Bulletins

December 2000



This Bulletin is forwarded to every medical practitioner in the province. Decisions of the College on matters of standards, amendments to Regulations, By-Laws, guidelines, etc., are published in Bulletins. The College therefore assumes that a practitioner should be aware of these matters.
--------------------------------------------

Officers and Councillors 2000-2001

President - Dr. Christine Davies, Saint John
Vice-President - Dr. Ludger Blier, Edmundston

Dr. Beatriz Sainz, Oromocto
Dr. Pamela Walsh, Riverview
Dr. Bill Martin, Miramichi
Dr. Marc Panneton, Campbellton
Dr. Marc Bourcier, Moncton
Dr. Robert E. Rae, Saint John
Dr. Zeljko Bolesnikov, Fredericton
Registrar - Dr. Ed Schollenberg

Dr. Malcolm W. Smith, Tracadie-Sheila
Dr. Rudolph Stocek, Hartland
Dr. Douglas Brien, Saint John
Mr. Eugene LeBlanc, Dalhousie
Mr. Ferdinand Rioux, Caraquet
Dr. Claudia Whalen (PhD), Fredericton

 

At its meeting on 24 November, 2000, Council considered the following matters:

Complaints:

There was a complaint that a surgeon, covering for a colleague, had failed to respond appropriately to the deteriorating condition of a patient. On reviewing the matter, there were significant concerns regarding the quality of the information which had been provided to the surgeon. Nevertheless, the Committee concluded that when the patient's difficulties became clear, the surgeon responded appropriately in terms of investigation and treatment.

There was a complaint from a patient that she had been inappropriately chastised by her physician for, among other things, bringing more than one problem to her visits. In response the physician stated that he felt it necessary to admonish patients in order for them to comply with his office's procedures. Nevertheless, he did acknowledge that some of the remarks made were inappropriate. The Committee noted that the physician had acknowledged that there were better ways to encourage patients to work within the time constraints under which physicians function. The Committee felt no further action was necessary on the matter.

A patient suffered an eye injury and presented to the Emergency Department. Other than cleaning, no investigation or treatment was provided. Subsequently, there were concerns regarding a more significant injury, although none actually developed. It was alleged that the initial assessment had been inadequate. In reviewing the mater, the Committee felt that, given the history of trauma to the eye, a more complete assessment, including the use of flurescein staining, as well as a slit lamp, if available, would have been more appropriate. The physician involved was advised accordingly.

The patient saw a consultant regarding chronic back pain. She alleged that the examination performed resulted in additional pain and difficulty for her. On reviewing the matter, it was noted that the patient had a mistaken view that she required significant surgical intervention. The Committee felt that the surgeon's failure to agree with such had contributed to the circumstances perpetuating the complaint. The Committee could find no fault with the care provided.

A patient, with a known cardiac history, suffered persistent chest pain, which appeared to arise from many sources. Over a period of time, the patient was treated with different approaches, all without complete success. On transferring to another physician, there was a further change in treatment, which appeared to be successful. The patient complained that the first physician had failed to properly diagnose his condition. On reviewing the matter, the Committee noted the complexity of the patient's case, which did not fall within a clearly definable classification. It is further noted that earlier attempts to treat this patient the same way as he was subsequently had not been successful. In short, the Committee felt that the patient demonstrated a complex of symptoms to which the physician had responded appropriately.

There was a complaint regarding the management of a labour and delivery. It was alleged that there was a lack of informed consent and, furthermore, that appropriate interventions were not provided, resulting in significant difficulties for the baby. On reviewing the matter, the Committee felt that the physician had provided all necessary advice to the patient regarding various options. The Committee also felt that the course of events demonstrated no lack of appropriate care. In short, the resulting difficulties of the baby could not have been predicted from the clinical course. For all of these reasons, the Committee could find no fault with the care provided.

A young adult had presented to an Emergency Department with a history of neck trauma. No investigation was done. The patient was subsequently determined to have a significant fracture. In response, the physician involved agreed that, in hindsight, an x-ray should have been performed. Upon review, the Committee felt that no further action was necessary on the matter. Physicians are encouraged to familiarize themselves with current recommendations on the appropriate investigation of neck trauma. The Committee also referred two complaints against physicians to the Review Committee for further assessment.

Other Business

In other business, Council:

Annual Fees The annual dues for the College remain the same for 2001. For physicians who pay by direct deposit, the annual fee is $490. For those who pay by cheque, it is $510. Deadline for receipt of cheques is 2 January 2001.

Notices regarding these charges were mailed earlier in November. Physicians who do not intend to renew their license, or otherwise anticipate a change in status, should contact the College office.