St. Thomas doctor at centre of lawsuits to cease treating patients
Dr. Cathy Frank, a gynecologist in St. Thomas who is being sued by a number of former patients, has agreed to stop practising medicine.
In a press release, London-based law firm Legate & Associates said “the College and Dr. Frank, in negotiations that took place out of the public eye, agreed to her ceasing practice.”
The announcement comes just weeks before a decision was expected on whether she would face a disciplinary committee.
While the website of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario still lists her as active, it specifies under ‘Practice Restrictions’ that she has ceased to practise medicine.
It also notes she cannot conduct gynecological or obstetrical surgery unless supervised, must not apply for surgical privileges at any hospital and not practice medicine at any hospital.
However, she can apply for courtesy privileges at a hospital if needed for her fertility clinic practice, as long as she follows the above rules.
Frank gave up her privileges at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital in 2010 and her practice was restricted to non-surgical in 2012.
Legate & Associates says it has been contacted by over 100 women to date regarding their treatment, and that of their babies, by Frank.
About 60 women have begun actions against the doctor and others are under investigation. The complaints date from as far back as 2006.
Barbara Legate of Legate & Associates says “The allegation is that she was negligent in her surgical technique and in her judgement and in the choice of procedures that she did. And the result of that is that she had an excessively high complication rate.”
Those complications allegedly caused significant health issues for the women and their children, ranging from severe and debilitating birth defects to ovarian failure and chronic pain.
Most recently, Frank was working at a London fertility clinic.
None of the claims have yet been proven in court.