Plastic surgeon’s registration frozen after patient affair

A PLASTIC surgeon practising in Mackay and Rockhampton has had his registration temporarily suspended after it was revealed he had sex with a woman who later became one of his patients.

Queensland Plastic Surgery doctor Mark James Vucak has been reprimanded for a year, had his registration suspended for three months and been ordered to undertake a professional boundary management course.

Dr Vucak admitted to having sex with the Rockhampton woman four times during various visits to the central Queensland city between September and November 2006, legal documents showed.

But he denied he exploited his medical therapeutic relationship with her because he said their love affair occurred before she became his patient.

The documents showed the woman complained to the medical board in 2009 about Dr Vucak's alleged conduct.

She admitted to having a consensual relationship with him that ended in February 2007.

In April 2007 she sought medical advice from Dr Vucak about getting laser treatment for skin scarring.

During this visit she alleged Dr Vucak pressed himself up against her from behind and touched her breasts.

Dr Vucak denied this and said he was not expecting to see her because she was a "walk-in with no referral".

In a judgment published online, Queensland Civil and Administration Tribunal deputy president Alexander Horneman-Wren said evidence showed the woman wanted to get back with him, but that this should not be held against her.

"Rather, it is the entirely understandable consequence of Dr Vucak's misconduct and breach of the relationship of trust between doctor and patient and his abuse of the power imbalance which always exists in the therapeutic relationship," he said.

Mr Horneman-Wren also said Dr Vucak had a "less than desirable understanding" about the error and risk of having a sexual relationship with the woman.

- APN NEWSDESK



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