Doctor suspended for trying to record another doctor showering

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Doctor suspended for trying to record another doctor showering at hospital

/ 05:16 PM June 20, 2024

Young doctor suspended for attempting to record another doctor showering at hospital

The grounds of decision was published by the SMC on June 19, calling him a young doctor but without indicating his age. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: The Straits Times/Asia News Network

SINGAPORE – A young doctor who attempted to record his colleague showering has been suspended for three months.

A Singapore Medical Council (SMC) disciplinary tribunal also ordered Dr Chen Hsing Yu to be censured and to submit a written undertaking that he will not engage in any similar conduct.

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Dr Chen’s registration in the Register of Medical Practitioners will be suspended from June 18 to Sept 17.

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The grounds of decision were published by the SMC on June 19, calling him a young doctor but without indicating his age.

Dr Chen had pleaded guilty to engaging in an improper act or conduct by attempting to record a female doctor showering at the hospital using his mobile phone.

Between 5:20 pm and 6:30 pm on April 17, 2020, the victim went to take a shower at a unisex shower in the hospital after her rounds at the isolation ward.

Dr Chen, who was a resident trainee at the hospital at the time, intended to record her through the gap under the shower door but stopped short of doing so.

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The victim headed home after her shower without noticing anything amiss.

The same day, one of the victim’s colleagues informed her that a nurse had witnessed Dr Chen attempting to record her while she was taking a shower.

The victim then lodged a police report upon the management’s advice.

Dr Chen’s residency training at the hospital was terminated on April 29 that year and his employment with MOH Holdings was terminated for misconduct on May 11 the following month.

He was investigated for voyeurism and given a 24-month conditional warning from June 1, 2021.

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The tribunal noted that the incident was not the first time Dr Chen had acted as a voyeur.

On April 23, 2014, while he was an undergraduate medical student in Australia, he used a mobile phone to record a three-second video of a fellow female medical student while she was using a unisex bathroom at a hospital there.

He later deleted the video, went for counseling and wrote an apology to the victim who did not press charges.

A panel inquiry a year later found that Dr Chen suffered from a personality structure that made him prone to voyeuristic behavior with females, and which had the potential to impact the safety of the public and affect his capacity to practice medicine.

Dr Chen had revealed the incident to the SMC when he applied for provisional registration in Singapore on Oct 14, 2015.

He was still able to graduate from Australia and obtained conditional registration in Singapore.

The SMC said Dr Chen’s conduct as a medical student in Australia was a prior instance of professional misconduct that was a significant aggravating factor, and had sought a suspension of eight months.

In mitigation, Dr Chen submitted that he attempted to film his colleague because he was feeling depressed and under immense pressure, having to deal with the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic as a young doctor at the time.

He also put forth that as a young doctor, he deserved another chance to make good in his career, and sought a fine of $5,000.

The tribunal found that his being a young doctor was not a mitigating factor, as this was the second time he committed the same type of sexual misconduct within a span of just a few years.

It also said that while it was happy to note that he had voluntarily sought professional treatment to address his underlying medical issues, undertaken charity work and taken other steps to improve his general well-being, these were not sufficient to warrant an adjustment in his sentence.

But the tribunal also disagreed with the SMC’s proposal of a higher sentence on the basis that he had committed a similar act as a student.

It said this would not be appropriate, as a student would not be subject to the same regime and expectations of a fully qualified doctor.

It also noted that a psychiatrist found that the likelihood of Dr Chen committing a similar future transgression is extremely remote.

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For engaging in an improper act or conduct, he could have been suspended for up to three years, or removed from the register, and fined up to $100,000.

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TAGS: Singapore, voyeurism

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