A day after a Hawkesbury, Ont., doctor was charged with murder, Ontario Provincial Police are meeting with the families of those impacted by news of the investigation into multiple suspicious deaths at the eastern Ontario hospital where he works.
Dr. Brian Nadler, 35, who lives in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que., was charged with one count of first-degree murder on Friday, a day after Ontario Provincial Police were called to the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital.
Nadler, a specialist in internal medicine, remains in custody.
"For the people who live in Hawkesbury, our heartfelt sympathies go out to, not only to the families directly impacted by this, but we understand this is a traumatic experience for everyone," OPP spokesperson Bill Dickson told CBC News on Saturday.
Dickson confirmed the one murder charge and that police are "looking at other recent suspicious deaths."
However, he said police can't release the name of the person who died, or provide any information on the families of the others considered suspicious deaths.
Nadler's arrest prompted Hawkesbury Mayor Paula Assaly on Friday to ask people to remain calm and not be afraid to seek care at the hospital, which is located between Ottawa and Montreal.
On Saturday, Dickson called the hospital case a "one-off" and said the public shouldn't be worried.
Patient says arrest 'a big shock'
But Francoise Pilon Poisson of L'Orignal, Ont., is among Nadler's former patients who say they're shaken by the news.
Pilon said Nadler took care of her in December, and at the time, she fully trusted him with her health.
"It's still bothering me a lot because it's like a big shock to me, because I never would have think you would do something like that. I didn't sleep last night," said Pilon.
Nadler's lawyer told CBC News this week that his client maintains his innocence.
The next court appearance for Nadler, who lives in the western Montreal suburb of Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, is set for April 6.
WATCH | OPP speak on its investigation of other suspicous deaths at the hospital.
The OPP said more information will be released when it becomes available and routine activity at the hospital will not be affected.
Dickson wouldn't confirm to CBC News whether OPP are working with other law enforcement agencies on the investigation.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario said it will immediately look into the "extraordinarily disturbing allegations." Ontario's Officer of the Chief Coroner is also involved in the investigation.
Ex-Reno colleague calls Nadler compassionate
Nadler has been licensed in Ontario since Feb. 4, 2020. He graduated from Montreal's McGill University in 2010, then went to the University of Alberta for surgery and internal medicine until 2014, according to an online database listing his post-graduate training.
He was a resident at the University of Saskatchewan's medical school from July 2014 to September 2018, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan told CBC in an email.
During that time, he faced two unprofessional conduct charges, the college said.
Documents show one charge was for allegedly calling a female colleague a "bitch" after an argument and telling someone else he "felt like slapping" that colleague. Another charge involved patient record-keeping.
The incidents linked to both charges allegedly occurred the same day in August 2014.
The college said he apologized and took a pair of courses about ethics and record-keeping. It did not proceed any further with the charges.
From Sept. 24, 2018, to Sept. 23, 2019, Nadler worked as a geriatric fellow at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, the university confirmed in an email.
A former University of Nevada colleague told The Canadian Press on Saturday that Nadler was compassionate with patients.
Dr. Ahmed Hanfy, who trained with Nadler for about nine months, said while Nadler had a tendency to argue with other physicians, the disagreements were confined to medical matters like the best course of treatment.
Hanfy also said he couldn't recall any red flags related to Nadler's behaviour.