Parry Sound surgeon accused of harassing nurses, making crude gestures with amputated toes, cautioned for ‘unprofessional behaviour’

A Parry Sound surgeon accused of harassing nurses and making crude gestures with amputated toes within the working room has been cautioned by Ontario’s medical watchdog for “unprofessional behaviour.”

Dr. Invoice Smyth, who was chief of surgical procedure on the native hospital till the allegations surfaced, advised the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) he made errors and now understands how “inappropriate” a few of his behaviour was, based on the CPSO resolution in his case.


The CPSO has directed the orthopedic surgeon to look in individual to obtain his warning. The CPSO has not mentioned when it will occur.

“(Dr. Smyth) acknowledged that he failed to speak in addition to he ought to have, significantly with two nurses, and that he used to carry amputated digits between his fingers as a joking gesture,” reads the latest CPSO resolution within the long-running case.

Nurses who complained to the hospital and the CPSO are upset that the choice didn’t go additional. “Right here now we have only one extra kick within the face to girls who communicate out,” mentioned a nurse (the Star shouldn’t be figuring out complainants as they concern for his or her job safety). “If a feminine nurse or a feminine physician did this, together with utilizing amputated human digits in a sexualized method, they might be suspended instantly.”


The case is without doubt one of the oddest to return earlier than the medical regulator. On the one hand: a collection of weird allegations involving a physician whose uncommon behaviour is akin to the antics of a few of the army medical doctors on the fictional 1970s tv present M*A*S*H (a medical unit within the Korean Conflict was the backdrop for the long-running collection) and whose personal electronic mail is “drbonebanger.” On the opposite: a physician whose record of testimonials on his personal web site credit score the northern doctor for life-saving work. “We’re grateful and simply pleased we share the planet with such an incredible human,” says one unsigned testimonial.

The motorcycle-driving Smyth is a well-recognized sight in Parry Sound, a group in Georgian Bay generally known as a centre for cottagers, hunters and because the hometown of Boston Bruins’ nice Bobby Orr. Smyth, who wears vibrant garments and workboots within the working room, additionally operates an orthopedic surgical procedure clinic on the hospital together with his spouse.

Reached by the Toronto Star Monday, Smyth hung up the cellphone earlier than answering any questions.


A Toronto Star story introduced problems with Smyth’s conduct to mild in December 2017. On the time, Smyth was chief of surgical procedure on the West Parry Sound Well being Centre. Two investigations have been launched, one by the hospital, the opposite by the province’s medical watchdog.

Among the many complaints introduced ahead by nurses have been allegations of threatening and “bullying” and that after an operation to amputate a affected person’s toe he made a crude gesture with the toe sticking up between his fingers. One nurse described it as a “f— you” gesture.


Nurses interviewed by the Star — who additionally made complaints to investigators — mentioned Smyth was identified to make “honking sounds together with his arms in direction of the scrub nurse’s breasts” whereas she helped him placed on a sterile robe. It was additionally alleged Smyth “would hit nurses at the back of the pinnacle or kick them as he walked by” within the hospital.

In one other grievance investigated by the CPSO, a nurse mentioned she felt unsafe when, whereas she was alone in a room, he walked in and stared at her silently. When she blushed, the nurse alleged Smyth referred to as in one other physician and laughed, declaring how he had made the nurse “get purple for Large Daddy.”

One other nurse complained of Smyth’s actions in the course of the operation on a feminine affected person who was underneath basic anesthesia awaiting a hip substitute, Smyth is alleged to have despatched a younger nurse to a different room for what he referred to as a “pedonga dilator,” a tool that doesn’t exist. When the nurse returned empty-handed, medical doctors have been laughing, together with Smyth, based on the grievance. In interviews, nurses advised the Star Smyth makes use of the phrase “pedonga” as slang for vagina. One other nurse had complained Smyth “belittled” her in an working room to the purpose she burst into tears.


“It’s terrible behaviour. It’s not OK,” mentioned one senior nurse in an interview with the Star. “If we get cultured to consider it’s OK to hold on like this, then folks will be capable of do what they need.”

The hospital initially carried out its personal probe utilizing an unbiased investigator and in April 2018 the hospital’s CEO, Donald Sanderson, mentioned the “outcomes of that investigation have concluded that Dr. Smyth has engaged in behaviour that was discovered to be unprofessional, disrespectful and harassing in relation to those complaints.”

The hospital requested for and obtained Smyth’s resignation as chief of surgical procedure. He was allowed to take care of his privileges as a surgeon on the hospital. Smyth was additionally required to finish an “ethics and limits” program and to concern a written apology to any individual whose grievance towards him was “substantiated,” the hospital advised the Star.


Separate from the hospital’s investigation, the province’s medical watchdog launched a probe. That led to a prolonged investigation, with the outcomes introduced this February in entrance of a particular surgical procedure committee of the CPSO (medical doctors with surgical procedure backgrounds are on the committee).

In line with a abstract of the committee’s remaining report, Smyth “denied most of the claims made towards him. He detailed particular witness data refuting the vast majority of the allegations and placing others into context,” the committee report states.

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“Nevertheless, the committee nonetheless discovered there was regarding data demonstrating that (Smyth) engaged in some inappropriate behaviour within the OR (Working Room).”

In response to queries from the CPSO committee, Smyth acknowledged his behavior of “joking” gestures with amputated toes, the committee report states. Nurses advised the Star Smyth had revealed within the working room this was a “ritual” he had completed for years after eradicating a toe (for diabetes, frostbite or different well being issues).


As a part of the CPSO process, the committee heard from the hospital’s chief nursing officer and director of affected person care, who indicated Smyth’s “behaviour is effectively monitored and continues to be passable.” No new complaints have been made since he accomplished his boundary course in 2018.

The CPSO committee determined to order Smyth to look in individual for a warning as a result of it “remained involved about his unprofessional communications and the way wherein he behaved within the OR.”

The Parry Sound hospital confirmed Tuesday that Smyth has no administration position on the hospital, however maintains “acceptable surgical privileges.” Hospital spokesperson Jim Hanna mentioned the hospital “continues to concentrate on fostering and sustaining a simply tradition devoted to respectful teamwork in a secure office dedicated to the supply of secure, high quality care.”


This isn’t Smyth’s first run-in with allegations of improper behaviour. He got here to Parry Sound after an arbitrator reviewing his time on the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital present in 2008 “the recurrence of disruptive and aggressive behaviour by Dr. Smyth over a chronic time period.”

In line with data made public in courtroom when Smyth appealed what he agreed can be binding arbitration, the Perth hospital had for years handled allegations of bullying behaviour by the surgeon. Smyth was despatched to a battle decision program and made to attend “anger administration analysis.” Along with his actions towards others, the arbitrator famous that Smyth allegedly wouldn’t full affected person charts or present “on-call providers” to the hospital.

Medical doctors have to use yearly for “privileges” to work at a hospital, and in 2007 his utility was denied by the Perth hospital directors, resulting in the arbitration.


The arbitrator’s report discovered there was a historical past courting again to 1999 of Smyth’s “aggressive and damaging behaviour.” Additional, the arbitrator famous “Dr. Smyth’s behaviour has been bullying, obstructive and manipulative” and that he appeared to haven’t any understanding of the impression of his behaviour on colleagues.

“It’s clear that Dr. Smyth’s behaviour has had a profound impression on his colleagues, having completely broken skilled relationships and belief between lots of his colleagues and himself. His behaviour has created a poisoned surroundings which has prolonged past the medical employees to contain the (hospital) board and the group,” the arbitrator, Dr. Peter McLaughlin, dominated.


Provided an opportunity to go away the hospital, Smyth opted to struggle in courtroom, as much as the Ontario Court docket of Enchantment, an effort that was finally unsuccessful, and he moved to Parry Sound. The courtroom dominated Smyth needed to pay the Perth hospital’s medical advisory committee $25,000 to cowl its prices of preventing the enchantment.