“Holy mackerel, you’re small, which is good for …” earns repeat offender GP re-education

Re: Richard George Y [2007] MPBV is a decision of the Medical Board of Victoria about a GP and former model, a one-time member of Cleo’s 50 most eligible bachelors who came to grief a second time for inappropriate comments while his hands were in his patient’s genital area. “Holy Mackerel, you’re small, which is good for …” he said before the poor patient cut him off. According to Socialized Medicine blog, Dr Y “had his licence suspended for 15 months in 2001 after engaging in sexual relationships with two … female patients. His licence was renewed on the condition a chaperone be present when he examined female patients.”

This time around, he was an “unreliable witness”. He gave evidence which the Board simply did not believe. The Board was at pains to point out that there was no allegation of sexual impropriety, but there was a finding of unnecessary double-digital penetration with thrusting followed by unsatifactory evidence as to why it had been necessary. He got reprimanded, cautioned, and ordered to undergo some counselling by senior doctors, the Board making no comment in assessing sentence on the unsatisfactoriness of his evidence despite the fact that one obvious possible explanation for its unsatisfactoriness was that he had lied to his professional regulator. On the characterisation of the conduct, the Board said:

“Counsel Assisting the Panel submitted that [Dr Y’s] conduct constituted not just conduct of a lesser standard than the public or his peers might expect, but also professional misconduct and infamous conduct as defined in paragraphs (c) and (d) of the definition of unprofessional conduct.

The Panel agrees that his conduct constitutes unprofessional conduct, in that having found three allegations proved, it could not be said that his conduct was not sufficiently severe to warrant intervention by the Board, and it is conduct that is of a lesser standard than the public or his peers might reasonably expect.

However the Panel does not agree that [Dr Y’s] conduct constitutes professional misconduct or infamous conduct in a professional respect. This case was not presented as a sexual misconduct case and the Panel makes no such finding. The question of whether conduct moves from being of a lesser standard than the public or his peers might reasonably expect to misconduct and infamous conduct is one of degree, and the Panel considers that the conduct has not reached the level of professional misconduct and infamous conduct in these circumstances.

Having found that his conduct is unprofessional conduct within the meaning of paragraphs (a) and (b) of the definition of ‘unprofessional conduct’ in section 3(1) of the Act, the Panel finds pursuant to section 45A(1) of the Act that in respect of allegations (b), (d) and (e), [Dr Y] has engaged in unprofessional conduct of a serious nature.”

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