A screenshot of the Safe Surrey Coalition website prior to November, 2018, where Allison Patton referred to herself as a “community physician.” It was since changed to describe her as a “community naturopathic physician.”

Surrey Coun. Allison Patton has been reprimanded for identifying herself as a “community physician” during the 2018 civic election campaign.

In a public notification released Feb. 6 by the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia, Patton acknowledged she “used the title Physician, Doctor and Dr. without denoting she is a naturopathic doctor,” in violation of college bylaws.

Patton successfully won a seat on Surrey council in 2018 with Doug McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition. On the coalition website, she had identified herself as a “community physician” for over 17 years.

In November, 2018, the website was adjusted to describe her as a “community naturopathic physician.”

The college ordered Patton to refrain from using the title Physician, Doctor or Dr. without qualifying it as naturopathic doctor.

It also fined her $500 and suspended her practice for three days.

Surrey Coun. Jack Hundial said such missteps are some of the reasons public trust in politicians.

This is an example of why the public loses faith in elected officials, and one of the reasons we have such low voter turnout,” Hundial told Pulse FM. “We should always be the politicians we want to see leading a great city like Surrey.”

Hundial said he looks forward to the city hiring an ethics commissioner to help increase public trust in the city.

He expects the issue will be raised among Patton’s colleagues.

I certainly think it needs to be addressed at the council level,” Hundial said. “Certainly, I would like to talk to Coun. Patton about this.”

On request for a reaction from Patton, Pulse FM received an email response.

I acknowledge that I used the title Dr. without denoting that I was a Naturopathic Physician,” Patton said in an email Wednesday. “I did this unintentionally. I am very proud of my professional designation, Naturopathic Physician and I love the work I do with my patients.”