Allison Patton.

Allison Patton.

Surrey councillor fined, suspended from naturopathy for misusing ‘physician’ title

Campaign material indicated that she was a doctor, but made no mention of being a naturopath

The College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia has suspended and fined City of Surrey councillor Allison Patton because she was not forthright about her professional credentials during the most recent civic election.

In a public notice issued this month, the college noted that Patton was fined $500 and handed a three-day suspension from practising naturopathic medicine after she admitted to using the titles of physician and doctor “without denoting that she is a naturopathic doctor.”

The college committee that decided on the discipline described Patton’s actions as “serious.”

SEE ALSO: Allison Patton joins Safe Surrey Coalition

According to the notice, Patton has agreed to: “not repeat the conduct of using the title of doctor without denoting she is a naturopath; to identify and represent herself as a naturopathic doctor or physician as required by the College bylaws and advertising policy; and to abide by all current and future bylaws, standards, policies and guidelines of the college.”

Patton is a member of Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition. According to campaign material on the SSC website, Patton is described as having been a “community physician for over 17 years.”

SEE ALSO: Safe Surrey Coalition’s plans could reduce stress, Patton suggests

She also wrote, in the first-person, of her experience working with patients, but did not mention her naturopathic training. The material has since been edited to clarify that she is a naturopathic physician, not a medical doctor.

In a written statement to Peace Arch News, Patton said she used the title Dr. without denoting that she was a naturopathic phyisician “unintentionally.”

“I am very proud of my professional designation, Naturopathic Physician and I love the work I do with my patients,” she wrote. “Thank you for the opportunity to address this issue.”

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