Miramichi pathologist's work consistently sub-par, inquiry hears
One of the doctors who first reviewed the work of former Miramichi pathologist Raj Menon immediately found problems, an inquiry heard Monday.
Dr. Rosemary Henderson, a pathologist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown, testified that she and another doctor spent one day at the Miramichi General Hospital in April 2007 examining how work was done in the laboratory and talking to hospital staff.
Henderson asked to review Menon's work after the New Brunswick College of Physicians and Surgeons received complaints about his work, testified that it didn't take long to figure out there were problems.
"By the end of the day, it was very clear that there was a real quality problem with Dr. Menon's work," she said.
Henderson said they also reviewed test results, including some that were deemed problematic.
There were several concerns with Menon's ability to properly trim surgical specimens, problems with the accuracy of his test interpretations, and issues with the length of time it took to perform the tests, Henderson testified.
Her report also mentioned concerns with Menon's eyesight. He later had cataract surgery on both eyes.
Henderson concluded Menon was failing to meet the standards of surgical pathology on a consistent basis.
Menon, 73, will have the opportunity to answer those concerns when he testifies at the inquiry beginning Wednesday afternoon.
He worked as a pathologist at the Miramichi Regional Health Authority from 1995 until February 2007, when he was suspended following complaints about incomplete diagnoses and delayed lab results.
A public commission is examining how breast and prostate cancer tests resulted in misdiagnoses at the Miramichi Regional Health Authority.
A peer review of Menon's work, done by Henderson and another pathologist, released publicly in March, indicated the pathologist had serious medical problems, including cataracts and tremors in his hands, which could have affected the accuracy of his work.