A Nigerian doctor and father-of-two has been suspended from practicing in Britain for 12 months after he was found guilty of misconduct. 40-year-old Chris Uzoh got a patient's number from her medical records and began to send her texts and flowers but this did not go down well with the patient.
He began texting the patient only 30 minutes after her appointment with him ended.
This started in March last year and continued until May. She warned him to stop pestering her yet he refused so she reported him to his colleagues at the Murdishaw Health Centre in Runcorn.
His very first text to her, only minutes after her appointment, read: "Sorry for this text message but I saw you and liked you and thought we could go on a date in the future."
Another of his messages to her, read: "I am single and looking for a serious relationship and not intending to mess about."
In another instance, he left her a voice mail saying he wanted to hear her voice before he went to work.
"I’ve been feeling like a schoolboy meeting a girl he fancied for the first time. I haven’t felt this way in a while," Dr. Uzoh sent the patient in another message.
He went from sending her texts to sending cards and flowers at her home. Accompanying the flower was a message that read:
"I wonder how else I would have met you if not this way. My heart is pure, I care, I hope it would be possible to make you mine someday."
The patient became bothered after she got the message and worried that he knew her address so she warned him to stop. In a text to him, the patient wrote:
“As flattered as I was at the time, it all got too much too quickly. I feel you went too far with getting my address without my permission and it scared me a little and the thought of someone getting it so easily when I have put my trust in doctors is unnerving. Thank you for the flowers; but I would appreciate it if you didn’t do that again.”
When the patient told the doctor that he was bothering her and she wanted him to stop, he sent her another message, saying: "I was trying to be romantic – I did not mean to be creepy. I was excited about you."
He went on to try to sell himself to her in another text by listing all his achievements.
He wrote: "How is it possible that a good looking guy who is a doctor, who has a job with huge earning potential, who was the best graduating doctor in his medical school, who started out as a urological surgeon with several well-cited scientific publications, who thinks you beautiful and special, who wants you – and you wouldn’t give him a chance? I’ve been in a Toronto and I couldn’t stop thinking about you."
The patient sent another message, warning him firmly. She wrote: “You’re being too full on — I’ve only met you once and I was your patient!”
Dr. Uzoh was eventually reported to the General Medical Council after the patient reported to his colleagues. At the hearing, the woman told the panel:
“I was really shocked to get that initial message from him because I trusted him as a doctor. If I got that message now, there is no way I would respond. I was in a difficult position, particularly at that point; so, seeing him taking an interest was a nice thing. The next morning, I woke up and there was a further text message and voicemail message. I remember I was doing my makeup and getting ready for work and I saw that he was calling but I didn’t want to pick up. He left a message saying: ‘Hi, I just wanted to hear your voice before I start my day’.
“Everyday I looked at my phone, there was something from him, whether it be a text message, missed call or a voicemail message. As soon as I knew the flowers had been sent, I knew that they would be from Dr. Uzoh — there weren’t many people who knew my address at the time. I felt sick because I live on my own and nobody knew my address apart from my family and I was scared because he had got my records, so what was to say he wouldn’t turn up at my door. That feeling lasted several months. It wasn’t long after that I text him to tell him not to contact me; but then, five months later, he contacted me again."
Uzoh was not at the hearing, but he filed a written submission claiming his intentions towards the woman were ‘noble.’
He wrote: “My intention was not to prey on the patient or the patient’s vulnerability. I have always been professional toward my patients and never had any issues with NHS England or the GMC. I regret my actions and I apologise for all the stress this may have caused the patient.”
Uzoh was banned from practicing for a while and has now left the UK to Toronto where he now works.