Dr Thomas Goyer reinstated after three-year ban

A controversial weight-loss doctor has been reinstated after he was banned from practising medicine due to his “reprehensible” and “arrogant” conduct.

Dr Thomas Goyer’s medical registration was cancelled in August 2019 after his practices at the Medical Weight Loss Institute were found to fall seriously short of acceptable standards.

The Health Care Complaints Commission investigated complaints from 25 patients and found that Dr Goyer didn’t have the appropriate expertise to treat obesity and continued to prescribe drugs that could endanger his patients.

The HCCC described Dr Goyer as running a “call centre” for weight-loss patients in which he provided consultations over the phone and online.

Dr Goyer, who served in the Australian Army before specialising in non-surgical cosmetic procedures, provided more than 1000 prescriptions for drugs that were not proven to be effective for weight loss, a tribunal was told.

One of the drugs he repeatedly prescribed had been withdrawn for use in Australia and another was shown to increase the risk of stroke and induction of psychosis.

In 2019, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal found Dr Goyer guilty of professional misconduct, saying his disregard for medical conditions that may have interacted with the prescriptions was “reprehensible”.

“We find that the practitioner’s conduct in prescribing compounded stimulant medication for this cohort of particularly vulnerable patients, without a physical examination, was totally inappropriate,” the judgment read.

The authority found Dr Goyer had failed to properly examine patients before issuing prescriptions, failed to properly ask for consent, and failed to properly inform patients of the risks of the medications.

The tribunal found Dr Goyer had a “completely inadequate” understanding of the regulations and expressed serious doubts about his truthfulness.

The review on September 7 this year noted that the tribunal had previously been concerned the doctor had been “arrogant, obstructive and uncooperative”.

Dr Goyer told the tribunal that he understood his previous practices had failed to provide safe care for patients and the prescriptions he produced potentially endangered clients.

The court was told that he had taken steps to remedy his professional and personal failings. The doctor promised to not practice medicine over the phone again and apologised for his previous conduct.

The tribunal moved to reinstate Dr Goyer’s medical registration with heavy conditions.

“We are confident that the applicant can now practise in the area of minor (non-surgical) cosmetic medicine in a manner which does not compromise the health and safety of the public or place at risk the maintenance of the confidence of the public in the medical profession,” the judgment read.

Dr Goyer will be restricted to practising non-surgical cosmetic procedures under ongoing supervision and audits.

He must only conduct in-person consultations and is prohibited from prescribing any of the problematic drugs he previously issued or any self-medication.

The tribunal also required that he complete ongoing education courses in ethics, allergies and diabetes and continue to engage in psychological treatment.

Originally published as Dr Thomas Goyer reinstated after ‘reprehensible’ conduct