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Phipps, Nigel Mark

CPSO#: 55790

MEMBER STATUS
Active Member as of 17 Jun 1985
CPSO REGISTRATION CLASS
Restricted as of 15 May 2015
Flag: Indicates a concern or additional information

Summary

Former Name: No Former Name

Gender: Male

Languages Spoken: English

Education:University of Toronto, 1985

Practice Information

Primary Location of Practice
99 Sinclair Avenue
Suite 204
Georgetown ON  L7G 5G1
Phone: (905) 873-3344
Fax: (905) 873-8094 Electoral District: 04

Additional Practice Location(s)

199 Princess Anne Drive
Georgetown ON  L7G 0E3
Canada
Phone: (905) 873-3000
Fax: (905) 873-0800
County: Regional Municipality of Halton
Electoral District: 04

Professional Corporation Information


Corporation Name: Dr. Nigel Phipps Medicine Professional Corporation
Certificate of Authorization Status: Issued Date:  Jun 18 2009

Shareholders:
Dr. N. Phipps ( CPSO# 55790 )

Business Address:
Suite 204
99 Sinclair Avenue
Georgetown ON  L7G 5G1
Phone Number: (905) 873-3344

Business Address:
199 Princess Anne Drive
Georgetown ON  L7G 0E3
Phone Number: (905) 873-3000

Registration History

Action Issue Date
First certificate of registration issued: Postgraduate Education Certificate Effective: 17 Jun 1985
Transfer of class of registration to: Independent Practice Certificate Effective: 19 Jun 1986
Transfer of class of certificate to: Restricted certificate Effective: 15 May 2015
Terms and conditions imposed on certificate by member Effective: 15 May 2015
Terms and conditions amended by Discipline Committee Effective: 18 Sep 2019

Practice Restrictions Flag: indicates a concern or additional information

Imposed By Effective Date Expiry Date Status
Discipline Committee Effective: 18 Sep 2019 Active
             As from 11:59 p.m., September 18, 2019, by order of the Discipline Committee of
            the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, the following terms,
            conditions and limitations are imposed on the certificate of registration held
            by Dr. Nigel Mark Phipps:


            a)    Dr Phipps shall not engage in any professional encounters, in person or
                  otherwise ("Professional Encounters)"), with patients of any age, in any
                  jurisdiction, unless the Professional Encounter takes place in the
                  continuous presence and under the continuous observation of a monitor who
                  is a regulated health professional acceptable to the College (the
                  "Practice Monitor"). At all times, Dr. Phipps shall ensure that the
                  Practice Monitor shall:

                  i.    Remain in the examination room or consultation room at all times
                        during all professional encounters with patients, even if another
                        person is accompanying the patient;
                  
                  ii.   Carefully observe all of his physical examinations with an
                        unobstructed view of the examination; 
                  
                  iii.  Refrain from performing any other functions, except those required
                        in the Practice Monitor's undertaking attached as Appendix "A" (the
                        "Practice Monitor's Undertaking"), while observing him in all his
                        professional encounters with patients;
                  
                  iv.   Keep a patient log in the form attached as Appendix "B" to this
                        Order of all the patients with whom Dr. Phipps has an in-person
                        professional encounter in the Practice Monitor's presence (the
                        "Log");
                  
                  v.    Initial the corresponding entry in the records of each patient
                        noted in the Log to confirm that the Practice Monitor was in the
                        presence of Dr. Phipps at all times during in-person professional
                        encounter;
                  
                  vi.   Submit the original Log to the College on a monthly basis; and
                  
                  vii.  Provide reports (as described in the Practice Monitor's
                        Undertaking) to the College on at least a monthly basis. 
                  
            (b)   Dr. Phipps shall post a sign in each of his examination and consultations
                  rooms that states: "Dr. Nigel Mark Phipps must not have professional
                  encounters, in person or otherwise, with patients, unless in the
                  continuous presence of and under the continuous observation of a practice
                  monitor acceptable to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
                  Dr. Phipps must not be alone with patients in any examination or
                  consulting room. Further information may be found on the College website
                  at www.cpso.on.ca;"

            (c)   Dr. Phipps shall continue therapy with a College-approved psychiatrist,
                  who shall provide written reports to the College quarterly for two years
                  and thereafter, every six (6) months. Dr. Phipps shall meet with the
                  psychiatrist as often as recommended by the psychiatrist;

            (d)   Dr. Phipps shall inform the College of each and every location where he
                  practices, in any jurisdiction ("Practice Location(s)") within five (5)
                  days of commencing practice at that location; and

            (e)   Dr. Phipps shall be responsible for all costs associated with
                  implementing the terms of this Order.

Previous Hearings Flag: indicates a concern or additional information

Committee: Discipline
Decision Date: 27 Aug 2018
Summary:

On August 27, 2018, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Nigel Mark Phipps 
committed an act of professional misconduct, in that he has engaged in the sexual abuse 
of patients, and in that he has engaged 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.  
 
Allegations referred by Notices of Hearing dated September 7, 2016 and October 11, 
2017, were dealt with in one hearing. 
 
Sexual Abuse of Patients 
 
In this matter, the allegation of sexual abuse referred to touching of a sexual nature, and 
behaviour or remarks of a sexual nature, by the member towards a patient. To establish 
sexual abuse of a patient by a member, the definition specifies that the touching, 
behaviour or remarks at issue must be of a ‘sexual nature’ and not of a clinical nature 
appropriate to the service provided.  
 
Dr. Phipps is a family physician. Dr. Phipps did not contest that the eleven individuals 
were patients at the relevant times. 
 
During the period late August to early October 2014, Dr. Phipps showed one or more 
naked photographs of himself to eleven female patients during clinical visits. The women 
had been long-term patients of Dr. Phipps. They had trusted Dr. Phipps. In many 
instances, the women were shown a photograph in which Dr. Phipps’ penis was erect or 
semi-erect. Often, he used the pretext of an apparently innocuous story from a golf trip he 
had taken more than two years before showing the photos. Some patients were shown 
naked photographs that had nothing to do with the golf trip and that Dr. Phipps took later 
at his home. 
 
The Committee found that Dr. Phipps’ conduct in showing one or more naked 
photographs of himself to each of eleven patients constitutes behaviour of a sexual nature 
towards a patient. The Committee therefore found that Dr. Phipps sexually abused each 
of the eleven patients. 
 
The Committee found that Dr. Phipps was sexually aroused after showing the photos to 
two of the patients (Patient B) and (Patient A). The Committee therefore found that Dr. 
Phipps sexually abused Patient B and Patient A by becoming sexually aroused during his 
interactions with each of these patients. 
 
Dr. Phipps acknowledged that he made comments to two patients to the effect that ‘I’ve 
seen yours, now you’ve seen mine’ or ‘I’ve seen you naked, now you’ve seen me naked’ 
(Patients C, I). In addition, Patient B testified that Dr. Phipps said to her as she was 
leaving, ‘Now you know more about me than most of my patients.’ Further, Patient A 
testified that Dr. Phipps said to her, ‘Ain’t I well-endowed for a man my age’ after 
showing her the full-frontal photograph. The Committee found that each of these 
comments is remarks of a sexual nature and constitutes sexual abuse. Given the context 
in which each comment was made, specifically after Dr. Phipps had shown each patient a 
naked photograph of himself, the Committee found that an objective observer would 
 conclude that each of these comments further sexualized the encounter with these four 
 patients and constitutes sexual abuse. 
  
 Patient A testified that on the date of the visit when Dr. Phipps showed her his naked 
photograph, she was also examined by Dr. Phipps. She was seated on the examining 
 table, Dr. Phipps stood facing her, leaned forward slightly, and pressed on her ribs with 
 his right hand while lifting her top with his left hand. It was as he was leaning in that 
 Patient A felt what she believed was an erection. She was adamant that it was Dr. Phipps’ 
 erect penis that she felt. The Committee found that Dr. Phipps engaged in touching of a 
 sexual nature of Patient A when he touched her leg with his erect penis during the 
 physical examination conducted after he had shown her the full-frontal photograph. 
  
 Disgraceful, Dishonourable or Unprofessional Conduct  
  
 Dr. Phipps admitted that he 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. 
  
 Dr. Phipps showed naked photographs of himself to eleven patients, made remarks of a 
 sexual nature to four patients, became sexually aroused during the encounters with two 
 patients and touched one patient in a sexual manner. He engaged in this conduct with 
 patients who had come to trust him over many years.  
  
 Trust is the cornerstone of the physician-patient relationship. When a patient seeks care 
 from a physician, the patient trusts that the physician is a professional and will treat her in 
 a professional manner. Physicians must establish and maintain appropriate professional 
 boundaries with patients or the professional relationship is jeopardized and patients are at 
 risk of great harm. Violations of such boundaries, particularly of a sexual nature, can 
 engender in patients a loss of trust in the physician and in the health professions and 
 feelings of betrayal, victimization, anger, shame and guilt. Sexualizing the relationship 
 and sharing highly personal and private material represent a clear and profound breach of 
 trust, and would be viewed by members of the profession as disgraceful, dishonourable 
 and unprofessional conduct. 
  
 Dr. Phipps also showed naked photographs of himself to three staff members. Dr. Phipps 
 was in a position of authority with respect to the staff at the clinic. His behaviour in 
 sharing naked photographs of himself with clinic staff was wholly inappropriate and 
 unacceptable. In the Committee’s view, it rose well above the level of unacceptable into 
 disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional conduct based on the highly personal and 
 private nature of the material and the intent to embarrass. However, whether or not the 
 staff were uncomfortable, shocked or otherwise adversely affected is not relevant; 
 conduct need not be harmful to be unprofessional.  
  
 There are boundaries to physicians’ behaviour towards patients, colleagues, coworkers 
 and the public. Physicians are expected to strictly maintain those boundaries and if they 
 do not do so, they should expect to be judged adversely. Boundaries in a physician’s 
 workplace are essential so as to provide an atmosphere of safety and respect for all. They 
help control and address issues of workplace harassment, workplace safety, and power 
imbalance in settings that are often fast-paced, intense, and stressful. Dr. Phipps’ conduct 
crossed such boundaries and constitutes disgraceful, dishonourable, and unprofessional 
conduct. It cannot be tolerated. 
 
The Committee accepted Dr. Phipps admission and found that he committed an act of 
professional misconduct in that he has engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable and 
unprofessional conduct in relation to eleven patients and three clinic staff. 
 
DISPOSITION 
 
On September 18, 2019, the Committee ordered and directed that: 
 
-  The Registrar suspend Dr. Phipps’s certificate of registration for a period of fourteen 
   (14) months, commencing on October 1, 2019. 
-  The Registrar place the following terms, conditions and limitations on Dr. Phipps’s 
   certificate of registration: 
       
  o  Dr Phipps shall not engage in any professional encounters, in person or otherwise 
     (“Professional Encounters)”), with patients of any age, in any jurisdiction, unless 
     the Professional Encounter takes place in the continuous presence and under the 
     continuous observation of a monitor who is a regulated health professional 
     acceptable to the College (the “Practice Monitor”). At all times, Dr. Phipps shall 
     ensure that the Practice Monitor shall: 
     ?     Remain in the examination room or consultation room at all times during 
           all professional encounters with patients, even if another person is 
           accompanying the patient; 
     ?     Carefully observe all of his physical examinations with an unobstructed 
           view of the examination;  
     ?     Refrain from performing any other functions, except those required in the 
           Practice Monitor’s undertaking attached as Appendix “A” (the “Practice 
           Monitor’s Undertaking”), while observing him in all his professional 
           encounters with patients; 
     ?     Keep a patient log in the form attached as Appendix “B” to this Order of 
           all the patients with whom Dr. Phipps has an in-person professional 
           encounter in the Practice Monitor’s presence (the “Log”); 
     ?     Initial the corresponding entry in the records of each patient noted in the 
           Log to confirm that the Practice Monitor was in the presence of Dr. Phipps 
           at all times during in-person professional encounter; 
     ?     Submit the original Log to the College on a monthly basis; and 
     ?     Provide reports (as described in the Practice Monitor’s Undertaking) to the 
           College on at least a monthly basis.  
          
  o  Dr. Phipps shall post a sign in each of his examination and consultations rooms 
     that states: “Dr. Nigel Mark Phipps must not have professional encounters, in 
     person or otherwise, with patients, unless in the continuous presence of and under 
     the continuous observation of a practice monitor acceptable to the College of 
     Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Dr. Phipps must not be alone with patients in 
        any examination or consulting room. Further information may be found on the 
        College website at www.cpso.on.ca;” 
         
     o  Dr. Phipps shall continue therapy with a College-approved psychiatrist, who shall 
        provide written reports to the College quarterly for two years and thereafter, every 
        six (6) months. Dr. Phipps shall meet with the psychiatrist as often as 
        recommended by the psychiatrist; 
         
     o  Dr. Phipps shall inform the College of each and every location where he practices, 
        in any jurisdiction (“Practice Location(s)”) within five (5) days of commencing 
        practice at that location; and 
     o  Dr. Phipps shall be responsible for all costs associated with implementing the 
        terms of this Order. 
                   
-  Dr. Phipps shall reimburse the College funding under the program required under section 
   85.7 of the Code with respect to eleven (11) patients, by posting an irrevocable letter of 
   credit or other security acceptable to the College, within thirty (30) days of this order in 
   the amount of $176,660.00. 
-  Dr. Phipps attend before the panel to be reprimanded. 
-  If the parties cannot agree on costs, the Committee will consider written submissions on 
   costs to be delivered by counsel for Dr. Phipps and the College by September 30, 2019 
   and then each party may deliver its response in writing by October 7, 2019.


Decision: Download Full Decision (PDF)
Hearing Date(s): July 31- August 1, October 26-27, November 13, 2017 Penalty hearing dates: June 24-26, 2019