DR. ALAN TANIGUCHI
PRACTICE LOCATION: Hamilton
AREA OF PRACTICE: Family Medicine (Palliative Care and
HEARING INFORMATION: Admission; Agreed Statement of
Facts; Joint Submission on Penalty
On May 10, 2019, the Discipline Committee found
that Dr. Taniguchi committed an act of profes-
sional misconduct, in that he failed to maintain the
standard of practice of the profession in his care of
patients, and engaged in an act or omission relevant
to the practice of medicine that would reasonably be
regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or
In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Taniguchi is
an Assistant Clinical Professor at McMaster Univer-
sity, and the Program Director of McMaster’s Family
Medicine Palliative Care Residency Program. At the
time of the events at issue, in addition to his clini-
cal duties, Dr. Taniguchi had significant teaching,
academic, and administrative responsibilities.
FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH SCERP
On July 15, 2016, the Quality Assurance Commit-
tee (QAC)of the College required Dr. Taniguchi to
participate in a specified continuing education or
remediation program (SCERP).
Dr. Taniguchi was notified of the Committee’s deci-
sion on August 5, 2016. He was required to retain
a clinical supervisor within 30 days of receiving the
Dr. Taniguchi did not retain a clinical supervisor,
or undergo a reassessment, pursuant to the SCERP.
Dr. Taniguchi failed to respond to correspondence
from the College on August 16, 2016, November 22,
2016 and January 2, 2017 with respect to his compli-
ance with the SCERP.
Dr. Taniguchi submitted the required written sum-
mary on June 23, 2017.
BREACH OF ORDER
On May 10, 2017, the QAC made an Order impos-
ing terms, conditions, and limitations on Dr. Tanigu-
DIALOGUE ISSUE 3, 2019
chi’s certificate of registration. Under the Order, Dr.
Taniguchi was required to obtain a clinical supervi-
sor acceptable to the College within 14 days of the
Order, and meet with the clinical supervisor monthly
to review 10 long-term care patient charts.
Dr. Taniguchi had his first and only meeting with
the supervisor on September 8, 2017. Dr. Taniguchi
failed to arrange follow-up meetings with the super-
visor. On February 12, 2018, the supervisor advised
the College that he had not heard from Dr. Tanigu-
chi, and withdrew as Dr. Taniguchi’s clinical supervi-
sor. Dr. Taniguchi ceased practising long-term care in
SECTION 75 INVESTIGATION
Dr. Taniguchi was notified of the investigation on
July 13, 2017. The investigator asked Dr. Taniguchi
to complete a Physician Practice Questionnaire and
an Electronic Records Questionnaire, and return
them to the College within 10 business days. Dr.
Taniguchi did not respond. The investigator sent
several further requests for Dr. Taniguchi’s completed
questionnaires between October 2017 and February
2018, to which Dr. Taniguchi did not respond. The
College did not receive Dr. Taniguchi’s completed
The College retained an expert to opine on Dr.
Taniguchi’s care of 25 patients in both palliative care
and long-term care practices.
On April 16, 2018, the investigator wrote to Dr.
Taniguchi advising him that the expert had requested
to interview Dr. Taniguchi for the purposes of pre-
paring his opinion. Dr. Taniguchi did not respond to
this letter, and did not attend for an interview with
With respect to Dr. Taniguchi’s palliative care prac-
tice, the expert opined:
• That it was unclear from much of the documenta-
tion provided whether Dr. Taniguchi had direct
contact with patients.
• Dr. Taniguchi’s documentation of encounters did
not follow a “SOAP” format, or a problem-based
approach. His notes contained minimal subjective
and objective data, and his assessments and plans
were cursory. There was limited evidence of physi-
• The paucity of charting and documentation in-