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Dr. Ricardo Sarria sanctioned for crossing boundaries with patient

Hearing Decisions, Media Release | Posted November 17, 2023

Edmonton, AB – Dr. Ricardo Sarria, a general practitioner from Edmonton, was sanctioned by a CPSA Hearing Tribunal for inappropriate behaviour with a patient.

Dr. Sarria was accused of failing to maintain an appropriate relationship with his patient (who was 17-18 years old at the time) during the period of November 2008 to May 2010, by kissing his patient and asking inappropriate questions unrelated to the patient’s medical care. A complaint was made to CPSA in 2020, at which time a condition was placed on Dr. Sarria’s practice permit, requiring a chaperone be in attendance for all encounters with female patients.

Dr. Sarria initially denied the allegations, but ultimately agreed to a No-Contest agreement. A No-Contest agreement means he did not admit to the conduct, but agreed to not call evidence or dispute any evidence put forward by CPSA. After reviewing the evidence presented, the Hearing Tribunal accepted the patient’s description of what occurred, found Dr. Sarria guilty of unprofessional conduct and accepted the joint submission on sanction, which included the following:

  • Dr. Sarria is suspended from practice for a period of six months, with three months held in abeyance unless CPSA receives a new complaint about Dr. Sarria’s conduct occurring after the date of the Tribunal’s decision.
  • At his own cost, Dr. Sarria must complete and unconditionally pass a course on ethics and boundaries.
  • The conditions currently in place on Dr. Sarria’s practice permit will remain.
  • Dr. Sarria is responsible for 75 per cent of the cost of the hearing and investigation.

As Dr. Sarria’s conduct occurred prior to the implementation of An Act to Protect Patients, mandatory sanctions under that legislation do not apply. Dr. Sarria indicated to the Tribunal he intends to retire at the end of 2023. If he does retire, Dr. Sarria will not be required to fulfill his suspension or complete the required course as he will no longer be in practice.

CPSA Hearing Tribunal decision

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