is not outside of 
the realm of reasonableness to consider topiramate in the context in which he was using it.    
 
Dr. Sumner's practice has been subject to supervision since June of 2011. The reports of the 
supervisor have noted improvements in Dr. Sumner's practice. The three most recent reports have 
concluded that patient care and record keeping is now meeting the standard of care.  
 
In January of 2007, Dr. Sumner was found by the Discipline Committee, based on an agreed 
statement of facts, to have failed to maintain the standard of practice. He was reprimanded and 
required to practise under supervision which terminated in July of 2009. 
 
The Discipline Committee ordered and directed that: 
      the Registrar suspend Dr. Sumner's certificate of registration for a period of three (3) 
      months commencing April 15, 2013. 
      the Registrar impose the following terms, conditions and limitations on Dr. Sumner's 
      certificate of registration:  
i.    Dr. Sumner may practise only under the supervision of a College-approved clinical 
      supervisor ("Clinical Supervisor"). The Clinical Supervisor will meet with Dr. Sumner, 
      review 10 of Dr. Sumner's patient charts and all of Dr. Sumner's charts for new patients 
      once a month, including a review and approval of all clinical treatment plans and of the 
      psychopharmacology proposed by Dr. Sumner, and report to the College a minimum of 
      once every three months; 
ii.   If the Clinical Supervisor who has given an undertaking is unable or unwilling to 
      continue to fulfill its terms, Dr. Sumner shall, within 20 days, obtain an undertaking in 
      the same form from a similarly qualified person who is acceptable to the College;  
iii.  If Dr. Sumner is unable to obtain a College-approved supervisor as set out in paragraphs 
      (i) or (ii) above, he must cease practising medicine immediately until such time as he has 
      obtained a Clinical Supervisor acceptable to the College.  The fact that he ceased 
      practising under this condition will constitute a term, condition or limitation on Dr. 
      Sumner's certificate of registration; 
iv.   If, after a minimum of one year from the date of this Order, the Clinical Supervisor 
      recommends a reduction in the frequency of the meetings between Dr.  Sumner and the 
      Clinical Supervisor, and if the College pre-approves of the recommendation, the 
      frequency of the monitoring may be reduced;  
v.    Dr. Sumner will abide by all recommendations of his Clinical Supervisor;    
vi.   Dr. Sumner may bring a motion to vary the terms of his supervision no earlier than three 
      years after the date of  the Order of the Discipline Committee;  
vii.  Dr. Sumner will be responsible for all costs associated with the implementation of this 
      Order. 
      Dr. Sumner pay to the College costs in the amount of $14,600 within 60 days of the date 
      of this Order. 
 

Decision: Download Full Decision (PDF)
Appeal: No Appeal
Hearing Date(s): September 27-28, 2012, March 4, 2013


Committee: Discipline
Decision Date: 22 Jan 2007
Summary:

On January 22, 2007, the Discipline Committee of the CPSO found that Dr. Michael Godfrey 
Sumner committed acts of professional misconduct in that he failed to maintain the standard of 
practice of the profession.  The Discipline Committee ordered and directed that: 
 
1.    Dr. Sumner attend before the panel to be reprimanded, with the fact of the reprimand to 
be recorded on the register; 
 
2.    The Registrar impose the following terms and conditions on Dr. Sumner's certificate of 
registration for a period of 90 days following the date of this Order; 
 
(i)   Dr. Sumner shall not prescribe narcotics or controlled drugs and substances as defined in 
Schedules I to IV of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, unless the prescription has been 
co-signed by a physician approved by the College. 
(ii)  Dr. Sumner shall keep a photocopy of all co-signed prescriptions in individual patient 
charts. 
(iii) All expenses associated with the co-signing physician shall be at Dr. Sumner's expense. 
(iv)  Dr. Sumner shall cooperate with unannounced inspections of his practice and patient 
charts by a College representative(s) for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing his compliance 
with the terms of the Order. 
 
3.    The Registrar impose the following additional term and condition on Dr. Sumner's 
Certificate of Registration for an indefinite period of time:  
a.    Dr. Sumner shall practice solely in a group practice at the Rothbart Pain Clinic in Toronto 
or another clinic approved by the College. 
 
4.    The Registrar impose the following additional terms, conditions and limitations on Dr. 
Sumner's certificate of registration for an indefinite period of time: 
 
a.    Within 90 days of the date of the Order, Dr. Sumner shall undergo an assessment of his 
practice to determine if his care meets the standard expected of the profession and if his care 
displays a lack of knowledge, skill or judgment or disregard for the welfare of his patients (the 
"Assessment").  The Assessment is to be carried out by Dr. X or another assessor approved by 
the College ("The Assessor"); 
b.    The Assessor shall report in writing to the Registrar and to Dr. Sumner on the Assessment 
("the Assessment Report"); 
 
Report Finds Standard of Care not met and Lack of Knowledge, Skill or Judgment 
 
c.    If the Assessment Report or a report of a re-assessment done under the terms of this order 
concludes that Dr. Sumner's care does not meet the expected standard and displays a lack of 
knowledge, skill or judgment or disregard for the welfare of his patients the Assessor shall 
stipulate in writing the area or areas in which Dr. Sumner's care is deficient. Should the Registrar 
receive such a report, the Registrar is directed to impose on Dr. Sumner's Certificate of 
Registration the following term and condition, which shall remain in effect until further Order of 
a panel of the Discipline Committee: 
i.    that Dr. Sumner be prohibited from prescribing those narcotics and controlled substances 
as set out in any or all of Schedules I to IV of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, or any 
combination thereof, as stipulated by the Assessor. 
  
Report Finds Standard of Care not met but no lack of Knowledge, Skill or Judgment 
 
d.    If an Assessment Report or a report of a re-assessment concludes that Dr. Sumner's care 
does not meet the expected standard but does not display a lack of knowledge, skill or judgment 
or disregard for the welfare of his patients; 
 
i.    the Registrar is directed to impose the following terms and conditions on Dr. Sumner's 
certificate of registration: 
 
1. Dr. Sumner shall not prescribe narcotics or controlled drugs and substances as defined in 
Schedules I to IV of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, unless the prescription has been 
co-signed by a physician approved by the College who has signed an undertaking. 
 
2.  Dr. Sumner shall keep a photocopy of all co-signed prescriptions in individual patient charts. 
 
3. All expenses associated with the co-signing physician shall be at Dr. Sumner's expense. 
 
4. Dr. Sumner shall cooperate with unannounced inspections of his practice and patient charts by 
a College representative(s) for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing his compliance with the 
terms of this Order; and. 
 
ii.   Dr. Sumner can request a re-assessment by the Assessor, which is to be conducted no 
sooner than six months after the date of the last Assessment Report or report of a re-assessment. 
  
Report Finds Standard of Care Met and No Lack of Knowledge, Skill or Judgement 
 
e.    if the Assessment Report or a report of a re-assessment concludes that Dr. Sumner's care 
meets the expected standard and does not display a lack of knowledge, skill or judgment or 
disregard for the welfare of his patients, the Registrar is directed to remove all terms and 
conditions on Dr. Sumner's Certificate of Registration, with the exception of the term in 
paragraph 4 of this order requiring that he practice solely in a group setting approved by the 
College, and is directed to impose the following terms and conditions on his certificate of 
registration: 
 
i.    Dr. Sumner shall arrange to have a clinical supervisor, approved by the College, with 
whom he shall meet as frequently as requested by the Supervisor, and no less frequently than 
once per month, to discuss his chronic pain management practice. 
ii.   Six months, 14 months, and 24 months after the date the conditions on Dr. Sumner's 
Certificate of Registration are removed under paragraph 5(e), an Assessor will re-assess Dr. 
Sumner's practice and will provide the Registrar and Dr. Sumner with a copy of a report of the 
re-assessment.   
f.    Dr. Sumner shall, within one year of the date of the Order and at his own expense, 
complete one course approved by the College in each of the following three areas, and will 
provide proof of attendance to the College:  
i.    Addiction medicine; 
ii.   Diagnosis and treatment of head injuries; and 
iii.  Psychiatric assessment and diagnosis. 
  
5.    Dr. Sumner shall be permitted to bring a motion before a panel of the Discipline 
Committee to vary this Order, but not earlier than 90 days after the date of the Order.  
 
6.    Dr. Sumner shall within 30 days pay the College its costs of this proceeding in the 
amount of $2,500.00. 
 

Decision: Download Full Decision (PDF)
Appeal: No Appeal
Hearing Date(s): Jan 22, 2007