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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: 03/07/22 8:12:14 AM

Sundaralingam, Theepa

CPSO#: 89581

MEMBER STATUS
Revoked: Discipline Committee as of 23 Jan 2019
CURRENT OR PAST CPSO REGISTRATION CLASS
None as of 01 Feb 2018

Summary

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Former Name: No Former Name

Gender: Female

Languages Spoken: English

Education: University of Toronto, 2007

Practice Information

Primary Location of Practice
Practice Address Not Available

Professional Corporation Information


Corporation Name: Dr. Theepa Sundaralingam Medicine Professional Corporation
Certificate of Authorization Status: Inactive: May 6 2019

Specialties

Specialty Issued On Type
Internal Medicine Effective:30 Jun 2011 RCPSC Specialist
Medical Oncology Effective:24 Sep 2012 RCPSC Specialist

Postgraduate Training

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



McMaster University, 01 Jul 2008 to 31 Jul 2008
EL - Medical Oncology

University of Toronto, 01 Apr 2009 to 30 Apr 2009
EL - Medical Oncology

University of Toronto, 01 Jul 2010 to 30 Jun 2011
PostGrad Yr 4 - Medical Oncology

University of Toronto, 01 Jul 2011 to 30 Jun 2012
PostGrad Yr 5 - Medical Oncology

Registration History

Action Issue Date
First certificate of registration issued: Postgraduate Education Certificate Effective: 04 Jul 2008
Expired: Terms and conditions of certificate of registration Expiry: 31 Jul 2008
Subsequent certificate of registration Issued: Postgraduate Education Certificate Effective: 01 Apr 2009
Expired: Terms and conditions of certificate of registration Expiry: 30 Apr 2009
Subsequent certificate of registration Issued: Postgraduate Education Certificate Effective: 01 Jul 2010
Transfer of class of registration to: Independent Practice Certificate Effective: 30 Jun 2011
Transfer of class of certificate to: Restricted certificate Effective: 01 Feb 2018
Terms and conditions imposed on certificate Effective: 01 Feb 2018
Revoked: Discipline Committee. Effective: 23 Jan 2019

Previous Hearings

Committee: Discipline
Decision Date: 23 Jan 2019
Summary:

On January 23, 2019, on the basis of a Statement of Uncontested Facts and Plea of No Contest, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Sundaralingam committed an act of professional misconduct, in that she sexually abused a patient and engaged in an act or omission relevant to the practise of medicine that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.

STATEMENT OF FACTS AND PLEA OF NO CONTEST

Dr. Theepa Sundaralingam (“Dr. Sundaralingam”) is a 37 year-old physician who received her certificate of registration authorizing independent practice on June 30, 2011. She is certified in internal medicine and oncology by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. At the material time, Dr. Sundaralingam practiced oncology at a Hospital, Toronto.

Sexual Abuse and Disgraceful, Dishonourable and Unprofessional Conduct re Patient A
In January 2015, Patient A, a man, was referred to Dr. Sundaralingam from the emergency room where he had attended. Dr. Sundaralingam ordered bone marrow testing. At a follow-up appointment in February 2015, Dr. Sundaralingam diagnosed Patient A with cancer. Dr. Sundaralingam continued to treat Patient A regularly. She treated him 23 times between January 2015 and July 2015 and one time in March 2016.

In February 2015, the day after Dr. Sundaralingam diagnosed Patient A with cancer, she provided Patient A with her personal contact information and Instagram ID. Dr. Sundaralingam breached appropriate boundaries with her patient, as the two immediately commenced texting in a highly personal manner.

In the next several weeks, Dr. Sundaralingam continued to breach appropriate boundaries with Patient A including by:
(a) Frequently texting Patient A, communicating in a highly personal and flirtatious manner;
(b) Meeting outside her clinic, including meeting at a coffee shop a few days after she communicated his cancer diagnosis;
(c) Holding hands with Patient A, hugging Patient A for long periods of time and kissing
Patient A.
In or around March 2015, Patient A was admitted to Hospital for chemotherapy. While cancer treatments were provided, Dr. Sundaralingam continued to monitor Patient A regularly and treated him by administering regular blood transfusions.

While a patient in Hospital, Dr. Sundaralingam visited Patient A, at times staying for 5-7 hours at a time. His entire family got to know her. During these visits, the discussions between Dr. Sundaralingam and Patient A became more sexually explicit, including discussions about the pornography they enjoy.

One evening, Dr. Sundaralingam visited Patient A after hours, when she had been drinking. Dr. Sundaralingam lay with Patient A in his bed, and the two engaged in mutual sexual touching. Patient A touched Dr. Sundaralingam’s breasts. Dr. Sundaralingam touched Patient A’s penis. They kissed. In March 2015, Dr. Sundaralingam and Patient A engaged in texting during which they described sexual activities with each other while masturbating.

Dr. Sundaralingam continued to treat Patient A throughout this period, including after his inpatient treatment. He saw Dr. Sundaralingam regularly at her clinic in Hospital, where she examined him, administered tests and administered blood transfusions. During their medical appointments, Dr. Sundaralingam behaved in a physical, flirty and sexual manner toward Patient A. In addition to examining him, Dr. Sundaralingam asked Patient A to examine her. During these appointments, Patient A touched Dr. Sundaralingam’s breasts. While examining a birthmark on his inner thigh during a medical appointment, Dr. Sundaralingam removed Patient A’s pants and underwear and touched his penis sexually. She recorded in the medical record “On examination, he does have a mole in the inner-left thigh. This will be monitored. I have instructed Patient A to keep an eye on the skin lesion”. On a number of occasions, Dr. Sundaralingam visited Patient A in his home, where he lived with his family. They spent hours together in his bedroom where they continued to engage in sexual activities, including mutual masturbation. They regularly engaged in phone sex. In July 2015, Patient A returned to Hospital for a bone marrow transplant. At that time, Dr. Sundaralingam visited him frequently. While Patient A was in the Hospital, she masturbated him, but on one occasion ceased abruptly when a friend walked in. Towards the end of his inpatient stay, she slept overnight with him in his bed in his hospital room. They had sexual intercourse on two occasions while he was an inpatient.

Dr. Sundaralingam repeatedly asked Patient A to delete their texts and keep their relationship a secret, as she was concerned the College would become aware of their sexual and inappropriate relationship.

By the end of September 2015, their sexual relationship came to an end. After having sexual intercourse with Patient A at his home, Dr. Sundaralingam told Patient A that she was in love with a colleague with whom she was having an affair. Their friendship continued, but it was non- sexual. From November 2015 onward, Dr. Sundaralingam, refused to see him. She refused to meet him when he reached out to her in February 2016. He found this very difficult to deal with.

In March 2016, Patient A developed an infection. Dr. Sundaralingam treated him. This was their last formal clinical interaction. He was subsequently admitted to Hospital. Dr. Sundaralingam did not visit him there. She did not treat him again or engage in any further sexual encounters with Patient A.

Dr. Sundaralingam engaged in sexual abuse and disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional conduct in respect of Patient A.
Disgraceful, Dishonourable and Unprofessional Conduct re Hospital Records
When Dr. Sundaralingam visited Patient A in the bone marrow transplant unit in July 2015, Dr. Sundaralingam was required to sign her name and signature on the log to identify herself and who she was visiting.

Dr. Sundaralingam engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional conduct by asking Patient A to alter the hospital records by scratching out her name after she left so that there would be no evidence that she was there. Patient A did as she instructed.

Dr. Sundaralingam does not contest these facts, nor does she contest that she engaged in sexual abuse of patient A and 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.

DISPOSITION

The Discipline Committee Ordered that:
- The Registrar revoke Dr. Sundaralingam’s certificate of registration effective immediately.
- Dr. Sundaralingam appear before the panel to be reprimanded.
- Dr. Sundaralingam reimburse the College for funding provided to patients under the program required under section 85.7 of the Code, by posting an irrevocable letter of
credit or other security acceptable to the College, within thirty days of this order in the
amount of $16,060.00.
- Dr. Sundaralingam pay costs to the College in the amount of $6000.00 within 30 days of the date of this order.
 
 


Decision: Download Full Decision (PDF)
Hearing Date(s): January 23, 2019 1:00 p.m. start time