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THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS OBTAINED FROM THE DOCTOR SEARCH SECTION OF THE WEBSITE OF THE COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS OF ONTARIO WWW.CPSO.ON.CA
Date: 25/05/20 16:24:57 PM

Schwarz, Peter Robert

CPSO#: 66826

MEMBER STATUS
Revoked: Discipline Committee as of 02 Dec 2019
CPSO REGISTRATION CLASS
None as of 02 Dec 2019
Flag: Indicates a concern or additional information

Summary

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Former Name: No Former Name

Gender: Male

Languages Spoken: English

Education:University of Ottawa, 1993

Practice Information

Primary Location of Practice
Practice Address Not Available

Professional Corporation Information


Corporation Name: Peter Schwarz Medicine Professional Corporation
Certificate of Authorization Status: Inactive: May 7 2020

Hospital Privileges Flag: indicates a concern or additional information

No Privileges reported.


Hospital Notices

Source:  Hospital
Active Date:  September 21, 2016
Expiry Date:  
Summary:  
On October 12, 2016, North Shore Health Network notified the College that Dr. Peter Schwarz's privileges were suspended, effective September 21, 2016.

Source:  Hospital
Active Date:  September 19, 2016
Expiry Date:  
Summary:  
On October 13, 2016, Sault Area Hospital notified the College that Dr. Peter Schwarz's privileges were suspended, effective September 19, 2016.

Source:  Hospital
Active Date:  September 19, 2008
Expiry Date:  
Summary:  
NOTICE OF SUSPENSION OF HOSPITAL PRIVILEGES:

On September 25, 2008, Sault Area Hospital notified the College that Dr. Peter Robert Schwarz's privileges were suspended effective September 19, 2008.

Specialties

Specialty Issued On Type
Family Medicine Effective:13 Jun 1995 CFPC Specialist

Postgraduate Training

Please note: This information may not be a complete record of postgraduate training.



University of Ottawa, 01 Jul 1993 to 30 Jun 1994
PostGrad Yr 1 - Family Medicine

University of Ottawa, 01 Jul 1994 to 30 Jun 1995
Resident 2 - Family Medicine

Registration History

Action Issue Date
First certificate of registration issued: Postgraduate Education Certificate Effective: 01 Jul 1993
Transfer of class of registration to: Independent Practice Certificate Effective: 16 Jun 1995
Transfer of class of certificate to: Restricted certificate Effective: 13 Apr 2017
Terms and conditions imposed on certificate Effective: 13 Apr 2017
Terms and conditions amended by Inquiries, Complaints and Repo Effective: 29 Nov 2017
Suspension of registration imposed: Discipline Committee Effective: 08 Mar 2019
Revoked: Discipline Committee. Effective: 02 Dec 2019

Previous Hearings Flag: indicates a concern or additional information

Committee: Discipline
Decision Date: 19 Feb 2020
Summary:

On February 19, 2020, on the basis of agreed facts and admission, the Discipline 
Committee (the “Committee”) of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario 
found that Dr. Peter Robert Schwarz (“Dr. Schwarz”) is incompetent and committed an 
act of professional misconduct, , in that he failed to maintain the standard of practice of 
the profession in his care of patients, and set out its penalty and costs order with 
written reasons to follow. 
 
FACTS 
 
Dr. Schwarz is a 51-year-old family physician. He received his certificate authorizing 
independent practice from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (the 
“College”) in 1995. He obtained CCFP certification on June 13, 1995. 
 
At the relevant times, Dr. Schwarz practiced as a general/family physician in a solo 
practice in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. 
 
Background 
 
In August 2016, in the context of another investigation, the College obtained Narcotics 
Monitoring System information regarding Dr. Schwarz’s prescribing to patients. The 
College subsequently obtained Cumulative Patient Profiles for 12 drop-in patients to 
whom Dr. Schwarz prescribed opioids and controlled substances. 
 
Incompetence / Failure to Maintain the Standard of Practice 
 
On March 28, 2017, on the basis of the information above, the Inquiries, Complaints and 
Reports Committee of the College (“ICRC”) approved an appointment of investigators to 
inquire into whether Dr. Schwarz had committed professional misconduct in his 
prescribing and medical record keeping. 
 
The College selected 25 charts to review, including the 12 drop-in patients. Dr. Schwarz 
provided complete charts for 5 of the 25 patients. With respect to the remaining 20 
patients, Dr. Schwarz was unable to confirm that he had provided complete patient 
records. Counsel for Dr. Schwarz advised that these patients were drop-in patients for 
whom Dr. Schwarz had not initially opened a patient record. Instead, he had filed notes 
for these patient encounters “by date”. 
 
Counsel for Dr. Schwarz advised that Dr. Schwarz had recently taken a Medical Record 
Keeping Course, following which he had changed his practice and now opened a chart 
for all drop-in patients. 
 
Counsel for Dr. Schwarz confirmed that Dr. Schwarz would not have seen prior records 
(i.e., records filed “by date” and not by patient name) at the time of any drop-in patient’s 
subsequent visit. 
  
 Reports of Dr. Chris Giorshev 
  
 The College retained the services of Dr. Chris Giorshev, a family physician with expertise 
 in emergency medicine, chronic pain management and addictions medicine, to provide 
 an independent expert opinion on the care provided by Dr. Schwarz to the 25 patients. 
 Dr. Giorshev interviewed Dr. Schwarz and reviewed his patient charts. 
  
 In his report dated December 10, 2017, and addendum report dated January 3, 2018, Dr. 
 Giorshev opined that Dr. Schwarz did not meet the standard of practice of the 
 profession, demonstrated a lack of judgment, and posed a risk of harm to patients in 
 23/25 of the charts reviewed.  
  
 Dr. Giorshev identified significant deficiencies in Dr. Schwarz’s care of patients which he 
 categorized into two groups – chronic pain and addiction patients. 
  
 i. Chronic Pain Patients 
  
 1. Decision to initiate opioids for pain patients: 
  
 Dr. Schwarz’s decision to initiate opioids was far below the standard of care, 
 demonstrated a lack of judgment and posed a risk of harm to patients and/or the public 
 (in terms of drug diversion). This included: 
  
 -Failure to perform a comprehensive documentation of the patient’s pain condition, 
 general medical condition and psychosocial history, psychiatric status, and substance 
 abuse history, such that it was not possible to understand what Dr. Schwarz was 
 treating based on the documentation; 
  
 -Failure to independently confirm patients’ self-reported prescribing history before 
 prescribing opioids. That is, patients reported to Dr. Schwarz that they were taking 
 opioids (including at high doses) and Dr. Schwarz began prescribing opioids to these 
 patients without confirming the pre-existing prescription. This placed patients at high 
risk of overdose and death if they were in fact opioid naïve, and placed the public at risk 
resulting from drug diversion; 
 
-Failure to risk stratify patients; 
 
-Failure to determine if patients had a pain condition where opioids were indicated; 
  
 -Failure to perform urine drug screens; 
  
 -Failure to document informed consent discussion. 
  
2. Conducting an opioid trial/long-term monitoring opioid therapy: 
 
Dr. Schwarz fell below the standard of care, demonstrated a lack of judgment and 
posed a risk of harm to patients and/or the public with respect to conducting an opioid 
trial and long-term monitoring of opioid therapy. This included through: 
 
-Failure to document whether patients were advised to avoid driving until a stable 
dosage was achieved. A sedated driver is a risk to both the patient and the public; 
 
-Failure to reasonably document monitoring of aberrant behaviour or use urine drug 
screens; 
 
-Failure to adequately address aberrant behaviour when it arose (Dr. Giorshev noted 
there were multiple instances of early release for self-escalation and lost or stolen 
medications documented in the individual case summaries), which posed a high risk of 
harm for patients and the public; 
 
-Failure to document risk discussion pertaining to combining sedating medications with 
high dose opioids. This included, in one case, prescribing an elderly patient extremely 
high dose opioids as well as benzodiazepines, without documenting or evaluating the 
risks, which included a high risk of death for this patient. 
 
ii. Addictions Patients 
 
Dr. Schwarz’s care of addictions patients fell below the standard of care, demonstrated 
a lack of judgment and posed a risk of harm to patients and/or the public. This included 
through: 
 
-Failure to document an adequate evaluation of the patient’s clinical conditions prior to 
prescribing Suboxone; 
 
-Failure to document a diagnosis of opioid dependence to justify prescribing Suboxone; 
 
-Failure to document contraindications to the prescribing of Suboxone, including during 
pregnancy, and failure to perform pregnancy tests prior to initiating Suboxone on female 
patients. This put both the patient and any possible fetus at risk; 
 
-Failure to adhere to CAMH clinical practice guidelines, in that he: 
            -Failed to document withdrawal prior to induction. Patients who are 
            initiated on Suboxone without being in withdrawal can experience 
            precipitated withdrawal, which is dangerous for the patient; 
            -Failed to reassess patients within one to three days of induction or 
            otherwise follow up with patients in a timely fashion. Often, he did not see 
            patients for a month or two following induction; 
            -Failed to monitor clinically unstable patients as frequently as required. 
            Clinically unstable patients require more frequent monitoring, but Dr. 
            Schwarz saw patients once or twice per month regardless of the patient’s 
            clinical stability; 
            -Prescribed double the recommended starting dose of Suboxone; 
            -Failed to supervise patients’ doses during the first two months of 
            treatment; 
            -Provided inappropriate take-home doses, including to patients who had 
            not achieved clinical stability. Dr. Giorshev found that Dr. Schwarz’s care 
            deviated markedly from the CAMH guideline and the standard of care, as 
            he routinely gave patients 5-6 carries from the outset, including to patients 
            who did not display clinical stability. Inappropriately giving take-home 
            doses to unstable addictions patients represents a significant risk for 
            diversion and a significant harm to the patient and the public; 
            -Performed urine drugs screens infrequently (once every one or two 
            months, rather than twice a week to biweekly), a routine which can easily 
            be gamed by addictions patients; 
 
-Inappropriately permitting a patient’s mother to supervise her son’s urine drug screen. 
Dr. Giorshev opined that this represented inappropriate monitoring. 
 
iii. Individual Patient Concerns 
 
Further concerns relating to individual patients are set out in Dr. Giorshev’s report, dated 
December 10, 2017, at pp. 9-49. In addition, Dr. Giorshev highlighted two particularly 
troubling cases at p. 5 of his report. 
 
iv. Dr. Giorshev’s Interview of Dr. Schwarz 
 
Dr. Giorshev interviewed Dr. Schwarz on December 8, 2017 in order to understand if his 
deficiencies resulted from a lack of knowledge skill or judgment. Dr. Giorshev was 
satisfied that there was no significant lack of knowledge; however, he opined that this 
interview raised additional concerns regarding Dr. Schwarz’s significant lack of 
judgment in his care of chronic pain and addictions patients. Dr. Giorshev outlined these 
additional concerns in his report dated December 10, 2017 at pp. 6-7. 
 
v. Lack of Oversight and Reliance on Pharmacists 
 
Dr. Giorshev opined that one of the most concerning issues in his review of Dr. 
Schwarz’s care related to Dr. Schwarz’s lack of oversight of addictions patients (i.e., 
failure to ensure withdrawal prior to induction; failure to assess patients in a timely 
manner after induction, and failure to assess patients frequently enough to ensure they 
were benefitting from the therapy and were not being harmed). When asked about this 
in his interview, Dr. Schwarz responded that pharmacists in his area were experienced in 
dispensing Suboxone, and that he expected that pharmacists would continually 
reassess his patients and then recommend or make dose adjustments along the way. 
Dr. Schwarz specifically described that the pharmacist would be the clinical assessor 
for his patients, and that he relied on the pharmacist to manage patients. 
 
Dr. Giorshev noted that as the physician, Dr. Schwarz is responsible for the evaluation 
and reassessment of patients. He is responsible for ensuring that the patients are 
receiving proper care. It is outside the scope of practice of pharmacists to practice 
medicine and it is not legal for them to independently change an opioid prescription. Dr. 
Giorshev opined that Dr. Schwarz’s lack of oversight demonstrated a significant lack of 
care for his patients and significant lack of judgment that was a risk of harm to his 
patients and the public. 
 
On February 7, 2018, two pharmacists who dispensed Suboxone to patients of Dr. 
Schwarz were interviewed by the College investigator. Pharmacist A advised that he had 
been dispensing Suboxone to Dr. Schwarz’s patients for four to five years. Pharmacist B 
advised that he had been doing so for three to four years. 
 
The pharmacists advised of a number of steps they took with respect to Suboxone 
patients (such as taking a medical history, explaining the difference between addiction 
and drug dependence, monitoring the first dose for adverse reaction and requiring 
patients to adhere to a prescribing schedule). 
 
With respect to ensuring withdrawal prior to induction, both pharmacists advised that 
they would confirm patients were in withdrawal prior to providing the first dose of 
Suboxone. However, it was understood and agreed that Dr. Schwarz would also verify 
withdrawal prior to issuing the prescription; 
 
With respect to assessing patients: 
 
-Both pharmacists advised that their pharmacies monitored patients for aberrant 
behaviour. However, neither pharmacy completed urine drug screens;  
 
-The pharmacists advised that they monitored patients for missed or withheld doses 
and would communicate with Dr. Schwarz regarding missed or withheld doses; 
 
-Pharmacist A advised that his pharmacy did complete clinical assessments to 
determine if dosing was appropriate. However, Pharmacist A assumed that Dr. Schwarz 
was also completing clinical assessments. He assumed that Dr. Schwarz was 
reassessing patients over the course of a prescription to ensure that the medication and 
dosing were appropriate for the patient; 
 
-Pharmacist B advised that his pharmacy did not clinically assess patients. He assumed 
that Dr. Schwarz was completing clinical assessments, including over the duration of a 
prescription. He stated that it was his understanding that Dr. Schwarz was responsible 
for the patient; 
 
With respect to dosing adjustments: 
 
-Pharmacist A advised that if he had concerns regarding the patient’s dose, he may 
provide recommendations to Dr. Schwarz. He would not make dosing adjustments 
himself, as he is not allowed to do so as a pharmacist; 
 
-Pharmacist B advised that he did not make any dosing adjustments or 
recommendations for dosing changes. If the patient had concerns with their doses, he 
would advise the patient to follow-up directly with Dr. Schwarz. 
 
ICRC’s Interim Order and Cessation of Prescribing 
 
On November 28, 2017, after receiving an interim report from Dr. Giorshev and a 
response from Dr. Schwarz, the ICRC imposed an interim order pursuant to s. 25.4 of 
the Health Professions Procedural Code, prohibiting Dr. Schwarz from prescribing 
narcotics and other controlled or monitored substances, unless under the guidance of a 
clinical supervisor. Dr. Schwarz did not obtain a clinical supervisor. Consequently, on 
January 13, 2018, he ceased prescribing narcotics and other controlled or monitored 
substances. 
 
On January 30, 2018, Dr. Schwarz advised the College, through counsel, that he did not 
wish to maintain or seek reinstatement of his prescribing privileges. 
 
FACTS ON PENALTY 
 

On March 8, 2019, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Schwarz had engaged in 
professional misconduct, in that he engaged in sexual abuse of a patient and engaged 
in conduct or an act or omission relevant to the practice of medicine that, having regard 
to all the circumstances, would reasonably be considered by members as disgraceful, 
dishonourable or unprofessional.  

On December 2, 2019, the Discipline Committee imposed a penalty including the 
immediate revocation of Dr. Schwarz's certificate of registration, requiring Dr. Schwarz 
to reimburse the College for costs related to the patient under program required by 
section 85.7 of the Code and to appear at the College for a reprimand, and the payment 
of costs to the College.  

On November 14, 2013, the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee of the College 
("ICRC") decided to issue a written caution to Dr. Schwarz regarding his care of a patient 
and, in particular, regarding his follow-up when symptoms change; conducting an 
examination when indicated; ensuring a prompt referral; and having a process in place 
to track referrals. The Committee also directed Dr. Schwarz to complete a Specified 
Continuing Education or Remediation Program ("SCERP"), whereby it required him to 
complete a Record-Keeping Course and to undergo a reassessment.  

In November 2009, the ICRC decided to require Dr. Schwarz to attend at the College to 
be cautioned regarding his care of a patient and, in particular, regarding the 
presentation of laryngeal cancer and the steps necessary to achieve a timely diagnosis 
and referral for patients presenting with this condition. 

Dr. Schwarz completed a course on medical record-keeping at the University of Toronto 
on June 23, 2014.  
 
DISPOSITION 
 
On February 19, 2020, the Discipline Committee issued its Order that 
 
-The Registrar suspend Dr. Schwarz's certificate of registration for a period of three (3) 
months, commencing from February 20, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. 
 
-The Registrar place the following terms, conditions and limitations on Dr. Schwarz's 
certificate of registration effective immediately: 
 
Restriction on Prescribing 
 
(i) Dr. Schwarz shall not issue new prescriptions or renew existing prescriptions for or 
administer any of the following substances: 
      (a) Narcotic Drugs (from the Narcotic Control Regulations made under the 
      Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, S.C., 1996, c. 19); 
      (b) Narcotic Preparations (from the Narcotic Control Regulations made under the 
      Controlled Drugs and Substances Act; S.C., 1996, c. 19); 
      (c) Controlled Drugs (from Part G of the Food and Drug Regulations under the 
      Food and Drugs Act, S.C., 1985, c. F-27); 
      (d) Benzodiazepines and Other Targeted Substances (from the Benzodiazepines 
      and Other Targeted Substances Regulations made under the Controlled Drugs 
      and Substances Act, S.C., 1996, c. 19; (A summary of the above-named drugs and 
      links to the current regulatory lists are attached has schedules to the Order); 
      (e) Monitored Drugs (as defined under the Narcotics Safety and Awareness Act, 
      2010, S.O. 2010, c. 22, with a link to the current regulatory list in a schedule to the 
      Order); 
 
(ii) Dr. Schwarz shall post a sign in all waiting rooms, examination rooms and consulting 
rooms, in all of his practice locations, in a clearly visible and secure location, in the form 
set out at Schedule "D" to the Order. For further clarity, this sign shall state as follows: 
 
      IMPORTANT NOTICE 
  
       Dr. Schwarz must not prescribe or administer any of the following: 
       - Narcotic Drugs 
       - Narcotic Preparations 
       - Controlled Drugs 
       - Benzodiazepines and Other Targeted Substances 
       - Monitored Drugs 
 
      Further information may be found on the College of Physicians and Surgeons of 
      Ontario website at www.cpso.on.ca 
 
(iii) Dr. Schwarz shall post a certified translation(s) in any language(s) in which he 
provide services, of the sign described in paragraph 4(ii) above in all waiting rooms, 
examination rooms and consulting rooms, in all of his Practice Locations, in a 
clearly visible and secure location. 
 
(iv) Dr. Schwarz shall provide the certified translation(s) described in paragraph 4(iii) 
above, to the College within thirty (30) days of this Order. 
 
(v) Should Dr. Schwarz elect to provide services in any other language(s), he must 
notify the College prior to providing any such services. 
 
(vi) Dr. Schwarz shall provide to the College the certified translations) described in 
paragraph 4(iv) prior to beginning to provide services in the languages) described in 
paragraph 4(v). 
 
Clinical Supervision 
 
(vii) Prior to the expiry of the period of suspension and/or the reinstatement of Dr. 
 Schwarz's certificate of registration, Dr. Schwarz shall retain a clinical supervisor 
 acceptable to the College (the "Clinical Supervisor"), who has signed an undertaking in 
 the form attached to the Order as Schedule "E". 
 
(viii) For a period of four (4) months commencing on the date Dr. Schwarz resumes 
practice, Dr. Schwarz may practice medicine only under the supervision of the Clinical 
 Supervisor (the "Clinical Supervision"), who shall facilitate the education program set 
 out in the Individualized Education Plan attached to the Order . 
  
 (ix) After an initial meeting, Dr. Schwarz shall meet with the Clinical Supervisor every 
 month for four (4) months. At each meeting the Clinical Supervisor shall:  
 
      (a) Review a minimum of fifteen (15) patient charts, to be selected at the sole 
      discretion of the Clinical Supervisor; 
       (b) Discuss with Dr. Schwarz any concerns the Clinical Supervisor may have 
       arising from the chart reviews; 
       (c) Make recommendations to Dr. Schwarz for practice improvements and 
       inquire into Dr. Schwarz's compliance with the recommendations; 
       (d) Keep a log of all patient charts reviewed along with patient identifiers; and 
       (e) Perform any other duties, such as reviewing other documents or conducting 
       interviews with staff or colleagues, that the Clinical Supervisor deems necessary 
       to the Clinical Supervision. 
        
 (x) The Clinical Supervisor shall submit written reports to the College after two (2) and 
 four (4) months of Clinical Supervision, or more frequently if the Clinical Supervisor has 
 concerns about Dr. Schwarz's standard of practice. 
  
 (xi) Throughout the period of Clinical Supervision, Dr. Schwarz shall cooperate fully with 
 the Clinical Supervision and abide by all recommendations of his Clinical Supervisor 
 with respect to practice improvement and ongoing professional development. 
 
(xii) If the Clinical Supervisor who has given an undertaking in Schedule "E" to the Order 
is unable to unwilling to continue to fulfill its terms, Dr. Schwarz shall, within seven (7) 
days of receiving notice of same, obtain an executed undertaking in the -same form 
from a similarly qualified person who is acceptable to the College and ensure that it is 
 delivered to the College within that time. 
  
 (xiii) If Dr. Schwarz is unable to obtain a Clinical Supervisor as set out in the Order, he 
 shall cease practising medicine until he has obtained a Clinical Supervisor acceptable to 
 the College. 
  
 (xiv) If Dr. Schwarz is required to cease to practise medicine as a result of section 
 (4)(vii) above, this will constitute a term, condition or limitation on his certificate of 
 registration and that term, condition or limitation will be included on the public register. 
  
 Professional Education 
  
 (xv) Dr. Schwarz shall participate in and successfully complete all aspects of the 
 detailed IEP, attached to the Order as Schedule "F", including all of the following 
 professional education (the "Professional Education"): 
  
       (a) Completion of two (2) CMPA e-modules on record-keeping; 
       (b) Review and discussion with the Clinical Supervisor of: 
             1) College Prescribing Drugs Policy; 
             2) College Medical Records Policy; 
             3) Canadian Guideline for Opioid Use in Non-Cancer Pain. 
  
 (xvi) Dr. Schwarz shall provide proof to the College of his successful completion of the 
Professional Education, including proof of registration and attendance and participant 
assessment reports, if applicable, within one (1) month of completing it. 
 
Reassessment of Practice 
 
(xvii) Approximately three (3) months after the completion of the Clinical Supervision 
and Professional Education, Dr. Schwarz shall undergo a reassessment of his practice 
by a College-appointed assessor (the "Reassessment"; the "Assessor") 
 
(xviii) The Reassessment may include a review of Dr. Schwarz's patient charts, direct 
 observations, and interviews with staff and/or patients and any other tools deemed 
necessary by the College. Dr. Schwarz shall abide by all recommendations made by the 
Assessor(s), and the results of the Reassessment will be reported to the College and 
may form the basis of further action by the College. 
 
(xix) Dr. Schwarz shall consent to such sharing of information among the Assessor, the 
Clinical Supervisor, and the College, as any of them deem necessary or desirable in 
order to fulfill their respective obligations. 
 
Monitoring 
 
(xx) Dr. Schwarz shall inform the College of each and every location where he practices 
or has privileges, in any jurisdiction (his "Practice Locations)") within fifteen (15) days of 
commencing practice at that location. 
 
(xxi) Dr. Schwarz shall cooperate with unannounced inspections of his practice by a 
College representative(s) for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing his compliance 
with the terms of the Order. 
 
(xxii) Dr. Schwarz shall consent to the College's making appropriate enquiries of the 
Ontario Health Insurance Plan, the Narcotics Monitoring System and/or any person or 
institution that may have relevant information, in order for the College to monitor and 
enforce his compliance with the terms of this Order. 
 
(xxiii) Dr. Schwarz shall be responsible for any and all costs associated with 
implementing the terms of this Order. 
 
-Dr. Schwarz shall attend before the panel to be reprimanded. 
 
Dr. Schwarz shall pay costs to the College in the amount of $6,000 within 30 days of the 
date of the Order.


Decision: Download Full Decision (PDF)
Hearing Date(s): February 19, 2020

 

Committee: Discipline
Decision Date: 08 Mar 2019
Summary:

On March 8, 2019, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Peter Robert Schwarz 
 committed an act of professional misconduct, in that he engaged in sexual abuse of a 
 patient; and  in that he has 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.  

 Sexual Abuse and Disgraceful, Dishonourable or Unprofessional Conduct regarding 
 Patient A 

 Patient A testified that she had seen a specialist about a problem with her cervix and 
 had had an abnormal Pap test and had a subsequent loop electrosurgical excision 
 procedure (LEEP) and “cone” procedure. She understood there were cancer cells 
 present and that she had an HPV infection. She “Googled” information about HPV and 
 realized the virus could also be in her mouth as it was sexually transmitted. 

 Patient A testified that subsequently, she went to see her dentist and asked him to 
 check her mouth for HPV related lesions. She said her dentist became embarrassed 
 because she told him that she enjoyed giving oral sex. She found his embarrassment 
 and discomfort to be amusing.  She stated she was not trying to embarrass the dentist 
and was trying to make light of the situation. The dentist checked her mouth and found 
 no HPV related problems. 

 Patient A described a visit to Dr. Schwarz on October 2, 2015. She testified that during 
 that visit, she told Dr. Schwarz about the dental visit and that the dentist was 
 embarrassed. She stated that Dr. Schwarz laughed and as she was preparing to leave, 
 he said that “it’s funny he (the dentist) was embarrassed and it’s funny that you like 
 doing that.” 

 Patient A testified that Dr. Schwarz opened the door for her and she left the room first 
 and as she entered the hallway she replied, “not any more and you are lucky I have self-
 control.” Patient A testified that her comment “not any more” meant “I don’t like oral sex 
 anymore”. The second part of her comment, “you are lucky I have self control” was 
 intended as a joke and a comeback.  She did not mean it literally but the comment 
 implied that she would give him oral sex. Patient A testified that she had never made a 
 sexual joke to Dr. Schwarz before and neither had he made a sexual joke to her.  

 Following the October 2, 2015 appointment, Patient A described having her blood work 
 done as ordered by Dr. Schwarz. She testified that she received a phone call from Dr. 
Schwarz’s secretary on October 15th saying that the doctor wished to see her and giving 
her an appointment for Tuesday the 20th of the next week (five days later). She became 
very worried that this meant her laboratory tests were abnormal. She decided not to 
wait and so attended as a walk-in patient the next day, October 16, 2015. 
                                        

 Patient A testified that Dr. Schwarz seemed more casual than usual when he came into 
 the room for the appointment. He greeted her by her last name, which was unusual. He 
 rubbed her back and said to her “don’t talk like that in the hallway, someone might hear 
 you”. This was in reference to the remarks about oral sex she made at that previous 
 appointment. Patient A testified that she then asked about her blood work and he said it 
 was okay. He told her that the specialist wanted her to have the HPV vaccine and to 
 stop smoking. She found this unusual, as she was already aware of the specialist’s 
 opinion. She then asked about her cholesterol and he said it was okay and asked her 
 “how much weight did you lose?” She replied “75 pounds - no 65 pounds as I have put 
 10 back on.” He asked “where?” She responded to say “right here”, and to show him her 
 abdominal fat roll by grabbing it in her two hands. 
  
 Patient A testified that he responded by grabbing her roll of fat and by saying, “that’s not 
 fat.” He then “grabbed my boob” and said, “The fat didn’t go there either.” Patient A 
 described that she sat there “frozen” and in disbelief as to what just happened. Patient 
 A testified that Dr. Schwarz then told her to stand up and he put both of his arms around 
her from the front and placed his hands on her “butt,” rubbed the area and said, “the fat 
didn’t go there either.” Patient A described Dr. Schwarz’s hands as making cupped, 
circular motions while on her buttocks and his hand to be making a soft rubbing motion 
while on her breast. Patient A testified that then, she stepped back away from Dr. 
Schwarz and he cupped her left breast again. Patient A said she stepped away again 
and he said “come here little one” and hugged her and said, “again, don’t talk like that in 
the hallway.” Patient A testified she sat down again briefly and then to end the visit, the 
patient opened the door to the examining room and said, “Well, this has been an 
interesting visit.” She then left the office.  
  
 Patient A was hospitalized on October 24th for an episode of vomiting and abdominal 
 pain and subsequently returned to see Dr. Schwarz on December 4th, ostensibly to 
 obtain a repeat prescription for a cream she used for eczema, and also to question him 
 about what he had done.  
 Patient A testified that her real intention was to confront Dr. Schwarz with his behavior 
 and have her questions answered. Patient A testified that Dr. Schwarz responded to all 
 her questions. Among other things, Patient A said Dr. Schwarz told her “I turned him 
 on…it doesn’t matter that we’re married…when two people like each other, nothing like 
 that matters.” Patient A testified that she told Dr. Schwarz she was not interested in 
 “sexual activities,” and then as she went to leave Dr. Schwarz “grabs my butt.” She felt 
 he had not listened to her and she could not believe what had just happened. 
  
 Patient A subsequently reported these incidents to a doctor at the local hospital and she 
 also reported the matter to the police. 
  
 On the basis of its assessment of the witnesses’ credibility and the consideration of the 
 evidence as a whole, the Committee accepted Patient A’s version of the events and 
                                        

 concluded that Dr. Schwarz engaged in sexual abuse of Patient A by touching of a 
 sexual nature, that is, by touching of her breasts and buttocks during office visits on 
 October 16th and December 4th, 2015 in a manner that was not clinically indicated or 
 appropriate.  
  
 The Committee also found that comments made by Dr. Schwarz to Patient A, such as 
his responses to her questions on December 4, 2015 that she turned him on and that it 
did not matter that they were both married, were clearly inappropriate and sexualized, 
and that this constitutes sexual abuse of a patient by remarks of sexual nature. 
  
 Sexual abuse of a patient violates a patient’s trust, autonomy and dignity. Such conduct 
 towards a patient constitutes disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct. 
  
 Disgraceful, Dishonourable or Unprofessional Conduct regarding Nurse A, Nurse B and 
 Nurse C by Behavior and Remarks of a Sexual Nature 
 Dr. Schwarz is a family physician practising in City 1, Ontario. Dr. Schwarz held 
 privileges at a Hospital between 2003 and 2015. 

The Committee found that Dr. Schwarz committed an act of professional misconduct, 
in that he has 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, regarding Nurse A, Nurse B and Nurse C. 

Nurse A 

Nurse A worked at the Hospital. During a night shift circa 2012, at approximately 11:30 
p.m., Dr. Schwarz and Nurse A were standing alone near the nursing station. Dr. 
Schwarz hooked his finger into the rim of Nurse A’s scrub pants, and pulled them down 
no more than two inches to view her lower back tattoo. He said, “What’s that.” Nurse A 
said “Whoa” and pulled away. In an effort to diffuse the situation without making it 
awkward, Nurse A then lifted her shirt slightly to allow Dr. Schwarz to see the tattoo, 
said “It’s my tattoo,” and left the room. 

The incident made Nurse A highly uncomfortable. Afterwards, she no longer wanted to 
work the night shift with Dr. Schwarz, and arranged her schedule accordingly. She did 
not want to be alone in the department with him, especially at night. She subsequently 
reported the incident to the department’s Chief of Staff. After the event, Dr. Schwarz 
had no further incidents involving Nurse A. 

Nurse B 

Nurse B began working at the Hospital. During one early afternoon shift in the Hospital, 
circa 2010, Nurse B received lab results for a patient which required a physician’s 
review. Nurse B went into the doctor’s lounge to provide Dr. Schwarz with the lab 
                                        

 results. Nurse B and Dr. Schwarz reviewed the results together. As they were exiting the 
 doctor’s lounge, Dr. Schwarz slapped Nurse B on the buttocks. Nurse B turned around 
 and said, “Don’t touch me like that.”  

After this incident, Nurse B felt uncomfortable around Dr. Schwarz. She would no longer 
go to the doctor’s lounge in person to provide test results as she did not want to be 
subjected to this conduct again. She subsequently reported the incident to the 
department’s Chief of Staff.  

Sometime after this incident, Dr. Schwarz approached Nurse B while she was seated at 
a computer and squeezed her shoulders in a massage-like fashion. Nurse B gave Dr. 
 Schwarz a “dirty look,” after which he departed. After the events, Dr. Schwarz had no 
 further incidents involving Nurse B. 

 Nurse C 

 Nurse C began working in the Hospital. During one day shift, Nurse C entered the 
 medication room to retrieve an item. The medication room is small: approximately six 
 feet by seven feet. Dr. Schwarz followed Nurse C into the room and stood in the 
 doorway, approximately four feet away from Nurse C. When Nurse C reached up to take 
 down some medication, Dr. Schwarz said, “you have a lower back tattoo, that’s so sexy, 
can I see it.” Nurse C said “no.” She felt very uncomfortable, because she had no way 
out of the room. Dr. Schwarz laughed and walked away. 

During another shift, after the first incident, Nurse C and Dr. Schwarz were alone in the 
Department. Nurse C was seated at a computer. Dr. Schwarz approached her from 
behind and began to massage her neck and shoulders. Nurse C stopped what she was 
doing and tensed up. She felt extremely uncomfortable. Dr. Schwarz continued the 
massage for approximately one minute before walking away.  

On another occasion around the same time period, Dr. Schwarz made an inappropriate 
sexual comment to Nurse C. Nurse C felt uncomfortable and shut down the 
conversation. 

As a result of these encounters, Nurse C tried to avoid Dr. Schwarz as much as she 
could while continuing to do her job.  After the events described above, Dr. Schwarz had 
no further incidents involving Nurse C. 

 Given the Committee’s findings of touching of a sexual nature of the patient’s breasts 
 and buttocks, the Committee makes an immediate interim order suspending Dr. 
 Schwarz’s certificate of registration, until such time as the Committee makes an order 
 under subsection 5 or 5.2 of the Code.  

 Penalty hearing held on September 10 and 11, 2019. The Committee reserved its 
 decision on penalty.  
                                       

 
On December 2, 2019, the Committee released its penalty Order and reasons. The 
Committee ordered that: 
 
1.    The Registrar revoke Dr. Schwarz’s certificate of registration, effective 
immediately; 
 
2.    Dr. Schwarz is required to reimburse the College for funding provided to the 
patient under the program required by s. 85.7 of the Code, in the amount of $16,060, and 
to post an irrevocable letter of credit or other security acceptable to the College, in that 
amount, to guarantee payment of any amounts he may be required to reimburse;  
 
3.    Dr. Schwarz is required to appear before the Committee to be reprimanded within 
60 days of the date of this Order; 
 
4.    Dr. Schwarz is required to pay costs to the College in the amount of $82,960.00, 
within 90 days of the date of this Order. 
             
Appeal 
 
On December 30, 2019, Dr. Schwartz appealed the Discipline Committee’s March 8, 
2019 decision on finding and December 2, 2019 decision on penalty to the Divisional 
Court.


Decision: Download Full Decision (PDF)
Hearing Date(s): motion Juy 26, 2018. hearing dates: November 26 to 30 and December 3, 2018 penalty hearing dates: September 10, 2019

Concerns Flag: indicates a concern or additional information

Source: Member
Active Date: September 29, 2016
Expiry Date:
Summary:
Criminal Charges:

Effective May 29, 2015,Where a member has been charged with an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada or the Ontario Health Insurance Act and the charge is outstanding and is known to the College, the College By-laws require certain information about the charge to be posted on the register.

The following are outstanding charges against this member, as known to the College, together with the corresponding information:

It is alleged that Peter Robert Schwarz:
(1) on or about December 4, 2015, at the City of Sault Ste Marie did commit a sexual assault on XX, contrary to Section 271 of the Criminal Code.
(2) on or about October 15, 2015, at the City of Sault Ste Marie did commit a sexual assault on XX, contrary to Section 271 of the Criminal Code.

Date of charges: September 16, 2016
Place of charges: Sault Ste Marie, Ontario
Sault Ste Marie Police Service