MONTREAL - A doctor at the Montreal Chest Institute has been suspended for using a hidden camera to film his naked patients.

Quebec's College of Physicians has suspended Dr. Barry Rabinovitch after admitting to the disciplinary board that he filmed more than a dozen female patients in various stages of undress in the examining room in 2009.

In a decision released Tuesday, the College of Physicians called the violations "serious" because of both their nature and because the doctor was in a position of authority.

Rabinovitch, a 56-year-old lung specialist, is married with two children.

He was suspended for four months and handed a $3,000 fine.

In addition to practicing medicine at a Montreal Chest Institute clinic, Dr. Rabinovitch is an associate professor with the respiratory division of McGill Medicine.

As soon as his activity came to light, he stopped seeing patients and stopped teaching.

The videos were seized by police after an administrator at the McGill University Health Network, which is affiliated with the chest clinic, sounded the alarm.

The McGill University Health Centre issued a statement Tuesday evening saying it took steps to protect patients and staff as soon as the incident was reported.

"We take any allegation of impropriety brought forward by a patient, family member or employee very seriously," the statement said.

"From the moment we were made aware of the incident, an internal investigation was initiated. This included working throughout, in a collaborative fashion with the Collège des Médecins, who supported our decision to temporarily relieve the doctor in question of his duties. It is important to emphasize that every possible measure has been put in place to ensure that our patients are protected."

The disciplinary measures were first reported Tuesday by Rue Frontenac, the online newspaper run by locked-out workers at Quebecor's Journal de Montreal.