A disciplinary council has found that a Montreal obstetrician-gynecologist made an inappropriate sexual remark to a patient — his second such infraction.
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In the latest case, Allan B. Climan was alleged to have said “Thank you for the good time” after doing a vaginal exam on a patient about to give birth at the Jewish General Hospital in April 2022.
In a 31-page ruling dated Jan. 16, the Collège des médecins du Québec’s disciplinary council said Climan’s explanation was not credible. It also found Climan guilty of failing to abide by an order to have a woman present while examining patients, and of not updating the patient’s file.
Climan’s licence was revoked until further notice in July by the professional order. At the time, the order said it was “concerned for the protection of the public.”
At a three-day hearing on guilt in October, Eden Siv, a Jewish General nurse, testified that after Climan first examined a pregnant patient on April 22, he “took off his gloves and I heard him whisper, ‘Thank you for the good time.’ ”
The patient told investigators she didn’t hear the comment.
Climan, who is in his 70s and has been a doctor since 1981, told the hearing he did not recall making a statement about “a good time.”
He said if he did utter the words, it may have been due to the fact that during the examination, he realized the patient had “the biggest pelvis I have ever seen.” That appeared to show the woman was not going to have a problem delivering her baby, he added.
In its decision, the disciplinary council said Climan’s explanation was “absolutely not believable, even implausible.”
It said Siv’s version was “more credible, reliable and convincing.”
It added: “Although the patient did not testify and it appears from the proof that she and her spouse did not hear Dr. Climan’s words and that they declared themselves satisfied with the services rendered and the examinations carried out by him, this is not decisive in deciding whether Dr. Climan breached his obligations.”
From 1989 to 2020, Climan was the subject of 11 disciplinary investigations, according to the council. Five of them concerned “abusive remarks of a sexual nature.”
In 2019, Climan was fined $2,500 and stripped of his licence for two years for making “vulgar and inappropriate” sexual remarks. He was accused of telling a patient: “You have a great little body, I can’t wait to examine you and I’m sure you have a beautiful vagina.”
In the fall of 2021, he was reinstated, with the condition that a woman be present during examinations.
In the latest decision, the disciplinary council found Climan contravened that order when he examined the patient on his own at the Jewish General in April 2022.
Climan argued it was an emergency situation. Siv and Dr. Josée Truchon, an obstetrician-gynecologist on duty that night, testified Climan could have found a female nurse or doctor to join him.
The council found that Climan clearly contravened the order and said his behaviour “could have an impact on trust in the profession.”
The three-member council also found Climan guilty of failing to record updates in the patient’s file.
“The missing information in Dr. Climan’s notes is important and can be a source of error, especially if another professional has to follow up with the patient,” the ruling said.
The council said a hearing will be held at a future date about the penalty Climan will face.
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