The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan has suspended a Regina doctor for three months and ordered him to have a female chaperone for all interactions with female patients, after finding he engaged in inappropriate touching and behaviour with two female patients.
“The discipline committee that heard the allegations concluded there was grooming behaviour, [and] inappropriate stethoscope examination of a patient” by Dr. El-fellani Mohammed, said Bryan Salte, the college’s associate registrar and legal counsel.
In a decision dated July 19, 2019, and published on the college’s website Friday, the college’s disciplinary hearing committee said Mohammed engaged in “a number of acts” involving the two female patients that “constituted professional misconduct individually and can also be seen as an escalating pattern of unprofessional conduct.”
According to the college’s decision, Mohammed, an endocrinologist, put his hand, with a stethoscope, down the front of a female patient’s shirt on July 19, 2016, and placed his hand near her breast.
Similar behaviour also occurred with the same patient on or around Aug. 18 of that year, the college’s decision says.
The charges also say on that date, Mohammed put his arm around the woman’s lower back and hip, and touched her buttocks.
The statement also says that that month he engaged in similar behaviour with a second patient, including reaching under her shirt to place a stethoscope on her breast, and touching the patient “in inappropriate places and/or for extended times.”
He was also accused of engaging in inappropriate conversation with that patient, including asking if he could visit her at her work.
The disciplinary committee’s decision says “the evidence in this matter, which we find to be clear, convincing, and cogent, supports a finding that Dr. Mohammed is guilty of unprofessional conduct … that we find to be unbecoming, improper, unprofessional or discreditable.”
Salte said Mohammed was given a reprimand in writing, a three-month suspension beginning Oct. 14 and a cost order of $87,000 payable over 13 months.
He is also required to have a chaperone for all interactions with female patients, and was ordered to take ethics and boundaries courses.
Salte said the penalties are meant to ensure that Mohammed does not engage in the same behaviour in the future.
“One of the ways of ensuring that is to require that there be a chaperone present for all examinations of female patients in future,” Salte said.
The college also posted a decision Friday against Dr. Alfred Ernst, a Rosetown, Sask., doctor who was accused of improper billing.
He was given a two-month suspension and ordered to pay $80,000 over six months, and to take an ethics course.