News Release

Discipline Committee Decisions

Dr. Howard Wu; Dr. James Edward Roland McInnis; Dr. Justin Fuminori Onzuka; Dr. Olusola Olufemi Sogbein; Dr. Naeem Hafiz Muhammad

Jun 25, 2013

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (“the College”) released the results of its most recent disciplinary hearings. The College is the licensing and disciplinary body for physicians in Ontario. Hearings are held to review allegations of professional misconduct and incompetence, and are open to the public. The following are brief summaries of recent discipline hearing results. The Discipline Committee’s full decisions and reasons for decisions are posted on the College’s website as they become available. Full decisions are located by entering the doctor’s name in the All Doctor Search section of the College’s website at www.cpso.on.ca.

Dr. Howard Wu, Markham. On April 29, 2013, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Wu is incompetent and committed acts of professional misconduct in that, he failed to maintain the standard of practice of the profession and he engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct.

Dr. Wu is a family physician practising in Markham. As a result of five investigations into his practice, allegations were referred to the Discipline Committee on July 6, 2011 and September 5, 2012.

On July 27, 2011, Dr. Wu signed an Undertaking not to prescribe narcotics or other controlled substances, subject to the engagement of a College-approved clinical supervisor. Following an investigation into Dr. Wu's compliance with the Undertaking, an additional allegation of disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct by breaching his Undertaking was referred to the Discipline Committee on April 4, 2013.

Dr. Wu admitted that he:

  • failed to maintain the standard of practice and is incompetent in his chronic pain practice in relation to patient charts as detailed in the reports of the medical assessors.
  • failed to maintain the standard of practice in his family practice in relation to patient charts, as detailed in the report of a medical assessor.
  • failed to maintain the standard of practice and engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct with respect to his delegation of controlled acts in relation to patient charts as detailed in the report of a medical assessor.
  • engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct by breaching his Undertaking as follows:

a) by issuing a prescription for Testosterone on August 10, 2011, before engaging a clinical supervisor acceptable to the College;

b) between June 2012 until October/November 2012, by failing to ensure his clinical supervisor co-signed patient charts to indicate he approved of the prescription for each and every restricted substance prescription issued by Dr. Wu;

c) by failing to ensure the charts co-signed by his clinical supervisor for two patients on December 4, 2012, accurately reflected the prescriptions issued to the patients; and

d) by failing to include required information in his log pertaining to prescriptions for restricted substances in relation to five patients.

The Discipline Committee ordered a public reprimand and a six-month suspension of Dr. Wu's certificate of registration commencing June 1, 2013. The Committee also ordered that the following restrictions be imposed on his certificate of registration:

i. Dr. Wu shall not issue new prescriptions or renew existing prescriptions for Narcotic Drugs; Narcotic Preparations; Controlled Drugs; and Benzodiazepines/Other Targeted Substances.

ii. Dr. Wu shall post a clearly visible sign in his waiting room that shall state as follows: "Dr. Wu cannot prescribe Narcotic Drugs, Narcotic Preparations, Controlled Drugs, Benzodiazepines and Other Targeted Substances." A sign reflecting this restriction will also be posted in Chinese.

iii. Dr. Wu shall not delegate to any other person any controlled act as that term is defined in the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991.

iv. Approximately one month after the completion of the suspension of Dr. Wu’s certificate of registration, he shall undergo an assessment of his family practice by College-appointed assessor(s) at his expense. The assessor(s) shall report the results of the assessment to the College. Dr. Wu shall abide by any recommendations of the assessor(s).

v. Dr. Wu shall consent to the sharing of information between the assessor(s) and the College as any of them deem necessary or desirable in order to fulfill their respective obligations.

vi. Dr. Wu shall cooperate with unannounced inspections of his office practice and patient charts by the College for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing his compliance with the terms of this Order and will make his OHIP billings accessible to the College for this purpose.

Dr. Wu was further ordered to pay the College costs in the amount of $3,650.

Dr. James Edward Roland McInnis, Wasaga Beach. On May 24, 2013, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. McInnis committed an act of professional misconduct, in that he engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct. Dr. McInnis admitted the allegation.

Dr. McInnis is a family physician. At the time of the incidents described below, Dr. McInnis was employed as an emergency physician at Hospital X. The complainant, Nurse A, was a registered nurse employed in the emergency department of Hospital X at the time of the incidents.

In February 2011, Dr. McInnis made repeated flirtatious comments to Nurse A with respect to her physical appearance. The comments were made in the presence of other colleagues. Nurse A felt uncomfortable as a result of the repeated inappropriate comments. In or around February of 2011, Dr. McInnis told Nurse A about a nearby coffee shop he liked to attend. Nurse A reasonably perceived this as a personal invitation and declined, explaining that she was uncomfortable with the invitation. She advised Dr. McInnis that she wanted to maintain a strictly physician/nurse relationship.

Nurse A stated that on more than one occasion while giving Nurse A orders to complete on a patient, Dr. McInnis put his arm around her shoulder.

On March 6, 2011, during the night shift at approximately midnight, Nurse A bumped into Dr. McInnis at a bank machine located in the hospital. As a result of Dr. McInnis' behaviour at the bank machine, Nurse A felt very uncomfortable. During their exchange at the bank machine, which was depicted on a DVD containing footage from two different hospital surveillance cameras, Dr. McInnis reached his left hand towards Nurse A, attempting to place it onto Nurse A's forearm. Nurse A moved away from Dr. McInnis so that he could not touch her, making it clear that his actions were unwanted. Dr. McInnis left the area, but later returned and continued speaking to Nurse A. Dr. McInnis walked straight towards Nurse A, very close to her, placed his left hand behind her back, and leaned in towards her, attempting to kiss her. Nurse A turned her face away from Dr. McInnis avoiding his approach, once again clearly communicating to him that this conduct was unwelcome and uninvited. Despite this, Dr. McInnis then placed his left arm around her back, pulling her towards him and kissed her on the left cheek. Nurse A did not participate in the half embrace.

The Committee ordered a public reprimand and a two-month suspension of Dr. McInnis’ certificate of registration, commencing on June 14, 2013. The Committee also ordered that the following restrictions be imposed on his certificate of registration:

i. Dr. McInnis shall conduct all professional encounters with female patients in the presence of a monitor who is a regulated health professional acceptable to the College. Dr. McInnis shall not be alone with any female patient, for any length of time, during any professional encounter, whether or not the parent or guardian of the patient is also present.

ii. Dr. McInnis shall ensure that the monitor shall:

  • provide reports to the College on at least a monthly basis including confirmation regarding Dr. McInnis' compliance with this Order and his professionalism with office staff;
  • remain in the examination or consulting room at all times during all professional encounters with all female patients;
  • carefully observe all of Mr. McInnis's physical examinations of all of his female patients including but not limited to internal examinations of female patients;
  • maintain a log of all female patient encounters;
  • initial all corresponding entries in the records of patients noted in the log and
  • submit the original log to the College on a monthly basis.

iii. Dr. McInnis shall inform the College of each and every location where he practises including, but not limited to, hospital(s), clinic(s) and office(s), in any jurisdiction within 15 days of commencing practise at that location.

iv. Dr. McInnis shall post a sign in his waiting room and in each of his examination rooms, in clearly visible locations that states "Dr. McInnis may only have encounters with female patients, of any age, in the presence of a practice monitor acceptable to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Dr. McInnis may not be alone with any female patient unless this practice monitor is present in the examination or consulting room."

v. Dr. McInnis shall ensure that all female members of his current office staff review this Order and the Agreed Statement of Facts by no later than May 31, 2013, and shall ensure that, if any new female office staff is hired during a period of two years from the date of the Order, any such staff shall review the Order and the Agreed Statement of Facts prior to starting work for Dr. McInnis.

vi. Dr. McInnis shall continue in psychotherapy with his therapist or a therapist approved by the College, on a regular basis, for a minimum of two years from the date of this Order. Regular psychotherapy should continue until the therapist recommends, subject to the College's approval, that psychotherapy is no longer required.

vii. Dr. McInnis shall ensure that the therapist provides written reports to the College every three months for the two-year period, at Dr. McInnis's expense.

Dr. McInnis was further ordered to pay the College costs in the amount of $3,650.

Dr. Justin Fuminori Onzuka, (no practice address). On May 22, 2013, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Onzuka committed acts of professional misconduct, in that he engaged in the sexual abuse of a patient; he has been found guilty of an offence that is relevant to his suitability to practise; and he has engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct. Dr. Onzuka did not contest the allegations.

Dr. Onzuka is an emergency medicine physician who has not practised medicine since January 2006. As of May 2002, he has been a participant with the Physician Health Program (PHP) for monitoring of his recovery from substance abuse. From approximately 2006 to 2010, Dr. Onzuka also sought and received help from the PHP for sexual disorders. Dr. Onzuka signed a voluntary undertaking not to practise medicine in 2006.

In the fall of 1997, while Dr. Onzuka was a medical student at Hospital X, Patient A was admitted to hospital for surgery. While Patient A was in the hospital under the care of the surgical team of which Dr. Onzuka was a member, unbeknownst to her, Dr. Onzuka disrobed Patient A while she was unconscious, and then while she was naked and unconscious, he videotaped her and sexually abused her by touching her for a sexual purpose. Prior to her discharge from the hospital, Dr. Onzuka asked Patient A out on a date, which they went on after she was discharged from the hospital. The date was not intimate.

In approximately June 2005, Patient B was brought into the Emergency for chest pain due to a crack cocaine addiction. Dr. Onzuka was the attending physician.

Shortly after her release from hospital, Dr. Onzuka attended at her residence under the false pretense of meeting with her for a study. Dr. Onzuka was never part of such a study. During this attendance, Dr. Onzuka sexually abused Patient B, including by touching her breasts and putting on a condom and attempting to have sexual intercourse with her, all while she was falling asleep or unconscious and under the influence of drugs and alcohol, some of which he provided to her.

On December 14, 2010, Dr. Onzuka plead guilty and was convicted of two counts of sexual assault regarding Patients A and B. He was sentenced to 16 months custodial time.

While Dr. Onzuka was in medical school and during his training, he sexually abused other female patients by touching them in a sexual manner. He touched one patient on her face and neck while she was under anesthetic in the emergency department for a breast abscess, and touched another patient's breasts while the patient was in surgery, draped on the operating room table, under anesthetic. He also pursued personal relationships with female patients by asking them out during or after he treated them at the hospital, including Patient C.

The Committee ordered a public reprimand and the immediate revocation of Dr. Onzuka's certificate of registration. Dr. Onzuka was also ordered to reimburse the College for funding provided to patients under the program required under section 85.7 of the Code, by posting an irrevocable letter of credit or other security acceptable to the College in the amount of $32,120 ($16,060 for each patient).

Dr. Onzuka was further ordered to pay the College costs in the amount of $3,650.

Dr. Olusola Olufemi Sogbein, Ottawa. On May 13, 2013, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Sogbein committed acts of professional misconduct in that he engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct, ; and he engaged in conduct unbecoming a physician. Dr. Sogbein admitted the allegations.

Dr. Sogbein is in postgraduate training at a university and holds a certificate of registration authorizing postgraduate education, issued on July 1, 2007.

On August 31, 2007, Dr. Sogbein was stopped by police who were notified of a concern regarding his driving. He was issued a caution for passing off the roadway. Dr. Sogbein pulled his car beside that of the complainants and made a comment to the effect of wanting to get a good look at their faces so if they ever come into an emergency room where he is working he won't help them.

On August 16, 2008, Dr. Sogbein was arrested and charged with causing a disturbance arising from a traffic stop. He was rude, made derogatory comments and was intimidating towards the female officer who stopped him. The Cause Disturbance Charge was ultimately withdrawn.

On April 16, 2009, Dr. Sogbein was involved in an incident involving Nurse A and Patient A at Hospital Y. Nurse A made an unintentional comment related to Dr. Sogbein's skin colour in the context of a clinical inquiry. Dr. Sogbein became angry further to Nurse A's comment. In reaction, he opened a curtain surrounding Patient A's bed, thereby potentially exposing Patient A to the hall and to any passersby, including exposing her groin wound and vaginal area.

Nurse A provided an apology to him and was sent to training. Dr. Sogbein's privileges to continue his postgraduate education at the Hospital were terminated on April 30, 2009. He was required to participate in a remediation program focusing on anger management; communication skills; medical content knowledge and professionalism. After a successful remediation period, his privileges were re-instated in December 2009.

On September 15, 2010, Dr. Sogbein plead guilty and was convicted of driving a motor vehicle on a highway while his driver's licence was under suspension. He received a $1,000 fine and a further six months driving suspension. On October 10, 2010, Dr. Sogbein plead guilty and was convicted of operating a motor vehicle on a highway in a manner that was dangerous to the public on September 20, 2009. He received a $1,000 fine and a one-year driving prohibition.

Dr. Sogbein began a residency program at Hospital Z in April of 2012. During his Internal Care Unit rotation, Dr. Sogbein was disrespectful and unprofessional in his interactions an ICU Pharmacist (subsequently and unprompted he admitted to her that he had been wrong), with an ICU Ward Clerk, with an ICU nurse who was inquiring about pacer pads, nursing staff on June 24, 2012, a cable installer on June 27, 2012, and on June 19, 2012, he discontinued orders for a patient issued by the Chief of Medicine and Critical Care without reviewing the issue with the ordering physician or the attending physician.

The University suspended Dr. Sogbein from clinical duties effective July 9, 2012, for unprofessional behaviour.

The Committee ordered a public reprimand and a four-month suspension of Dr. Sogbein's certificate of registration, commencing June 1, 2013. The Committee also ordered that the following restrictions be imposed on his certificate of registration authorizing postgraduate education:

i. Dr. Sogbein shall practice in a group setting (that includes other physicians) only.

ii. Dr. Sogbein shall immediately advise the College in writing, if he is charged with any provincial or criminal offense;

iii. Dr. Sogbein shall, at his own expense:

  • practise under a workplace monitoring arrangement approved by the College, with quarterly reports to the College;
  • participate in individual or group counselling sessions as approved by the College, with quarterly reports to the College and
  • enter into an agreement with the Physician Workplace Support Program (PWSP), with quarterly reports to the College and shall comply with the PWSP recommendations.

iv. Dr. Sogbein shall consent to information-sharing/reporting between the College and the workplace monitors, the counsellors and the PWSP, as well as any other persons necessary in order for the College to receive information relevant to his compliance with these or any other terms of the order.

Dr. Sogbein was further ordered to pay the College costs in the amount of $3,650.

Dr. Naeem Hafiz Muhammad, London. On February 14, 2013, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Muhammad committed professional misconduct, in that he has engaged in the sexual abuse of a patient and engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct.

Dr. Muhammad is a family physician and jointly owned two walk-in clinics. Ms. X was a part-time employee at the walk-in clinics. In addition, although Ms. X had her own family doctor, she attended Dr. Muhammad as a patient in the clinics for episodic, minor complaints on five occasions between December 2009 and July 2010 at the time she was working a shift. Dr. Muhammad did not deny that there was an ongoing doctor-patient relationship.

The Committee found that:

  • Ms. X was a patient of Dr. Muhammad from December 2009 to September 2010;
  • prior to September 2010, Dr. Muhammad engaged in conduct that was disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct in his relationship with Ms. X by making inappropriate comments to and about her; and
  • on a date in September 2010, while Ms. X was working at Dr. Muhammad's clinic, Dr. Muhammad made inappropriate and sexual comments to her and engaged in sexual abuse of her, including by touching her lips, hugging and kissing her and that this constituted the sexual abuse of a patient.

On May 9, 2013, the Discipline Committee ordered a public reprimand, and a two-month suspension of Dr. Muhammad's certificate of registration. The Committee also ordered that the following restriction be imposed on his certificate of registration:

  • Dr. Muhammad shall complete, at his own expense, College-facilitated instruction in communications as set out in an Individualized Education Plan.

Dr. Muhammad was also ordered to reimburse the College for funding provided to patients under the program required under section 85.7 of the Code, by posting an irrevocable letter of credit or other security acceptable to the College in the amount of $16,060.

Dr. Muhammad was further ordered to pay the College costs in the amount of $25,550.

On May 9, 2013, Dr. Muhammad appealed the finding decision of the Discipline Committee to the Superior Court of Justice (Divisional Court). Pursuant to s.25(1) of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, the decision of the Discipline Committee is stayed pending the outcome of the appeal.