The new head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta is facing allegations of sexual misconduct from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario regarding a patient he attended while living there.
Dr. Claudio Soares, who started his term as department head on Sept. 1, moved to Edmonton over the summer from Hamilton, Ont., where his field of practice took place at the Women’s Health Concerns Clinic.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) released a statement to The Gateway concerning the allegations, which are unproven at this time. Soares was issued a Notice of Hearing, dated July 11, 2012. Additionally, a practice restriction was issued August 7, 2012 on his certificate of registration.
“Effective immediately, Dr. Soares shall not engage in any professional encounters with female patients of any age, in any jurisdiction, unless the patient encounter takes place in the presence of a female regulated health professional approved by the College,” the statement reads.
“For further clarity, Dr. Soares may not be alone with any female patient, during any professional encounter.”
The CPSO also released Soares’ Notice of Hearing to The Gateway. The notice states that Soares is being investigated for “acts of professional misconduct,” which include the sexual abuse of a patient.
It adds that Soares engaged in “touching of a sexual nature of Patient A, behaviour and/or remarks of a sexual nature towards Patient A, kissing with Patient A, fellatio of Dr. Soares by Patient A, sexual intercourse with Patient A, and/or other forms of physical sexual relations between Patient A and Dr. Soares.”
Additionally, the notice alleges that Soares failed to cooperate fully with an appointed investigator.
Soares is on leave at present, but a statement from the School of Dentistry confirmed that he is a U of A employee as of Sept. 1, 2012.
“The Faculty is aware of matters involving a complaint against Dr. Soares now before The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario,” the statement reads.
The faculty declined requests for an interview, citing confidentially for all employment and personnel matters.
Note: The headline for this article was amended on Sept. 15.
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