A Vancouver naturopath has been suspended and fined after one of his patients said he failed to detect their rectal tumor during four months of hemorrhoid treatment.
Dr. Jordan Atkinson agreed to a consent order with the College of Naturopathic Physicians of B.C. on Nov. 18, following an investigation into the patient’s complaint.
According to the patient, they attended several appointments with Atkinson over a four-month span for treatment of hemorrhoids, but it wasn’t until they saw another medical professional that they were told they had a rectal tumor. The patient claimed Atkinson failed to detect the tumor because he didn’t do a thorough enough examination.
Atkinson disputed this during the regulatory college’s investigation, but admitted that he didn’t document all his findings in the patient’s medical records. The college’s inquiry committee found this fell short of the standard of practice required by naturopaths.
Atkinson has agreed to a 16-day suspension and a $5,000 fine. He has also taken appropriate educational courses and committed to making better efforts in communicating patients’ treatment plans when a language barrier exists.