Provincial Southern Alberta

Physician charged in Ontario for 1980s sexual assaults planning to reopen practice in Medicine Hat

By  Kendall King, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Local doctor, Ian Gebhardt, who was charged by Ontario police last October with two counts of sexual assault and sexual interference with a person under the age of 14 from incidents in the 1980s, is intending to reopen his Medicine Hat-based family medial practice.

The 59-year-old faced a local charge in 2017 that he asked a patient to perform a lewd act, but that charge was stayed at trial.

After the case was resolved in 2018, Gebhardt reapplied to practice medicine and used a nurse chaperone in the room during examinations.

An email was sent to former patients of Gebhardt Family Medicine on Monday, which described the intention to reopen, as well as changes to the practise.

The email did not address the charges laid on Gebhardt but did state, “Patients must be 16 years of age or older.” It also explained Gebhardt would “no longer be prescribing narcotics, except for treating active cancer patients.”

Patients who are currently prescribed narcotics through a pain clinic are eligible to return to Gebhardt’s practise “so long as that prescribing relationship will continue with the pain clinic.”

Gebhardt Family Medical, located at 770 Sixth St. SW in Medicine Hat, will now operate under a micro-practise model, the email confirms, meaning patients will be required to book and cancel appointments online, as well as fill out forms online prior to appointments. Telephone communications will be limited.

Gebhardt appears to still be licensed to work as a physician, however he is currently listed as “inactive” on the College of Physicians and Surgeons Alberta website.

“A physician’s status can be listed as inactive for a number of reasons,” the statement from CPSA read. “(If) they wish to return to practise, the physician’s situation would be reviewed and assessed by CPSA on an individual basis, to determine if they can return to practise and under what conditions, if any.”

Gebhardt is scheduled for a hearing with the CPSA between July 5 and 8.

It is unconfirmed whether the hearing is related to the charges of sexual assault and interference. A statement provided by the CPSA said the organization is “unable to share specifics of complaints unless/until they go to hearing.”

By  Kendall King, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter / Medicine Hat News