A medical practitioner has been reprimanded and suspended after he sent harassing and insulting messages to a woman he had pursued as a romantic partner
A medical practitioner, Dr L, sent a series of texts and social media account comments to a fellow practitioner, insulting her and making a number of sexual innuendos, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has heard.
In around July or August 2016, the medical practitioner told another doctor, identified by the Tribunal as Dr Y to protect her identity, that he had feelings for her.
He wanted to take their relationship to the “next level,” but Dr Y did not feel the same way about him.
In February 2017, the practitioner started sending Dr Y messages filled with sexual insults.
In response to a picture she had posted on Instagram, he wrote “Still f*****g Dr Y?” and in June 2017, he texted her personal mobile number, calling her “unloveable” and a “slut”.
He made insulting comments about her purported sex life, including asking “What did it feel like when you f****d [name] and got thrown out like a used rubber? I bet you loved it LOL”.
Also in June 2017, he texted her personal mobile number saying, “Go ahead and try blocking this, I’m going to ruin your life bitch”.
On the same day he sent this text, he made a comment on a work-related post she had made on her personal Instagram account again calling her a “slut”.
Further messages sent that year included calling Dr Y a “whore” and asking her whether she had “picked up any old men” on a trip to Europe.
“You always had an interest in geriatrics!” he wrote. “A very hands on interest.”
In July 2017 Dr Y also noticed Instagram messages from a number she had blocked, again calling her a “slut”.
In October 2018, the medical practitioner was convicted of the offence of using a carriage service to harass a person. A charge of stalking was withdrawn.
The Tribunal noted that the medical practitioner’s conduct had fallen “substantially below” the Code of Conduct for doctors.
By engaging in this harassing conduct, he had “failed to display the qualities of integrity, truthfulness, dependability and compassion,” the Tribunal noted, pointing out that he had gone to “great lengths” to harass her in online posts and texts.
“The Respondent made harassing comments anonymously to the victim, with either no regard for how they would impact the victim, or deliberately to cause harm to the victim.”
The conduct “negatively impacted her ability to engage in and contribute to the medical community,” it noted, saying that such behaviour towards a fellow practitioner was “grossly unprofessional and severely lacking in courtesy”.
The practitioner was found to have engaged in conduct that constitutes professional misconduct, and reprimanded.
He was also disqualified from practising for 12 months from the date of the Tribunal’s order; however the Tribunal noted that he resigned from the practice of medicine in December 2017.
He forfeited his registration in early 2019, has not sought re-registration since and has expressed the intention that he does not intend to reapply for registration in the future.