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Bradford doctor found guilty by college

By Ian McInroy, Barrie Examiner

The Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons. POSTMEDIA NETWORK FILES

The Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons. POSTMEDIA NETWORK FILES


A Bradford family physician has been found guilty of professional misconduct by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

The college’s disciplinary committee made its decision Nov. 16 about Bruce Murray Wilson, who has practised in Bradford since 1985.

His certificate of registration has been suspended for four months effective Nov. 17, meaning he will not be able to practice medicine for that period of time.

According to a ruling released by the college, while the examinations were “clinically indicated” or medically justified, the committee found Wilson “has committed an act of professional misconduct in that he has engaged in an act … that would reasonably be regarded by members (of the college) as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.”

The disciplinary action comes as a result of a visit to Wilson’s office by a female teenager in December 2004.

According to the college, the teen “was confused and distressed by this appointment as a result of Dr. Wilson’s conduct.”

She returned to see Wilson on several more occasions, but was not comfortable with him, the college stated, adding the experience made her more reluctant to seek medical care in general.

In 2013, she considered the continued impact of her experience with Wilson and decided to report her experience to the college.

In the college’s ruling, at the December 2004 appointment, Wilson performed a clinically indicated physical examination, which included an examination of the chest, breasts, cardiovascular system, abdomen and pelvis.

He also took a vaginal swab, provided the teen with a requisition for a urine test and ordered a pelvic ultrasound.

The college stated Wilson documented the examination in the patient chart.

According to the college’s report, Wilson did not provide the teen with a gown, but only with a drape, which was inadequate for the examinations performed, adding this left her feeling exposed and vulnerable.

Wilson did not adequately explain the pelvic and breast examinations he conducted to obtain her informed consent, which led to the teen not understanding the purpose and steps involved.

The ruling also stated although Wilson asked the patient for sexual information relevant to the pain she was experiencing after intercourse, he did not explain the clinical basis for his questions.

He asked her whether it hurt and how it felt when her boyfriend “went deep,” and repeated the word “deep” several times. According to the ruling, the teen felt uncomfortable with the line of questioning.

Wilson directed the patient to bend over with her back to him, without explaining the clinical reason or seeking her consent. She bent over as directed, but had only the drape to hold in place at her front while her back, which was toward Wilson, was fully exposed, including her buttocks.

According to the college’s ruling, the patient did not understand the purpose of the examination and “felt shocked and violated.”

Wilson entered into an undertaking in January 2012 at the college’s request after it received complaints about the female’s experiences in his office.

An undertaking is a binding agreement in which a physician agrees to comply with restrictions on his or her practice and permits the college to monitor his or her compliance.

The undertaking requires Wilson to have a practice monitor, who is a regulated health professional acceptable to the college, who must observe all of his examinations of female patients and remain in the examination or consulting room at all times during all professional encounters with female patients.

The monitor is required to report on at least a monthly basis to the college. The physician is required to post a sign regarding this restriction in his waiting room and all examination rooms.

In 2011, Wilson voluntarily completed a course on understanding boundary issues and managing the risks inherent in the doctor-patient relationship.

The college stated it had not received any complaints regarding conduct by Wilson toward female patients since he entered into the 2012 undertaking.

Wilson has yet to appear before a panel of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to be reprimanded but is forced to pay the $5,000 cost of the proceedings within 30 days of Nov. 16.

A reprimand is a formal statement delivered verbally and in person to the physician by the chair of the college’s discipline committee that indicates the behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in the future.

The facts of the reprimand are a matter of public record and are posted on the public register. 

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