Manitoba doctor censured for ‘inappropriate and unprofessional’ response to patient’s online review
A Winnipeg doctor has been censured as a result of an ‘inappropriate and unprofessional response’ to an online review by a former patient.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba issued the findings of its investigation into the matter involving Dr. Abdel-Kareem Chehadi, a family medicine doctor, earlier this month.
According to the decision, Dr. Chehadi began treating a patient, referred to in the decision as Patient A, in November 2019. The patient had a history of substance abuse disorder, including alcohol and benzodiazepine abuse, as well as anxiety.
Dr. Chehadi’s care plan included consultation with an addiction specialist, tapering off medications and cognitive behavioural therapy.
According to the college, the patient required periodic completion of Manitoba Public Insurance forms because their driver’s license was cancelled due to issues related to substance abuse.
A conflict arose in July 2020 surrounding the completion of the forms, as well as a long-term disability form which led to ‘a deterioration of the physician-patient relationship,’ the college’s decision read.
After a July 17, 2020 appointment, Patient A anonymously posted a comment on RateMDs, a website that allows users to submit reviews of health-care workers.
“Please do not waste your time with this Dr if you have Mental Health issues or need forms filled out for health or work concerns,” the post read.
“My forms were filled out wrong with all medication I NO longer take and used the wrong diagnosis even when it was directly in front of him on his computer. He informed me I needed objective proof.”
The post went on to say while Dr. Chehadi was ‘exceptionally nice’ upon their initial visit, he would not prescribe anything above a Tylenol 3 to help with the patient’s withdrawal symptoms while easing off medications.
“Ended up in Urgent Care after meeting with him that same day. He also told me we were not a great fit in the middle of my crisis. Left me hanging.”
According to the investigation, Dr. Chehadi posted a reply days later.
“Yup, your “0” years of medical knowledge and experience trumps my “20”?” it read.
“I guess you lost your job because of me and not because of the different kinds of bottles you may or may not have guzzled down?”
The physician-patient relationship subsequently ended in August 2020.
DOCTOR’S COMMENTS ‘INAPPROPRIATE AND UNPROFESSIONAL’: COLLEGE
The patient complained to the college about Dr. Chehadi’s conduct, who said he was uncertain of the identity of the comment’s author when he posted his response.
“Regardless of whether Dr. Chehadi knew who posted the July 18, 2020, comment on the RateMDs website, Dr. Chehadi acknowledges his July 20, 2020 reply was inappropriate and unprofessional,” the college wrote in its decision.
The investigation committee said Dr. Chehadi was ultimately censured as his comments were blatantly disrespectful, noting it was aggravating that they were made in a public forum toward someone with a reported history of mental health and substance abuse issues.
The censuring creates a disciplinary record for Dr. Chehadi and may be considered in future complaints. The doctor also must pay back the cost of the investigation, which totalled $3,487.50.
CTV News Winnipeg reached out to Dr. Chehadi for comment, but did not hear back.
The full decision can be read on the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba’s website.
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