Case of the Month

Read real cases and their outcomes

The Impostor

Apr 16, 2020

The Case

The College received a report from a patient who had attended a clinic where the were treated by someone, who they assumed was their physiotherapist. The individual did not provide the patient with his last name.

The patient indicated that the “physiotherapist” directly billed their insurance company for six sessions, even though they only attended two sessions. The patient also noted that the physiotherapy provider listed on the insurance claims was not the person they saw, but the full name of another PT that they had never received treatment from. The patient confirmed that they did not recognize the name of the physiotherapist on the claims and had never met them at the clinic.

The College investigator found that the PT who was listed on the insurance claims never actually worked at the same clinic as the person who submitted the insurance claims. Further investigation found that a photo of the physiotherapist did not match the patient’s physical description of the person they received treatment from.

The College did find a number of videos online where the individual in question was advertising various physiotherapy-type services. Additionally, the College received more reports from patients who provided similar accounts of their experiences with him as their “physiotherapist.”

The investigation found that this person was previously a registered massage therapist but resigned his registration prior to a discipline proceeding. Those allegations include falsely advertising that he holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree, lying to an investigator, failing to cooperate during an inspection of his records by providing false or misleading information to the investigator, falsifying treatment receipts and fabricated records. He agreed to never practice massage therapy in Ontario again.

The Standards

The Restricted Titles, Credentials and Specialty Designations Standard specifies that only registrants of the College can use the protected titles physiotherapist, physical therapist or PT.

It is illegal for anyone who is not registered with the College to use any of the above titles. When someone claims to be a physiotherapist, this is called “holding out” and this must be reported to the College.

The Outcome

This person is not a registered physiotherapist and therefore cannot provide physiotherapy care in Ontario. He should not be presenting himself as a physiotherapist or using another PT’s information to bill treatment to insurance companies. This is illegal.

In order to protect the public, the College keeps a list of individuals who have been found to be holding themselves out as physiotherapists. This person has since been added to this list.

A reminder that should any physiotherapists become aware of someone who is misrepresenting themselves as a physiotherapist, or improperly using any of the protected titles, the registered PT has an obligation to report this information to the College. If you know someone who is holding out as a PT, please email investigations@collegept.org or call 1-800-583-5885 ext. 227.

Patients should always check the Public Register prior to seeing a physiotherapist to ensure they are registered in Ontario and in good standing with the College.

Restricted Titles, Credentials and Specialty Designations Standard

Unregulated Practitioners

Public Register


Leave a comment

Comment Form

Practice Advice

Free and anonymous advice for patients, physios, students and employers.
Learn More 

practiceadvice@collegept.org
647-484-8800
1-800-583-5885