Discipline Committee Decisions
Dr. Joyce Buckley; Dr. John A. Paolone; Dr. Emilie N. Newell
October 3, 2012
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.
Dr. Joyce Buckley, Ottawa. On August 30, 2012, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Buckley committed an act of professional misconduct, in that the medical governing body in New York State found that she had committed an act of professional misconduct that would be an act of misconduct in Ontario.
Dr. Buckley held a limited licence in New York State, which authorized her to practise in obstetrics and gynecology only in the medically under-serviced area of Watertown.
On September 12, 2008, the New York State Board for Professional Medical Conduct found that, between approximately 2005 through 2007, Dr. Buckley reviewed information submitted online and authorized the dispensing of prescriptions for non-controlled prescription drugs to persons located throughout the United States. Approximately 75,000 prescribing determinations were made in her name, at $2 per determination. The online patient information was grossly insufficient to make an informed decision about whether the drug should ultimately be dispensed. It was found that Dr. Buckley’s conduct was well below acceptable standards of care and constituted negligence on more than one occasion, gross negligence, practising the profession beyond its authorized scope, failure to maintain patient records and failure to make requested records available to the Department. Based on its findings, the New York State Board revoked Dr. Buckley’s medical licence and ordered her to pay a fine of $40,000.
The Discipline Committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario ordered a public reprimand and directed that a term, condition and limitation be imposed on Dr. Buckley’s certificate of registration, such that she must successfully complete, at her own expense, College-facilitated instruction in ethics. Dr. Buckley was also ordered to pay costs to the College in the amount of $3,650.
Dr. John A. Paolone, St. Catharines. On September 14, 2012, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Paolone committed an act of professional misconduct, in that he engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct. Dr. Paolone admitted to the allegation.
In October 2008, the College requested records from Dr. Paolone in relation to a complaint. Dr. Paolone re-wrote and revised the patient's record and provided it to the College without providing the original record. He did not advise the College that what he was providing was not the original patient record or that he had made changes, additions, deletions, and corrections. In May of 2010, Dr. Paolone's counsel informed the College that the patient record Dr. Paolone had submitted had been re-written and revised, and provided, for the first time, the original patient record.
The Committee ordered a public reprimand, and a one-month suspension of Dr. Paolone's certificate of registration. In addition, the following terms, conditions and limitations were imposed on Dr. Paolone's certificate of registration:
- Dr. Paolone shall successfully complete instruction in ethics; and
- Dr. Paolone shall successfully complete instruction in record-keeping, and shall cooperate with a reassessment of his medical records by representatives of the College within 6-12 months of his completion of the record-keeping course.
Dr. Paolone was also ordered to pay costs to the College in the amount of $3,650.
Dr. Emilie N. Newell, London. On September 20, 2012, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Newell committed an act of professional misconduct, in that she engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct. Dr. Newell did not contest the allegation.
Between October 15, 2008 and March 27, 2011, Dr. Newell mistakenly represented herself as a Fellow of the Royal College, after her Fellowship was removed on October 15, 2008 and after she had been sent correspondence advising her of the termination of her Fellowship. After March 27, 2011, Dr. Newell stopped representing herself as a Fellow of the Royal College and took steps to notify the CPSO and lawyers, insurers, agencies and firms to whom she provided specialist services as a physiatrist between October 2008 and March 27, 2011, to advise them that she was not recognized as a specialist in that time period.
Dr. Newell breached the August 21, 2008 Order of the Discipline Committee, which required her to practice under the supervision of a practice monitor to review her charts. In February of 2010, Dr. Newell advised the CPSO that she was going to be on a medical leave and undertook to inform the CPSO when she returned. On April 6, 2010, Dr. Newell returned to work, but failed to notify the CPSO or her practice monitor. In response to inquiries from the CPSO in January 2011, Dr. Newell admitted she had been working since April and had not informed the CPSO or her monitor. The monitor reviewed her charts on February 15, 2011, and found they were complete and up to date.
The Committee ordered a public reprimand and a three-month suspension of Dr. Newell's certificate of registration. The terms, conditions and limitations currently on Dr. Newell's certificate of registration shall remain in full force and effect. In addition, Dr. Newell was ordered to pay costs to the CPSO in the amount of $3,650.