Nova Scotia

Under-reporting credentials not the same as being overqualified, medical governing body says

As Cape Breton suffers a critical shortage of family doctors, many people are still wondering why Glace Bay practitioner Dr. Mohsen Yavari's licence was revoked earlier this year.

College registrar says Glace Bay doctor disciplined because family medicine is its own specialty

The Newfoundland and Labrador College of Physicians and Surgeons established an adjudication tribunal to hear complaints made against Dr. Ikechukwu (Steven) Madu. (iStockphoto)

As Cape Breton suffers a critical shortage of family doctors, many people are still wondering why Glace Bay practitioner Dr. Mohsen Yavari's licence was revoked earlier this year.

The Nova Scotia College of Physicians and Surgeons revealed this week that Yavari had admitted to lying when he applied to a licensing program admitting foreign-trained, experienced family doctors.

He falsely claimed he had a family medicine background.

Yavari had been practising in Glace Bay for about two years and had a full caseload of patients when he was found out and called to account.

His patients were left without primary care as Yavari was first suspended from practice during an investigation and later lost his licence.

Misperception

College registrar Dr. Gus Grant says people's confusion about the Yavari situation is based on an "old and ill-informed" perception that family doctors are simply doctors who did not chose a more specialized field of medicine.

"Family medicine as a specialty unto itself has specific competencies that are required," Grant told Mainstreet Cape Breton.

"We would certainly not let a psychiatrist perform surgery and we would not let a surgeon perform psychiatry and quite frankly, it would offend the rank and file of family doctors to say that this doctor, Yavari, or others are over-qualified to practice family medicine."

Grant says another, more qualified doctor may have been denied a Nova Scotia licence because Yavari got one under false pretenses.

Yavari worked as an emergency physician in Dubai for six years before coming to Canada.

Reports that he was also a surgeon were investigated; Yavari denied it, and the college did not substantiate the claim.

Eligible to reapply

In its disciplinary decision, the college backdated Yavari's licence revocation to the date of his suspension in February, and said he would be eligible to reapply for a licence to practice family medicine in four months.

That time has now elapsed.

Ironically, the experience he gained while practising in Glace Bay may now make Yavari a legitimate candidate for licensure.

"The College will review his work experience, now, and his performance as a physician since being licensed, and [he] will be eligible to apply as a family physician, and in all likelihood, that is what will happen," said Grant. 

With files from Mainstreet Cape Breton

now