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Professional Conduct report September 2021

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Discipline Decisions, September Messenger 2021 | Posted September 10, 2021
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Dr. Ian Postnikoff guilty of unprofessional conduct

Dr. Ian Postnikoff, a psychiatrist, was found guilty of unprofessional conduct by a CPSA hearing tribunal after failing to report a sexual relationship with a patient on several of his Renewal Information Forms (RIF).

Background

Dr. Postnikoff falsely denied having a sexual relationship with a patient before finally self-reporting the relationship to CPSA in late 2017.

The hearing tribunal noted that Dr. Postnikoff’s unprofessional conduct would be worthy of significant sanction had he not elected to retire in January 2018 with a signed undertaking to never reapply. He is responsible for paying two-thirds of the costs of the investigation and hearing (totaling $10,204.29), in addition to a fine of $5,000.

Commentary

A sexual boundary violation constitutes serious unprofessional conduct and undermines the integrity of the profession. If a physician has ever provided a patient with psychotherapeutic treatment, a sexual relationship can never occur. Under the Health Professions Act (HPA), a sexual relationship of this nature would be considered sexual abuse, given the inherent power imbalance of the physician-patient relationship, and would result in mandatory permanent revocation of the regulated member’s practice permit.

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