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
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.
On December 4, 2014, the Divisional Court allowed Dr. Karkanis' appeal and returned the matter
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
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 immediately.
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 the College;
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 this Order.
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