Dialogue Volume 12 Issue 3 2016 - Page 40

discipline summaries Wagdy Abdalla Botros Practice Location: Kitchener Practice Area: Psychiatry (Full-time Sleep Medicine) Hearing Information: Allegations Denied, Contested Hearing (2 days) On April 21, 2015, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Botros committed an act of professional misconduct, in that he has engaged in conduct or 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. In May 2013, the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) referred the allegation of disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional conduct to the Discipline Committee in relation to Dr. Botros’ alleged failure to comply with the March 2011 Order of the ICRC requiring him to complete a Specified Continuing Education or Remediation program (SCERP) in Communications.1 Dr. Botros requested that the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB) review the decision. In April 2012, HPARB rejected Dr. Botros’ appeal and confirmed the decision of the ICRC. Dr. Botros did not request a judicial review, therefore, the ICRC Order remained in effect. Dr. Botros did not comply with the Order of the ICRC despite being given many opportunities, including extensions of time, to do so. Reasons for Penalty There was no dispute between the parties that a reprimand, a suspension, and an award of costs were appropriate in this case. However, there was a disagreement as to the length of the suspension, with the College seeking a suspension of six months and Dr. Botros submitting that a one-month suspension was sufficient. There was also disagreement as to the quantum of costs. Dr. Botros’ deliberate and persistent defiance of an ICRC Order demonstrated contempt for his governing body, which this Committee considers to be a very serious matter that cannot be tolerated. Dr. Botros provided no credible reason as to why he did not comply with the Order. The Committee did not accept Dr. Botros’ claim that his failure to attend the course was caused, in part, by stress and anxiety, given that these conditions did not require he take any time away from his medical practice. In addition, Dr. Botros attempted to control the process and frustrated the College staff assigned to his case. He repeatedly thwarted the College’s attempts to assist him in complying with the Order by availing himself of any and all delaying tactics at his disposal. It was only when Dr. Botros realized that he was facing a suspension of his certificate of registration that he contacted the communications course provider to initiate the Communication Skills course a mere two weeks before the penalty hearing. Dr. Botros also failed to acknowledge or take responsibility for his actions, and attempted to disassociate himself from his own conduct as described in the Committee’s decision. This indicated to the Committee that Dr. Botros lacked insight into his misconduct. He portrayed himself as a victim and attempted to place the blame elsewhere for his non-compliance. The Committee also noted as an aggravating factor that Dr. Botros has been cautioned on two previous occasions by the ICRC regarding his manner of communication with his governing body. Therefore, the Committee, considering all the facts and particulars of this case as well as the relevant penalty principles, has determined that the appropriate penalty for this egregious misconduct is a six-month suspension of Dr. Botros’ certificate of registration. In addition, he must complete the Communication Skills course as ordered by the ICRC. Finally, the Committee ordered the administration of a public reprimand. On December 16, 2015, which was after the conclusion of the penalty hearing in this case, Dr. Botros’ certificate of registration was suspended for six months by a differently-constituted panel of the Discipline Committee in another matter. The panel 1 A Specified Continuing Education or Remediation Program or “SCERP” is one of the dispositions that the College’s Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) and Quality Assurance Committee may make in connection with a matter before the committee. This disposition requires the member to complete an education and remediation program specified for the member. 40 Dialogue Issue 3, 2016