Louis-Armstrong

Former Barrie surgeon agrees not to practise medicine again, anywhere

A former Barrie surgeon has given up his licence to practise medicine and has promised his regulatory body to never apply to register as a physician ever again, anywhere.

The agreement arose following a College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) disciplinary hearing last week.

“The agreement to never reapply for registration… is the maximum level of punishment available in this situation,” said CPSO communications advisor Josh McLarnon.

The college had earlier launched investigations into Dr. Emad M. Guirguis and his now-defunct Lakeview Surgery Centre on Dunlop Street following complaints.

He was found to perform cosmetic surgery that was outside his scope of practice as a physician, not having the proper training and certification.

He also engaged in unprofessional conduct through online advertising and communications with a specific patient.

In addition to the practice ban, he was ordered to pay $6,000.

“Dr. Guirguis has been brought forward to the discipline committee on a number of occasions,” McLarnon added.

An investigation was first launched in 2015 resulting in a caution three years later.

Another caution was later issued relating to his compliance of the first issue.

In one complaint, Guirguis tried to perform bariatric revision gastric band surgery, but decided not to complete the surgery because he encountered extensive scar tissue from previous surgeries. According to documents from the college’s compliance and monitoring department, he perforated the patient’s bowel during the surgery, resulting in ongoing complications.

The complainant said he did not communicate or follow up with her after the surgery or provide a refund of her fee.

“The committee… was of the view that the respondent’s pre-operative assessment was insufficient,” the decision of the inquiries, complaints and reports committee found.

In another report, an independent assessor concluded: “Dr. Guirguis did not meet the standard of practice of the profession in some of the cases reviewed; his knowledge was adequate but basic; his surgical skills were adequate for his limited scope of practice; his judgment was not always adequate, mostly because the brief documentation does not allow a full understanding of his train of thought and exposes omissions or incomplete assessments; and in the reviewed cases his clinical practice, behaviour, or conduct had the potential to expose one patient to harm.”

Other assessors, it added, found broad deficiencies in Dr. Guirguis’s practice.

In a report from Dec. 14, 2018, Guirguis was cautioned about not providing a full explanation of a procedure to a patient and ensuring the patient had full clarity about what was going to be done following a complaint to the college about the outcome of a cosmetic surgical procedure.

According to CPSO documents, Guirguis agreed he has engaged in an act or omission relevant to the practice of medicine that would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.

He was ultimately found to have committed an act of professional misconduct.

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Dr. Guirguis’s certificate of registration expired Sept. 4, 2020.

In addition to the clinic, Guirguis was also once a staff general surgeon at Barrie’s Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre.

Guirguis did not respond to requests for comment, but according to his Facebook page he is studying for his master’s degree in theological studies at Tyndale University College and Seminary.

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