Radiologist's work
called into question

Canadian Radiologist's 30,000 Exams up for Review

October 15, 2009
by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor
Over 30,000 radiological exams are up for review in the Canadian province of New Brunswick after colleagues suspect a physician of misinterpreting results.

Authorities from the New Brunswick Regional Health Authorities A and B are investigating Bhagwan Jain, M.D., a radiologist who worked at small community hospitals in the towns of Plaster Rock, Perth and Bath, among others, according to the RHA.

Suspicions about the doctor first emerged in 2005, when a family lodged a complaint with health authorities, Lise Roy, a spokesperson for RHA, tells DOTmed News. Although no wrongdoing was discovered, in 2007, he was again reported to officials, this time by colleagues, but only slight procedural changes were recommended.

But this year, another complaint by a colleague sparked an internal review process.

A preliminary investigation, as reported by CBC, alleges that the doctor's error rate is 16 percent, around three to five times higher than the acceptable normal error rate.

"We looked into it, and felt there was cause for us to review on a broader scale for specific exams to make sure that patients had received the appropriate care," Roy says.

The reviewers recommended a three-year retrospective study of the doctor's work, which Roy expects to be completed in about six months, though the RHA is still looking for an independent contractor able to vet tens of thousands of ultrasound and X-ray exams.

As for the man at the center of it all, CBC reports that his wife says he has retired from his practice.