MEDICINE HAT, AB – A Medicine Hat doctor who operates southern Alberta’s only comprehensive pain clinic has been found guilty of one charge of unprofessional conduct.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) released the findings from a virtual hearing tribunal for Dr. Gaylord Wardell held Oct. 13-14, 2021.
Wardell was facing three charges of unprofessional conduct but was found guilty on a portion of one charge related to standards around cannabis for medical purposes.
The CPSA says Dr. Wardell is one of relatively few physicians in Canada who provide authorization to grow cannabis for medical purposes.
According to the CPSA, a complaint was opened after a social media post from a patient who resided outside Alberta.
The patient was commenting on obtaining authorization documentation from Dr. Wardell for growing or obtaining cannabis.
The post raised concerns about the appropriateness of Dr. Wardell’s authorization of cannabis and whether he was compliant with Standards of Practice.
The hearing tribunal found Wardell failed to properly follow up with patients despite having provided them with an authorization to grow cannabis.
Wardell argued that the patients were requesting authorization to grow their own cannabis, and that this process would take six to nine months. He testified that it would therefore not make sense to follow up earlier and indicated his patients should re-contact them once their plants had grown.
The hearing tribunal is expected to reconvene at a later date to hear submissions on sanctions.
The full documentation on the hearing can be found below.