Nfld. & Labrador

Labrador woman says doctor made 'very sexual' comments during pelvic exam

A Labrador teacher who says Dr. Adekunle Williams Owolabi violated her dignity and privacy during a pelvic exam appointment, wants him to lose his licence to practise medicine.

Warning: Story contains language that may offend some readers

Arlene Johnson says Dr. Adekunle Owolabi made comments that violated her dignity and privacy. (Mark Quinn/ CBC)

A Labrador woman who says Dr. Adekunle Williams Owolabi violated her dignity and privacy during a pelvic exam wants him to lose his licence to practise medicine.

Teacher Arlene Johnson is one of four women who've filed complaints against Owolabi. The Labrador City physician is facing charges of professional misconduct at a provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons hearing in St. John's.

Johnson testified at the hearing on Wednesday. Another woman, 27-year-old Cayla Misurka, testified to the tribunal on Monday. Both women agreed to be identified.

Owolabi has denied all of the allegations, and told the tribunal on Monday that he had "done nothing wrong."

'Very sexual' comments

Johnson described a 2014 Pap test at Owolabi's office, saying he asked her, "Would Arlene like a big one today?"

It sounded very sexual to me.- Arlene Johnson

She believes he was making a sexual comment about the medical tool used to perform the test.

"He was referring to the speculum I assume, but it sounded very sexual to me," said Johnson.

She also said that after the test, he hugged her and whispered in her ear: "You have a beautiful c--t, does your husband tell you that?"

Johnson said she was shocked, felt panicked, and left the office as quickly as possible.

Wants physician to lose his licence

"I hope he loses his licence. I would like to see him lose his ability to practice in any country," said Johnson in an interview with CBC Wednesday. 

"This is not the way you speak to people. It was very much a very sexual comment," she said.

Johnson complained to police who advised her to complain to the CPSNL. She did that about a year after her contact with Owolabi.

I really thought about the students I teach.- Arlene Johnson

"I really thought about the students I teach and I didn't want them to experience this and I thought about my daughter. So I finally reported him."

Johnson said what she alleges happened with Owolabi has had a profound impact on her.

"I'm not trusting anymore. I'm very uncomfortable with doctors now. I just feel so violated by it and it's a small town and people may think I'm making this up but why would I lie? I have nothing to gain from this and it's embarrassing for me. But the personal violation I carry with me."

Dr. Adekunle Owolabi speaking with his lawyer Paul Stokes at a professional misconduct hearing in St. John's (Mark Quinn/CBC)

Owolabi's lawyer Paul Stokes asked if Johnson maybe misheard the physician because of his accent.

Johnson said she had no doubt about what she heard.

A woman who worked with Owolabi was also called as a witness to testify at the hearing. Amy Bird said Owolabi often asked her if a patient "wanted a big one" during a Pap test.

She said she believed that he didn't understand that it might be interpreted sexually because English is not his first language. She believes he did not intend to make a sexual comment.

Two complainants have testified at the hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday. The hearings are scheduled to continue in July.

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