A Victoria psychiatrist has been suspended from practising for two months and formally reprimanded by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. for acting beyond her scope of practice and hiring patients as employees.
In a consent agreement reached with the College following an inquiry, Dr. Yil-Kyong Brenda Copen acknowledged she prescribed medication and provided medical care to an employee outside of her regular scope of practice and was complicit in the hiring of patients to work at her clinic and for her private businesses unrelated to her clinical practice.
Under the agreement with the College, Copen’s registration has been transferred to a disciplined class of registration, she’s had a formal reprimand, been suspended for two months, been ordered to complete a multi-disciplinary assessment program and participate in continuing medical education and professional development in the areas of ethics and professionalism.
Copen has also undertaken not to hire patients to work at her clinic or for her private businesses, not to prescribe medication or provide medical care to employees, and to refrain from practising medicine outside of the scope of expertise.
In its rationale for the penalties imposed in the agreement, the College acknowledged Copen may not have directly hired patients to work for her clinic and private businesses but was aware of the hiring and therefore complicit in the violation.
The College also noted the standard of care was not met when Copen prescribed medication to treat an employee’s asthma. The inquiry committee said it was concerned Copen prescribed a cortico-steroid medication, as she was not a primary care provider or a respirologist and appeared to be practising outside of her area of expertise.