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College Releases Review of Sexual Misconduct Investigations

The Canadian Centre for Legal Innovation in Sexual Assault Response (CCLISAR) has completed its independent review of the College’s processes regarding the investigation of sexual misconduct complaints against physicians.

“The College opened up its process to external experts for review. Our goal is to remove any barriers to reporting sexual misconduct and to reduce the unintended harms that can occur when investigating such allegations,” said Dr. Gus Grant, Registrar & CEO of the College.

In addition to reviewing the written decisions of the College, CCLISAR, together with a panel of experts it convened, consulted with College staff, legal counsel and committee members, past complainants and physician respondents. The broad consultation process included interviews with the CMPA, Doctors NS, and therapeutic counsellors to survivors of sexualized violence who have engaged in the CPSNS process. Written submissions from stakeholders were also part of the review.

“CCLISAR commends the College for seeking to improve its response to allegations of sexual misconduct by its members. We thank everyone who participated in the independent review for sharing their experiences, insights, and expertise with the Panel.  We hope that the Panel’s recommendations will help the College continue in its efforts to administer a process that is accessible to and protects all patients, doesn’t harm complainants, and is fair to physicians”, said Dr. Elaine Craig, Research Director, CCLISAR.

The recommendations touch on a number of themes, with a particular emphasis on embedding a trauma-informed approach throughout the entire process.

 “When doctors abuse vulnerable people, including patients, the whole health system is harmed. When regulators fail to respond appropriately, that harm is multiplied, said Dr. Grant.  “We heard from patients and from doctors.  We heard from a broad sampling of legal experts.  We welcome the recommendations and have begun the process of implementation” said Dr. Grant.

The full report is available to the public on the College’s website.


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Pattie LaCroix, Director

Communications & Policy

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia

(902) 421-2212



Dr. Elaine Craig

Associate Professor

Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University

Research Director, Canadian Centre for Legal Innovation in Sexual Assault Response

(902) 494 1005