Phipps, Nigel Mark (CPSO#: 55790)

Current Status: Active Member as of 17 Jun 1985

CPSO Registration Class: Restricted as of 15 May 2015

Indicates a concern or additional information

Summary

Former Name: No Former Name

Gender: Male

Languages Spoken: English

Education:University of Toronto, 1985

Practice Information

Primary Location of Practice
99 Sinclair Avenue
Suite 204
Georgetown ON  L7G 5G1
Phone: (905) 873-3344
Fax: (905) 873-8094
Electoral District: 04
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Additional Practice Location(s)

199 Princess Anne Drive
Georgetown ON  L7G 0E3
Canada
Phone: (905) 873-3000
Fax: (905) 873-0800
County: Regional Municipality of Halton
Electoral District: 04
View Professional Corporation Information

Professional Corporation Information

Corporation Name: Dr. Nigel Phipps Medicine Professional Corporation

Certificate of Authorization Status: Issued Date:  Jun 18 2009

Shareholders:
Dr. N. Phipps ( CPSO# 55790 )

Business Address:
Suite 204
99 Sinclair Avenue
Georgetown ON  L7G 5G1
Phone Number: (905) 873-3344

Business Address:
199 Princess Anne Drive
Georgetown ON  L7G 0E3
Phone Number: (905) 873-3000

Registration History

Action Issue Date
First certificate of registration issued: Postgraduate Education Certificate Effective: 17 Jun 1985
Transfer of class of registration to: Independent Practice Certificate Effective: 19 Jun 1986
Transfer of class of certificate to: Restricted certificate Effective: 15 May 2015
Terms and conditions imposed on certificate by member Effective: 15 May 2015

Practice Restrictions

Imposed By Effective Date Expiry Date Status  
member Effective: 15 May 2015 Active View Details [+]
            As from May 15, 2015, the following is imposed as a term, condition and
            limitation on the certificate of registration held by Dr. Nigel Mark Phipps, in
            accordance with an undertaking and consent given by Dr. Phipps to the College
            of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario:

                  Effective immediately, Dr. Phipps shall not engage in any professional
                  encounters with female patients of any age unless the patient encounter
                  takes place in the presence of a regulated health professional and unless
                  the other requirements provided in his Undertaking with the College are
                  fulfilled.  For further clarity, Dr. Phipps may not be alone with any
                  female patient, during any professional encounter.
                  
                  Dr. Phipps shall post a clearly visible sign in the waiting rooms of all
                  his Practice Locations, which states as follows: "Dr. Phipps will not
                  have encounters with female patients, of any age, unless in the presence
                  of a female practice monitor acceptable to the College of Physicians and
                  Surgeons of Ontario.  Dr. Phipps will not be alone in any examination or
                  consulting room with any female patient.  Further information may be
                  found on the College website at www.cpso.on.ca".  The sign shall be
                  translated into any language(s) in which Dr. Phipps provides services,
                  and the clearly visible sign(s) shall be posted in the waiting rooms of
                  all his Practice Locations.

Previous Hearings

Committee: Discipline
Decision Date: 27 Aug 2018
Summary:

On August 27, 2018, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Nigel Mark Phipps 
committed an act of professional misconduct, in that he has engaged in the sexual abuse 
of patients, and in that he has engaged an act or omission relevant to the practice of 
medicine that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by 
members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.  
 
Allegations referred by Notices of Hearing dated September 7, 2016 and October 11, 
2017, were dealt with in one hearing. 
 
Sexual Abuse of Patients 
 
In this matter, the allegation of sexual abuse referred to touching of a sexual nature, and 
behaviour or remarks of a sexual nature, by the member towards a patient. To establish 
sexual abuse of a patient by a member, the definition specifies that the touching, 
behaviour or remarks at issue must be of a ‘sexual nature’ and not of a clinical nature 
appropriate to the service provided.  
 
Dr. Phipps is a family physician. Dr. Phipps did not contest that the eleven individuals 
were patients at the relevant times. 
 
During the period late August to early October 2014, Dr. Phipps showed one or more 
naked photographs of himself to eleven female patients during clinical visits. The women 
had been long-term patients of Dr. Phipps. They had trusted Dr. Phipps. In many 
instances, the women were shown a photograph in which Dr. Phipps’ penis was erect or 
semi-erect. Often, he used the pretext of an apparently innocuous story from a golf trip he 
had taken more than two years before showing the photos. Some patients were shown 
naked photographs that had nothing to do with the golf trip and that Dr. Phipps took later 
at his home. 
 
The Committee found that Dr. Phipps’ conduct in showing one or more naked 
photographs of himself to each of eleven patients constitutes behaviour of a sexual nature 
towards a patient. The Committee therefore found that Dr. Phipps sexually abused each 
of the eleven patients. 
 
The Committee found that Dr. Phipps was sexually aroused after showing the photos to 
two of the patients (Patient B) and (Patient A). The Committee therefore found that Dr. 
Phipps sexually abused Patient B and Patient A by becoming sexually aroused during his 
interactions with each of these patients. 
 
Dr. Phipps acknowledged that he made comments to two patients to the effect that ‘I’ve 
seen yours, now you’ve seen mine’ or ‘I’ve seen you naked, now you’ve seen me naked’ 
(Patients C, I). In addition, Patient B testified that Dr. Phipps said to her as she was 
leaving, ‘Now you know more about me than most of my patients.’ Further, Patient A 
testified that Dr. Phipps said to her, ‘Ain’t I well-endowed for a man my age’ after 
showing her the full-frontal photograph. The Committee found that each of these 
comments is remarks of a sexual nature and constitutes sexual abuse. Given the context 
in which each comment was made, specifically after Dr. Phipps had shown each patient a 
naked photograph of himself, the Committee found that an objective observer would 
conclude that each of these comments further sexualized the encounter with these four 
patients and constitutes sexual abuse. 
 
Patient A testified that on the date of the visit when Dr. Phipps showed her his naked 
photograph, she was also examined by Dr. Phipps. She was seated on the examining 
table, Dr. Phipps stood facing her, leaned forward slightly, and pressed on her ribs with 
his right hand while lifting her top with his left hand. It was as he was leaning in that 
Patient A felt what she believed was an erection. She was adamant that it was Dr. Phipps’ 
erect penis that she felt. The Committee found that Dr. Phipps engaged in touching of a 
sexual nature of Patient A when he touched her leg with his erect penis during the 
physical examination conducted after he had shown her the full-frontal photograph. 
 
Disgraceful, Dishonourable or Unprofessional Conduct  
 
Dr. Phipps admitted that he engaged in an act or omission 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. Phipps showed naked photographs of himself to eleven patients, made remarks of a 
sexual nature to four patients, became sexually aroused during the encounters with two 
patients and touched one patient in a sexual manner. He engaged in this conduct with 
patients who had come to trust him over many years.  
 
Trust is the cornerstone of the physician-patient relationship. When a patient seeks care 
from a physician, the patient trusts that the physician is a professional and will treat her in 
a professional manner. Physicians must establish and maintain appropriate professional 
boundaries with patients or the professional relationship is jeopardized and patients are at 
risk of great harm. Violations of such boundaries, particularly of a sexual nature, can 
engender in patients a loss of trust in the physician and in the health professions and 
feelings of betrayal, victimization, anger, shame and guilt. Sexualizing the relationship 
and sharing highly personal and private material represent a clear and profound breach of 
trust, and would be viewed by members of the profession as disgraceful, dishonourable 
and unprofessional conduct. 
 
Dr. Phipps also showed naked photographs of himself to three staff members. Dr. Phipps 
was in a position of authority with respect to the staff at the clinic. His behaviour in 
sharing naked photographs of himself with clinic staff was wholly inappropriate and 
unacceptable. In the Committee’s view, it rose well above the level of unacceptable into 
disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional conduct based on the highly personal and 
private nature of the material and the intent to embarrass. However, whether or not the 
staff were uncomfortable, shocked or otherwise adversely affected is not relevant; 
conduct need not be harmful to be unprofessional.  
 
There are boundaries to physicians’ behaviour towards patients, colleagues, coworkers 
and the public. Physicians are expected to strictly maintain those boundaries and if they 
do not do so, they should expect to be judged adversely. Boundaries in a physician’s 
workplace are essential so as to provide an atmosphere of safety and respect for all. They 
help control and address issues of workplace harassment, workplace safety, and power 
imbalance in settings that are often fast-paced, intense, and stressful. Dr. Phipps’ conduct 
crossed such boundaries and constitutes disgraceful, dishonourable, and unprofessional 
conduct. It cannot be tolerated. 
 
The Committee accepted Dr. Phipps admission and found that he committed an act of 
professional misconduct in that he has engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable and 
unprofessional conduct in relation to eleven patients and three clinic staff. 
 
Penalty hearing to be scheduled.

Decision: Download Full Decision (PDF)
Hearing Date(s): July 31- August 1, October 26-27, November 13, 2017 Penalty hearing dates: February 4-6, 2019