Nova Scotia

Shelburne doctor reprimanded after complaint

A doctor from Shelburne has been reprimanded by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia following a complaint about how he treated a patient who later died of a heart attack.

A doctor from Shelburne has been reprimanded by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia following a complaint about how he treated a patient who later died of a heart attack.

According to the college, a patient in his early 60s arrived at the Roseway Hospital on July 30, 2009, complaining of chest pains.

The patient was seen by Dr. Mark Riley — who has been practising in Shelburne since 1985 — and sent home. The man later returned with the same complaints and again, Riley sent him home.

The patient later died of a heart attack and his family launched a complaint with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia.

Dr. Cameron Little, the registrar of the college, said a review found problems with Riley's decision-making skills.

"The investigation committee that looked into this matter felt that his management skills of patients with chest pains in the emergency room and his skills to diagnose a coronary or heart problem in the emergency room was inadequate," Little told CBC News on Thursday.

"As a result, he was reprimanded and he is going to have to undergo some form of remediation in order to improve his clinical assessment skills and the management of emergency heart care for patients."

Little said Riley has consented to a permanent reprimand on his file, meaning the incident and review will stay on Riley's record indefinitely.

"A reprimand is an agreement between the doctor and the college that they're guilty of professional misconduct or incompetence or conduct unbecoming a doctor," said Little.

Riley is still licensed to practise medicine but the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia said he will not be able to work in an emergency department until he completes a program to improve his clinical assessment skills.

Barbara Johnson, a spokeswoman for the South West Nova District Health Authority, said Riley voluntarily took himself out of the emergency room rotation in April.

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