Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Different standards?

We often hear about immigrant doctors being required to jump through many hoops by the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons before they can practise in the province. Sometimes, it seems that the rules are unreasonably restrictive, given the shortage of family physicians.

Too often, they must drive taxicabs or do other unskilled jobs for years in order to feed their families.

But it seems that, once a member of the College, one is subject to much more relaxed standards. At least, that's how it looks from the outside.

Doctor John K. Pariag is a case in point.

In a routine procedure, Doctor Pariag cut open a man's hepatic artery. He bled to death.

He misdiagnosed a 12-year old girl, performed unnecessary surgery, and then bungled it so badly that another operation was needed.

He removed healthy appendixes from three patients.

He punctured a patient's bowel while performing surgery.

He removed a patient's thyroid without the necessary training to do so.

He left a sponge inside a woman, and performed a second surgery to remove it, while keeping this information from her.

In all, he admitted to 21 cases of professional misconduct and incompetence in a March hearing, which found him lacking judgement, skill, knowledge, and regard for the patient's welfare.

You would expect him to be driving a cab now, right?

No. Thanks to a "plea bargain," he continues to practise at a Mississauga walk-in clinic.

He says his complication rate is "not worrisome."

[Written with information from the Toronto Star.]


  1. I hope the response to the Star's article is one of outrage from coast to coast to coast. Doug, I think the thing that worries me the most, is the number of support staff who must have known about this. I hope more than the doctor are brought to justice.

  2. More proof that self regulation does not work. External oversight should be mandatory when the public is at risk, whether it's surgery or slaughterhouses.