Ontario surgeon suspended for crude Twitter remarks about 2 female doctors
A doctor is seen in this stock image.
TORONTO -- A longtime Ontario surgeon has been suspended for one month and ordered to pay a $6,000 fine for crude remarks he made on Twitter about two female physicians.
On Friday, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) ruled that Dr. Angus Maciver was guilty of professional misconduct when he described Dr. Ashvinder Lamba and Dr. Kulvinder Gill as “whining corksoakers” and “t--ts,” an offensive term for female genitals, in a tweet from September 2018.
“The effing best is that these overpaid but whining corksoakers still have me on their list but have effing blocked me… the Ash and Kulvinder t--ts,” he wrote.
Lamba and Gill, from the advocacy group Concerned Ontario Doctors, both said they have never met or interacted with Maciver before, but they believe he targeted them because of their vocal criticism of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA).
Maciver has been a general surgeon in Ontario for decades and was the former president of the Ontario Association of General Surgeons. In 2015, he was awarded the “OMA Life Member Award” for his 20 years on the OMA council.
Following Maciver’s tweet, both Gill and Lamba took to social media to denounce his remarks and called on the province’s wider medical community to condemn them as well.
“Glimpse of OMA’s toxicity,” Gill wrote. “He feels so empowered that he now publicly makes his racist, sexist & misogynistic comments.”
They also filed a complaint with CPSO, in which he was accused of engaging in “disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct and/or conduct unbecoming a physician in his social media communications, including his comments regarding other physicians.”
During Friday’s hearing, which Maciver attended, the college’s counsel Ruth Ainsworth said the surgeon exposed Gill and Lamba to “demeaning language” in a public forum.
“It must be emphasized that the words Dr. Maciver used are explicit and sexualized and entirely unprofessional and inappropriate,” she said. “And for Dr. Maciver to use such language to insult two young female physicians unprompted in a public forum that was accessible to their entire profession exposed them as targets to humiliating public exposure. It is shocking unwarranted and deserving of censure.”
In a direct message to CTVNews.ca on Twitter, Maciver said he has “no comments at this time” regarding the College’s decision.
In 2018, Maciver apologized on social media for the language he used to describe the doctors. It’s unclear if he’s apologized to Gill and Lamba directly.
In an interview with The Canadian Press in September, Maciver said he was “just angry and overstated my case” when he wrote the tweet.
On Friday, Shae Greenfield, a senior communications advisor for the college, said Maciver received a formal reprimand from the CPSO and a one-month suspension. He was also ordered to pay $6,000 in legal costs. Maciver has already “completed professional education on his own,” Greenfield said.
With files from The Canadian Press