A Calgary doctor has been suspended from practicing medicine after he was found guilty by the CPSA of having an inappropriate relationship with a patient.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta suspended Dr. William Healley for a minimum of 10 months and ordered him to pay investigative costs amounting to over $35,000. He must also meet certain conditions before he can return to his practice.

A Hearing Tribunal of the CPSA found that Dr. Healley flirted with Patient X during medical appointments and complimented and hugged her.

Patient X and her children were patients of Dr. Healley’s family practice.

The CPSA says the patient/doctor relationship then progressed to a sexual relationship.

They say that the patient stopped seeing Dr. Healley for her own medical care before the sexual relationship began but Dr. Healley never formally ended that relationship and the associated power imbalance of the relationship still existed at the time of the physical and sexual relationship.

Dr. Healley was also found guilty of unbecoming conduct because he treated patient X’s two minor children while he was having a sexual relationship with her.

The Tribunal says the patient accompanied and acted as a guardian for the children at medical appointments with Dr. Healley, further contributing to the power imbalance between Dr. Healley and Patient X.

The Hearing Tribunal decided that:

  1. Dr. Healley’s practice permit will be suspended for sixteen (16) months. Dr. Healley will serve ten (10) months of active suspension starting on January 1, 2013. An additional six (6) months will be held in abeyance pending completion of the conditions outlined below.
  2. Dr. Healley must complete a boundaries course acceptable to the College’s Complaints Director.
  3. Dr. Healley must pay for and fully participate in a multi-disciplinary assessment at the Gabbard Center in Texas, or another assessment program that is acceptable to the College’s Complaints Director.
  4. If the assessment determines Dr. Healley is not fit to return to work, his practice permit will continue to be suspended until he is found fit to return to practice, even if the period of active suspension has expired.
  5. As a result of the assessment, conditions may be imposed on Dr. Healley’s practice permit by the College’s Complaints Director.
  6. In addition to any practice permit conditions recommended from the multi-disciplinary assessment, Dr. Healley must have a chaperone present with all female patients. The chaperone must be aware of the Hearing Tribunal’s findings and have successfully completed the College’s chaperone training course.
  7. Dr. Healley is required to participate in the College’s boundary violators’ aftercare program for a minimum of five years.
  8. If the Complaints Director believes Dr. Healley has not complied with the terms of the Hearing Tribunal’s order, the matter will be brought back to a Hearing Tribunal to determine if Dr. Healley should serve all or a portion of the suspension being held in abeyance.
  9. Dr. Healley is responsible for the full costs of the investigation and the Hearing Tribunal in the amount of $35,363.60.