Discipline Committee Decisions
Dr. Philip J. Choptiany, Dr. Brian F. Connolly
September 26, 2011
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 Doctor Search section of the College’s website at http://www.cpso.on.ca/docsearch/
Dr. Philip J. Choptiany, Toronto. On August 9, 2011, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Choptiany committed an act of professional misconduct, in that engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct.
With respect to Patient A, in the summer of 2006, Dr. Choptiany inappropriately commented "nice Brazilian tan lines" to Patient A during a medically-indicated breast examination.
Furthermore, prior to conducting a medically-indicated pelvic examination, Dr. Choptiany did not:
- Explain why he viewed this examination as appropriate in the circumstances;
- Explain the steps involved in the examination; or
- Ascertain whether the patient was comfortable with the steps involved in the examination that he was about to undertake.
With respect to Patient B, in approximately 1994, Dr. Choptiany did not take sufficient care to maintain spatial boundaries while he performed a medically-indicated breast examination upon her. This resulted in Patient B feeling Dr. Choptiany's pelvic area against her arm while he conducted the breast examination. Dr. Choptiany also made inappropriate comments to Patient B regarding her sexual relationship with her husband.
With respect to Patient C, Dr. Choptiany made inappropriate comments to this patient regarding her sexual relationship with her husband during a medical appointment in 1991.
The Discipline Committee ordered a public reprimand and a two-month suspension of Dr. Choptiany’s certificate of registration. In addition, specified terms and conditions were ordered, including that he shall:
- conduct all breast, pelvic and/or rectal examinations of any female patients in the presence of another female regulated health professional;
- ipost a sign in his waiting room and in each of his examination rooms, in clearly visible locations that states: "Under no circumstances will Dr. Choptiany perform a breast, pelvic, or rectal examination except in the presence of a female regulated health professional."
Dr. Choptiany was also ordered to pay to the College costs in the amount of $3,650.
Dr. Brian F. Connolly (no Ontario practice address). On August 30, 2011, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Connolly committed an act of professional misconduct, in that he has been found guilty of an offence that is relevant to his suitability to practise.
On February 17, 2010, Dr. Connolly was found guilty of committing an offence under the Health Insurance Act by submitting billings in the amount of $114,146.92 that did not comply with the requirements of the Schedule of Benefits. The offence was alleged to have occurred between April 1, 2005 and September 15, 2008. The parties presented an Agreed Statement of Fact in the Court proceeding, the final paragraph of which states: "Dr. Connolly was not aware that the clinic owner was overbilling. However, Dr. Connolly's liability for this regulatory offence lies in his failure to exercise due diligence, that is in his failure to take all available, reasonable steps to ensure that the clinic owner had not overbilled."
The Court ordered a fine of $4,000, which totalled $5,000 with the 25% victim fine surcharge; and restitution in favour of the Minister of Finance for $114,146.92. This represented the total amount overbilled, including $34,000 that was received by the clinic owner. Dr. Connolly made full restitution as ordered.
The Discipline Committee ordered a public reprimand and Dr. Connolly is to pay to the College costs in the amount of $3,650.
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