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Medical regulator looks to revoke licence of doctor who showed naked photos of himself to patients

Ontario’s medical regulator is seeking to revoke the licence of a doctor who showed naked photos of himself to 11 patients and three staff members.

Last year, the discipline committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario found Dr. Nigel Mark Phipps committed professional misconduct when he displayed the nude pictures of himself to patients, made remarks of a sexual nature to others and touched at least one patient in a sexual manner.

The committee also found the family physician’s behaviour in showing similar photos to staff members “rose well above the level of unacceptable into disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional conduct.”

Phipps’s case was adjourned for months while he sought treatment for medical issues, but in a hearing Wednesday, lawyers for the college asked the committee to impose the most severe penalty available.

The college’s lawyer, Elizabeth Widner, argued the doctor’s actions did not amount to a momentary lapse of judgment — rather, they spanned weeks and affected several patients, some of them dealing with serious physical or emotional issues.

Defence lawyers, meanwhile, have said Phipps should instead be suspended from practising medicine for more than a year.

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