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Kunynetz, Rodion Andrew

CPSO#: 30157

MEMBER STATUS
Active Member as of 13 Sep 2019
CPSO REGISTRATION CLASS
Independent Practice as of 23 Jul 2019
Flag: Indicates a concern or additional information

Summary

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Former Name: No Former Name

Gender: Male

Languages Spoken: English, Ukrainian

Education:University of Toronto, 1977

Practice Information

Primary Location of Practice
Unit 206
1065 Canadian Place
Mississauga ON  L4W 0C2
Phone: (905) 625-5600
Fax: (905) 625-5650 Electoral District: 05

Medical Records Location

Address: Suite 200 6-14845 Yonge Street Aurora, ON L4G 6H8
Date Received: 22 Feb 2016

Specialties

Specialty Issued On Type
Dermatology Effective:23 Nov 1982 RCPSC Specialist

Terms and Conditions

(1) Dr. RODION ANDREW KUNYNETZ may practise only in the areas of medicine in which Dr. KUNYNETZ is educated and experienced.

Registration History

Action Issue Date
First certificate of registration issued: Postgraduate Education Certificate Effective: 01 Jul 1977
Transfer of class of registration to: Independent Practice Certificate Effective: 04 Jul 1978
Transfer of class of certificate to: Restricted certificate Effective: 13 Aug 2015
Terms and conditions imposed on certificate Effective: 13 Aug 2015
Suspension of registration imposed: Inquiries, Complaints and Repo Effective: 01 Oct 2015
Suspension of registration imposed: Inquiries, Complaints and Repo Effective: 09 Jun 2017
Suspension of registration removed Effective: 13 Sep 2019

Previous Hearings Flag: indicates a concern or additional information

Committee: Discipline
Decision Date: 13 Sep 2019
Summary:

On September 13, 2019, on the basis of uncontested facts and a plea of no contest, the Discipline 
Committee found that Dr. Rodion Andrew Kunynetz 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 circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, 
dishonourable or unprofessional. 
 
Dr. Kunynetz received his medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1977 and completed 
his residency at the University of Ottawa. He was certified as a dermatologist by the Royal 
College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1982. For many years, he acted as an assessor in 
dermatology for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Dr. Kunynetz carried on 
private practice in dermatology in the Barrie community from 1983 onwards. He serviced 
patients not only in the Barrie and Simcoe County area, but also from Collingwood, Midland, 
Penetanguishene, North Bay and Sudbury. 
 
At the relevant times, Dr. Kunynetz maintained a very busy office practice. He generally saw 65 
to 70 OHIP patients per day, as well as 12-15 patients per day participating in clinical trials. He 
typically worked from 7:15 a.m. until 6 or 6:30 p.m.  Patients typically experienced long waits in 
the waiting room before seeing the doctor. Accordingly, Dr. Kunynetz had a very busy practice 
with a large number of patients he saw daily. He developed an abrupt communication style in the 
course of examining patients. 
 
Dr. Kunynetz does not contest that, in respect of multiple patients, he engaged in disgraceful, 
dishonourable or unprofessional conduct in that he moved or removed their clothing, in the 
course of clinical examinations, without providing adequate warning or explanation of what he 
was doing, and without obtaining adequate consent from the patients. The conduct included 
pulling up patients’ shirts, moving brassieres and underwear. As a result of this conduct, Dr. 
Kunynetz’ patients were left feeling upset and uncomfortable. 
 
Dr. Kunynetz admits that, at the time of the misconduct in question, he had previously been 
provided with material from the College as a result of another patient complaint, emphasizing the 
importance of explaining to a patient ahead of time the nature and reason for any portion of a 
physical examination, particularly if the actions are relevant to, or involve, sensitive parts of the 
body. Dr. Kunynetz received the material from the College in 2009. Four of the eight patient 
encounters occurred following his receipt of the material.   
 
-  the plea of no contest pertains to eight patients, seen in different appointments between 1996 
   and 2015; 
-  Each of the patients was referred to Dr. Kunynetz for the examination of skin lesions 
   (including mole checks for certain patients), which necessitated a dermatological 
   examination of their skin.  The patients were aware that their skin was to be examined; 
-  In the course of clinical examinations of the patients, Dr. Kunynetz moved clothing to 
   visualize and examine their skin. Dr. Kunynetz had a medical reason to examine the skin 
   underneath the clothing; 
-  Dr. Kunynetz does not contest that, prior to moving patients’ clothing, he should have 
   provided a more adequate explanation as to the nature of the examinations and how he 
   intended to conduct them, to avoid any surprise, misunderstanding or patient distress, and to 
   ensure adequate consent. 
 

FACTS ON PENALTY 

 
Dr. Kunynetz has already been the subject of a lengthy College discipline hearing which 
addressed, amongst other things, allegations of moving clothing without adequate warning, 
allegations that are similar to the facts in this case.  
 
The Prior Hearing – 2015 Notice of Hearing 
 
In July 2015, the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (“ICRC”) referred allegations of 
sexual abuse with respect to four patients to the Discipline Committee. The principle allegation, 
in relation to two patients, was that Dr. Kunynetz had engaged in sexual abuse by rubbing or 
pressing his genitals against them during dermatology examinations. The 2015 Notice of Hearing 
also alleged that Dr. Kunynetz had engaged in sexual abuse by inappropriately touching a third 
patient’s breasts. Finally, the Notice of Hearing alleged sexual abuse or disgraceful, 
dishonourable or unprofessional conduct, for three of the four patients, in failing to provide 
appropriate privacy to patients, and in moving clothing without adequate warning and consent.  
 
In September 2015, the ICRC referred an additional allegation of breach of an interim order to 
the Discipline Committee. The ICRC imposed an interim suspension of Dr. Kunynetz’s 
certificate of registration effective October 1, 2015. Dr. Kunynetz remained suspended on an 
interim basis during the liability and penalty phases of the hearing, i.e. from October 1, 2015 
through to February 20, 2018. 
 
The liability hearing on all of the above-described allegations proceeded over 37 days from 
January 6, 2016 through to July 12, 2016.  
 
With respect to the eight patients described in the current case, two testified as similar fact 
witnesses at the first discipline hearing and gave evidence regarding (among other things) how 
Dr. Kunynetz moved their clothing during skin examinations. At the time of the first hearing, all 
of the current complainants had complained to the College. The complaints of the current 
complainants were ultimately referred to discipline in Notice of Hearing dated April 28th and 
December 18th, 2017.   
 
The Discipline Committee released its reasons on March 21, 2017. The panel dismissed all of the 
allegations of sexual abuse, with the exception of a finding that Dr. Kunynetz had engaged in 
sexual abuse of one patient by touching her breasts during the course of a dermatological 
examination. The panel also found that Dr. Kunynetz engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or 
unprofessional conduct by moving patients’ clothing without adequate warning or explanation 
and by allowing his abdomen to touch two patients. Finally, the panel found that Dr. Kunynetz 
breached an interim order of the ICRC.  
 
With respect to the allegations of moving patients’ clothing, the Discipline Committee found as 
follows:  
 
Dr. Kunynetz said that he commonly moved or shifted items of clothing such as bra straps to  
view the skin beneath, or lifted clothing that obscured a portion of the skin that needed to be 
inspected. He said that he usually gave the patient a reason for this, but he also admitted that his 
explanations were brief and often occurred during the displacement of clothing. The Committee 
concludes that the removal of clothing occurred during the process of a clinical examination, and 
that Dr. Kunynetz was justified in needing to examine the skin underneath the clothing. Thus the 
context in which this occurred was not one in which "viewed in the light of all the circumstances, 
the sexual or carnal content of the assault (or actions) was visible to a reasonable observer." 
Thus, Dr. Kunynetz's actions do not meet the test articulated by the Supreme Court of Canada in 
R. v Chase (1087) 2 S.C.R. 293 with respect to sexual assault. The Committee finds that Dr. 
Kunynetz's actions in moving clothing does not constitute behaviour of a sexual nature and is 
therefore not sexual abuse. 
  
The material that had been provided to Dr. Kunynetz by the College investigator emphasized the 
importance of explaining to a patient ahead of time the nature and reason for any portion of a 
physical examination. While this may not constitute formal seeking of consent in the way in 
which this term is usually used, the process of explanation demands that the physician take 
reasonable steps to ensure that the patient comprehends why something is being done, 
particularly if the actions are relevant to, or involve, sensitive parts of the body. This was clearly 
not done before the shifting of clothing performed by Dr. Kunynetz. 
 
The Committee finds that the absence of adequate warning or explanation to Patients A and D by 
Dr. Kunynetz before moving or removing their clothing, constitutes conduct that would be 
reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional. 
 
The penalty hearing proceeded over four days in July and August, 2017. In reasons released on 
February 20, 2018, the Discipline Committee revoked Dr. Kunynetz’s certificate of registration.  
The Discipline Committee found that the mandatory revocation provisions of the Health 
Professions Procedural Code applied retrospectively to the finding of sexual abuse. 
 
Dr. Kunynetz appealed the findings and penalty to the Divisional Court. In a judgment dated July 
23, 2019, the Divisional Court quashed the sexual abuse finding made by the Discipline 
Committee and quashed the finding of disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct 
based on Dr. Kunynetz allowing his abdomen to touch patients. The Divisional Court upheld the 
Discipline Committee’s finding of disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct in 
moving patients’ clothing without adequate warning or explanation as well as the finding that Dr. 
Kunynetz breached the interim order. 
 
In the circumstances, the Divisional Court did not refer the matter back to the Discipline 
Committee for a further hearing on penalty, but instead quashed the revocation order and the 
reprimand, and held that no further suspension should be imposed, noting that Dr. Kunynetz had 
been vindicated of all of the serious allegations. The Court reasoned as follows: 
 
[153]      As indicated above, the Court is dismissing the allegation of sexual abuse of Patient B 
and dismissing the finding of professional misconduct with respect to Patients C and D. The 
usual remedy, when an appeal of a decision of an administrative decision maker is granted, is to 
remit the matter to the decision maker for re-determination of the issue of liability or for re-
determination of penalty of the remaining findings. That respects the legislative policy to leave 
such decisions to the administrative body.  
 
[154]      The following are unique circumstances of this case that warrant the unusual remedy set 
out below: 
 
(a)       The Notice of Hearing originated in July 2015 which is four years ago. Assuming the 
same five members are available, sending it back for a fresh penalty hearing on the remaining 
findings will likely take at least six months. Sending it back for a fresh liability hearing before a 
new panel on the allegations involving Patient B will likely take much longer. The single 
allegation involving Patient B occurred in August 2008, eleven years ago.  
 
(b)       The Appellant, the College, the complainants and the public all share an interest in 
finality. It would be unfair to the witnesses to have to participate in another hearing on the merits 
of the allegation of sexual abuse with respect to Patient B, particularly because she made the 
original complaint in 2008 and since then has been involved in both the College proceedings and 
the criminal proceedings. The evidence of witnesses has likely deteriorated over that lengthy 
period and, as a result, the prospects of the College providing “clear, convincing and cogent 
evidence” are dim. 
 
(c)       The Appellant was under suspension from October 1, 2015 to February 20, 2018 when 
the penalty decision was released. Since then he has been subject to the revocation order. The 
period of suspension of almost 28 months and the 17 month period of revocation totals 45 
months. We consider it unlikely that a penalty greater than 28 months or 45 months will be 
imposed with respect to the remaining findings of removal of clothing without warning or 
consent and two breaches of an interim order.   
 
(d)       Other than the original complaint from Patient B, the Appellant had no prior record of 
discipline which is a mitigating factor in assessing penalty. 
 
(e)      In her evidence during the hearing as to penalty, the Appellant’s wife described the 
enormous toll that the proceeding had had on the Appellant personally and professionally as well 
as on her and their children. She described the press reports as a “constant bombardment of 
ugliness”. In the end, the Appellant has been vindicated of all of the serious allegations. He and 
his family ought to be able to see a light at the end of the tunnel. 
 
(f)   The College has a vested interest in sustaining the “usual remedy” that matters of liability 
and penalty are sent back.  The outcome of substitution in this case is exceptional. 
 
(g)   The College has a vested interest in sustaining the “usual remedy” that matters of liability 
and penalty are sent.  
 
As set out in the judgment of the Divisional Court, Dr. Kunynetz was suspended for 
approximately 28 months under former s.37 of the Health Professions Procedural Code, and was 
also subject to a period of revocation for 17 months, for a total of 45 months. 
 
The Current Interim Suspension Order 
 
Although the Order of the Divisional Court reinstated Dr. Kunynetz’s certificate of registration 
as of July 23, 2019, Dr. Kunynetz remained subject to an interim suspension of his certificate of 
registration, imposed by the ICRC on June 8, 2017, under section 25.4 of the Code, in respect of 
this hearing. 
 
Remedial Work Undertaken by Dr. Kunynetz 
 
In June 2016, Dr. Kunynetz completed the Understanding Boundaries and Managing Risks 
Inherent in Doctor-Patient Relationships course at Western University.   
 
DISPOSITION 
 
The Discipline Committee ordered that: 
-  Dr. Kunynetz attend before the panel to be reprimanded. 
-  Dr. Kunynetz pay costs to the College in the amount of $6,000.00 within thirty (30) days of 
   the date of this Order


Decision: Download Full Decision (PDF)
Hearing Date(s): September 4, 2019 - half day and September 13, 2019

 

Committee: Discipline
Decision Date: 21 Mar 2017
Summary:

On March 21, 2017, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Rodion Andrew Kunynetz, 
committed an act of professional misconduct in that:  he engaged in sexual abuse of a patient; 
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; and, he contravened a term, condition or 
limitation on his certificate of registration. 
 
On February 20, 2018, the Committee released its penalty order which included revocation of 
Dr. Kunynetz's certificate of registration, a reprimand, reimbursement of the College for funding 
provided to patients under the program required under Section 85.7 of the Code, and to post an 
irrevocable letter of credit or other security acceptable to the College to guarantee payments of 
such amounts and the payment of hearing costs. 
 
On April, 20, 2017 and March 21, 2018, Dr. Kunynetz appealed the decision on finding and the 
decision on penalty, on costs, and certain motion orders of the Discipline Committee to the 
Superior Court of Justice (Divisional Court). Pursuant to s.71 of the Code, the Discipline 
Committee’s decision remained in effect despite the appeal. 
 
On July 23, 2019, the Divisional Court granted the appeal, quashing two findings of the Discipline 
Committee and sustaining two others.  
 
   ?  The Divisional Court quashed the Discipline Committee’s finding that Dr. Kunynetz 
      engaged in sexual abuse of a patient and the finding that Dr. Kunynetz engaged in 
      disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct by allowing his abdomen to 
      contact the body of two patients. 
 
   ?  The Divisional Court upheld the Discipline Committee’s findings that Dr. Kunynetz 
      engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct by moving or removing 
      clothing in the absence of adequate warning or explanation in respect of two patients 
      and that he breached or contravened a term, condition and limitation on his certificate 
      of registration, by breaching his chaperone order on two occasions. 
 
The Divisional Court quashed the Discipline Committee’s penalty decision of revocation, a 
reprimand, reimbursement of the fund for therapy and hearing costs.  
 
The Divisional Court ordered a suspension from October 1, 2015 (the date of Dr. Kunynetz’s 
interim suspension) to the date of the release of the Divisional Court’s decision, i.e., July 23, 
2019.


Decision: Download Full Decision (PDF)
Hearing Date(s): Motion date: November 10, 2015. Hearing dates 2016: January 6-8, January 18-22, January 25-28, March 14-17, March 28, 30, 31, April 1, April 29, May 3-6, May 9, 13, May 16, 26, 27, June 3, June 13-16, June 28, 2016, July 11 - 12, 2016 Motion Date: July 10, 2017 Penalty Hearing: July 11, 2017, August 14, 15, 2017

Concerns Flag: indicates a concern or additional information

Source: FSMB
Notice Type Discipline Findings in Other Jurisdictions
Active Date: March 04, 2016
Summary: Non-Ontario Disciplinary Finding: Where a disciplinary finding is made against a member on or after September 1, 2015 by a medical regulatory or licensing authority in a jurisdiction outside Ontario, the College By-laws require certain information about the finding to be posted on the register, if the finding is known to the College. The following are non-Ontario disciplinary findings made against this member, as known to the College, together with the corresponding information: On March 4, 2016, the Texas Medical Board and Dr. Kunynetz entered into an agreed order in which Dr. Kunynetz agreed to voluntarily surrender his Texas medical license in lieu of further disciplinary proceedings. Dr. Kunynetz was under investigation by the Texas Medical Board due to Dr. Kunynetz being the subject of a disciplinary action by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Dr. Kunynetz's medical license was permanently cancelled and he is not to practise in Texas. The College was notified of this finding by a report dated April 18, 2016.