No Current Referrals.
Decision Date: 16 Nov 2012
On November 16, 2012, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Sami John George
Karkanis committed an act of professional misconduct, in that he has engaged in
the sexual abuse of a patient; and in that he has engaged in conduct or an act
or acts relevant to the practice of medicine that, having regard to all the
circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful,
dishonourable or unprofessional. Dr. Karkanis contested the allegations.
Dr. Karkanis specializes in obstetrics and gynaecology and has practised in
Ajax and Pickering.
The Committee found that Dr. Karkanis made repeated inappropriate comments to
his patient, Ms X, concerning the attractiveness of her abdominal skin while
touching her abdomen in 2002 and 2003, and that this conduct constitutes
disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct.
The Committee also found that Dr. Karkanis sexually abused Ms X during a pelvic
examination in 2006, through inappropriately touching Ms X's clitoris and
repeatedly inserting his fingers in and out of Ms X's vagina, and through
making remarks of a sexual nature towards the patient. The Committee further
determined that Dr. Karkanis' conduct during this appointment constitutes
conduct that is disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.
On April 10, 2013, the Committee ordered and directed that:
1) the Registrar shall revoke Dr. Karkanis' certificate of registration, to
take effect on the date of this order;
2) Dr. Karkanis shall appear before the Discipline Panel to be reprimanded
on a date to be fixed by the Hearings Office, which shall be no later
than six months from the date this Order becomes final;
3) Dr. Karkanis shall reimburse the College for any funding provided to the
patient under the program required under section 85.7 of the Code, and
shall post an irrevocable letter of credit or other security acceptable
to the College to guarantee payment of such amounts, in the amount of
$18,520 by May 13, 2013; and
4) Dr. Karkanis shall pay to the College by May 13, 2013, costs of the
hearing in the amount of $14,600.
On May 9, 2013, Dr. Karkanis appealed the finding and penalty decisions of the
Discipline Committee to the Superior Court of Justice (Divisional Court). In
the circumstances, the decision of the Discipline Committee remains in effect
despite the appeal.
Decision: Download Full Decision (PDF)
Appeal: Notice of Appeal
Appeal Decision Date: 09 May 2013
Hearing Date(s): September 10-12, , 2012
Decision Date: 27 Jan 2010
On January 27, 2010, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Sami J. Karkanis
committed an act of professional misconduct in that he has engaged in conduct
or an act or acts relevant to the practise of medicine that, having regard to
all circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful,
dishonorable or unprofessional.
Dr. Karkanis did not follow the College's Physician-Patient Dating guidelines,
which were in effect in 2004 and which outlined the general rule that a period
of one year should pass between the last professional contact and commencement
of a personal relationship. In the circumstances of this case, the general
rule should have been followed: there had been personal disclosures on the part
of the complainant; Dr. Karkanis admitted that during the doctor-patient
relationship feelings had developed; and Dr. Karkanis admitted to being
infatuated. Dr. Karkanis knew that she was a vulnerable woman by her
disclosures during the doctor-patient relationship. Dr. Karkanis initiated a
personal sexual relationship in circumstances where he ought to have waited the
full one year period before initiating such a relationship.
On April 29, 2010, the Discipline Committee ordered that:
1. Dr. Karkanis appear before the panel to be reprimanded.
2. The Registrar suspend Dr. Karkanis' certificate of registration for a
period of five (5) months, to commence April 30, 2010.
3. The Registrar impose the following terms, conditions and limitations on
Dr. Karkanis' certificate of registration:
i. Dr. Karkanis shall successfully complete, at his own expense, the
College's Medical Ethics and Informed Consent Course and the
College's Understanding Boundaries and Preventing Boundary
Violations in the Doctor-Patient Relationship Course on the next
available date, and to provide proof thereof to the College;
ii. Dr. Karkanis may not have any in-person professional encounters
with female patients in his office practice, except in the presence
of a female chaperone (the "Practice Monitor"). In particular:
a. The Practice Monitor shall be a member of a registered health
profession pursuant to the Regulated Health Professions Act,
1991, S.O. 1991, c. 18, as amended, who is approved by the
College and who has executed an undertaking with the College;
b. The Practice Monitor shall initial each patient chart for
which they are present and there will be a second written
record kept chronologically for each patient seen (the
"Log"). The Log shall be kept by Dr. Karkanis and initialed
by the Practice Monitor who was present during the encounter.
Dr. Karkanis shall ensure that contemporaneously with any
encounter or interaction with any female patient in his
office, the Practice Monitor initials the Log in addition to
the patient chart;
c. If the Practice Monitor has concerns that Dr. Karkanis'
practice exposes his patients to risk of harm or injury, the
Practice Monitor must agree to report this to the College
d. Dr. Karkanis shall place a sign in his waiting room and each
of his examination rooms in his office that states that Dr.
Karkanis shall not see female patients without the presence
of another female registered health professional approved by
iii. With respect to Dr. Karkanis' hospital practice, Dr. Karkanis shall
not perform any pelvic, rectal or breast examination on any female
patient unless in the presence of a female regulated health
professional employed by the hospital (the "Hospital Monitor") who
observes all aspects of the examination. In addition:
a. Dr. Karkanis shall ensure the Hospital Monitor initials the
patient record indicating her presence and observation
throughout the examination; and,
b. Dr. Karkanis will ensure that the Chief of Staff in all
hospitals in which Dr. Karkanis practices are aware of the
restrictions on his practice.
iv. Dr. Karkanis shall provide his irrevocable consent to the College
to make appropriate inquiries of the Ontario Health Insurance Plan
and/or any person or institution that may have relevant information
in order for the College to monitor compliance with the terms of
v. Dr. Karkanis shall cooperate with unannounced inspections of his
practice and records and any other step as the College may require
for the purposes of monitoring and enforcing compliance with the
terms of this Order.
4. Dr. Karkanis pay to the College costs in the amount of $10,000, within 60
days of the date of this Order.
Decision: Download Full Decision (PDF)
Appeal: No Appeal
Hearing Date(s): May 04, 2009