Dialogue Volume 15, Issue 3 2019 - Page 64

DISCIPLINE SUMMARIES DR. ALAN TANIGUCHI PRACTICE LOCATION: Hamilton AREA OF PRACTICE: Family Medicine (Palliative Care and Long-Term Care) 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 unprofessional. 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 decision. 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- 64 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 February 2018. 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 questionnaires. 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 the expert. 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- cal examinations; • The paucity of charting and documentation in-