Dr. Adekunle Owolabi, a Nigerian Medical Doctor in Canada has been found guilty of four counts of professional misconduct, Metro News Canada reports.
After a 6-day hearing, the 3-person tribunal established by the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Labrador, concluded that Owolabi will lose his medical licence for six months and must be chaperoned when seeing female patients for two years once he goes back to work.
The tribunal also said that Owolabi must take a course on appropriate doctor-patient boundaries. He was also ordered to pay $75,000 in costs related to the investigation and disciplinary process.
Four female patients had accused Owolabi of making sexual comments, and of inappropriate hugging and kissing.
He had reportedly asked a woman during a 2014 Pap test if she “liked big ones or small ones”.
Stokes had asked the tribunal to put inappropriate comments, hugging and kissing in the context of far more serious possible sexual offences. “This is a good physician,” Stokes said.
Reading from its decision, the Chairman of the Tribunal, Dr. Elizabeth Mate said comments Owolabi made to one complainant during a 2014 Pap test, asking if she “liked big ones or small ones,” were “cavalier” and “unprofessional.”
Mate added that Owolabi’s steadfast denials of wrongdoing were “self-serving,” describing his counter-accusations against another patient whom he called “mischievous” and “a pathological liar,” as baseless.
Owolabi has 30 days to appeal the penalties to the trial division of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.
According to Owolabi’s lawyer, Paul Stokes, “He’s very disappointed. But he understands the reasoning of the panel.”
Stokes added that Owolabi has not made a decision on appealing the penalties but looks forward “to following up with their penalties and getting back to work as soon as he possibly can.”
Photo Credit: Twitter/@SueBailey