Complaint about sexual misconduct

If you believe that a BC physician or surgeon may have crossed a line, said something that made you feel awkward or uncomfortable, or otherwise engaged in sexual misconduct, please contact us to speak with a trained complaint navigator.

We recognize that coming forward with a complaint about sexual misconduct can be very difficult. You may feel vulnerable, humiliated, confused, or afraid to disclose what has happened to you.

All physicians and surgeons who are licensed to practise in British Columbia are registrants of the College. We have zero tolerance when it comes to sexual contact between a registrant and a patient, even when that contact may have been consensual.

We investigate all complaints against registrants, including:

  • alleged inappropriate sexual comments
  • touching  
  • abuse

How are professional and sexual misconduct defined?

Professional misconduct includes the following:

  • sexual misconduct
  • unethical conduct
  • infamous conduct
  • conduct unbecoming a member of the health profession

Sexual misconduct (referred to in the College Bylaws as “professional misconduct of a sexual nature”) includes: 

  • sexual intercourse or other forms of physical sexual relations between a physician or surgeon and a patient
  • touching, of a sexual nature, of a patient by a physician or surgeon
  • behaviour or remarks of a sexual nature by a physician or surgeon towards a patient

Note: It is not considered sexual misconduct or abuse when a physician or surgeon touches an intimate part of a patient’s body for a valid medical purpose with the patient’s informed consent.


Complaints of a sexual nature may involve:

  • inappropriate comments or gestures, where a physician or surgeon:  
    • makes sexually suggestive or seductive comments
    • makes unnecessary comments about sexual relationships or sexual orientation
    • makes sexually insulting or offensive comments or jokes
    • asks a patient on a date
    • gives unwanted hugs or kisses
  • unnecessary or improper physical examinations, where a physician or surgeon conducts a breast, genital, or pelvic examination without a valid medical reason and the touching is interpreted by the patient as sexual
  • any other sexual contact that happens between a patient and a physician or surgeon


Learn more about the general complaint process
What patients can expect when reporting sexual misconduct by a physician to the College