Doctor appeals professional misconduct ruling

Ryan Ross
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Dr. Robert Coull fined $12,500 by College of Physicians and Surgeons of P.E.I.

Dr. Robbie Coull announced last week he is shutting down the practice and leaving the province due to insufficient government funding.

A former Charlottetown doctor who was fined $12,500 by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of P.E.I. has appealed their finding of professional misconduct.

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Dr. Robert Coull filed a notice of appeal last month with the P.E.I. court of appeal, arguing the college’s decision should be dismissed and no further actions be taken against him.

The college fined Coull in November after a finding of professional misconduct relating to a patient’s complaint from 2011 about the care he received when he sought treatment for a workplace injury to his ankle and back.

The college’s fitness to practice committee said it found Coull’s conduct in the level of care he provided was unprofessional, fell below the expected standard of practice of medicine and constituted professional misconduct.

Coull formerly ran the Phoenix Medical Practice in Charlottetown, but left to return to Scotland in 2011.

In his appeal, Coull claimed the college’s fitness to practice committee made errors of fact and law in its decision, including that it ignored evidence, relied on improper evidence and made findings that were unsupported by the evidence.

By adopting the committee’s finding, the college erred, Coull argued in his appeal.

Coull is also seeking costs.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

Organizations: College of Physicians, Phoenix Medical Practice

Geographic location: P.E.I., Charlottetown, Scotland

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  • Pete
    January 08, 2014 - 11:58

    I find it sad that even patients of Dr. Coull still don't understand the system of collaborative health care that he was trying to institute. Had Health PEI not thrown up so many roadblocks, the Phoenix Medical Practice would have been a resounding success (the model is highly successful throughout North America and Europe). Given the shortage of doctors on PEI, we NEED a model like the one that Dr. Coull was trying to set up (he was just missing that extra doctor or two in the practice, something that was about to happen). Those "technicians" that so many commentators seem to have disdain for, were fully qualified (maybe even over qualified) for the role they were playing in Dr. Coull's collaborative model. Dr. Coull's only failing (in my eyes) was his inability to suck up to the dinosaurs in Health PEI. I believe that there are young doctors who are "playing the game" of making those dinosaurs at Health PEI/College of Physicians think that the model that Dr. Coull tried to institute is their own original idea, so I still have hope that eventually we will have collaborative family practice models on PEI, just like you have in the rest of Canada, the U.S. and much of Europe.

  • rolling stones
    January 07, 2014 - 15:35

    This was a classic case of Islanders again not reciving proper care . With a paticent load of 4500 people how could this man get to know his people . usually you just got to see the hired help . On another urgent medical matter, DO YOU KNOW that on PEI we have only two Urologists. Of the TWO one Dr is or seems to be on extened leave for a few months. Just try to get areferal from your Dr. to see the remaining Urologist. You might get one in May. WE NEED AT LEASTONE OR TWO OTHER OF THESE PLUMBERS. i HAVE ACTIVE KIDNEY STONES AND HAVE HAD TO TRAVEL TO HALIFAX TWICE IN THE LAST WEEK AND ONE HALF. i RECIVED EXCELLANT-- AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICE. -- However these two trips cost me a total of $600.00----people, please get after our government officials to get more urologists here , even as a locum . The other doctors are now getting pissed off about the lack of any service . This is placing extreme pressure on the one remaining Urologist . FOR OVER TWO WEEKS WE DID NOT HAVE any UROLOGISTS INPEI SHAME , SHAME . THATS WHY I HADE TO LEAVE PEI TO GET EVEN BASIC SERVICE

  • don
    January 07, 2014 - 13:35

    how many hundreds of thousands of money did you leave with from your patients ? charging them for there medical files to me that info belonged to them NOT YOU. glad you are gone.

  • Chloe
    January 07, 2014 - 10:28

    A story like this should NOT be aired in the paper in the manner written with such depth and detail. Dr. Coull is very limited in what he can and cannot say by doctor/patient confidentiality. The patient, however, can say whatever he wants--he is not bound by legalities. It is an unbalanced story and at the very least The Guardian should have recognized that the doctor in this case can not not respond except through an appeal.

    • Pete
      January 07, 2014 - 10:42

      Well said, Chloe!!

    • Kyle
      January 07, 2014 - 11:48

      Although I respect your opinion, this man was one of the worst doctors I've seen in PEI. He was my doctor for 2 years and in that time I was there 4-5 times and never actually got to see him, always a nurse or "technician". He took on 4500 patients with no possible way of being able to care for them all properly, almost as if he was trying to run the wal-mart of doctors offices. Beyond that this is also a man who had an article on his clinic website calling all (or most) of us islanders rude and ignorant people, what a great way to make friends here in PEI.... I guess what I'm trying to say is he deserves everything he gets in my opinon because the way that clinic was managed, I am sure that this man is not the first (or last) patient who's level of care fell way below par.