No public notice as B.C. doctor with history of misconduct suspended again

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. won't reveal anything about why Dr. Patrick Nesbitt's registration has been suspended, except to say it's not a result of a patient complaint.

Dr. Patrick Nesbitt of West Vancouver has been disciplined 5 times for offences including sexual touching

Dr. Patrick Nesbitt has a long history of complaints before the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia. (CBC)

A West Vancouver doctor with a long disciplinary history has been suspended from practice once again — without any notification to the public.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. won't reveal anything about why Dr. Patrick Nesbitt's registration has been suspended, except to say that it happened on Feb. 23 and is not a result of a patient complaint.

"This is not a matter we can openly discuss as the information is protected by B.C. privacy laws," a college spokesperson wrote in an email.

That spokesperson also declined to say why no public notification was posted on the college's website about Nesbitt's suspension. The only way someone could learn of his status is by searching the physician directory.

Long disciplinary history

Nesbitt, a general practitioner, has a long history with the college's discipline committee. Before his latest suspension, he was only allowed to treat adult male patients, and even then, only in the presence of other physicians or clinic staff.

In five disciplinary decisions issued over the last two decades, Nesbitt has admitted to fondling and sexually touching a patient outside the office and to making sexual comments to patients. After his practice was restricted to male patients, he was disciplined for issuing prescriptions to 41 women.

In agreements with the college posted online, Nesbitt has been repeatedly told that his conduct in the future must be "beyond reproach."

His last suspension was in 2013 for breaching the terms of a previous disciplinary agreement. He was only allowed to return to work after completing educational programs and paying a $35,000 fine.

Criminal charges stayed

He's also previously faced criminal charges related to allegations that he'd left rifle shells on an ex-partner's driveway in 2012. Those charges, which included uttering threats, were stayed last fall.

According to the college, Nesbitt's registration is currently suspended indefinitely. CBC tried unsuccessfully to reach Dr. Nesbitt for a comment.

With files from Belle Puri, Farrah Merali and Harvey Cashore