Report #381

DATE: April 28, 2016
PARTIES: Dr. R.E. (the Student) v. the Faculty of Medicine

Hearing Date(s): February 10, 2016
Committee Members:
Ms. Sara Faherty, Chair
Professor Paul Kingston
Mr. Raiyyan Khan
Secretaries:
Mr. Christopher Lang, Director, and Ms. Tracey Gameiro, Associate Director, Office of Appeals, Discipline and Faculty Grievances
Appearances:
For the Student Appellant:
Dr. R.E., the Appellant (“the Student”)
Mr. Jordan Goldblatt, Adair Barristers, Counsel
For the Faculty of Medicine:
Dr. Glen Bandiera, Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Lisa Bahrey, Department of Anesthesia
Dr. Mark Levine, Department of Anesthesia
Ms. Sari Springer, Littler LLP, Counsel
Faculty of Medicine – reinstatement to program – Student did not meet the standards of his Remediation Plan – Committee does not have the power to order a further period of Remediation – despite unfortunate miscommunications, changes made to the Plan were reasonable to maintain patient safety and did not prejudice the Student – appeal dismissed
Appeal from the decision of the Faculty of Medicine Faculty Appeals Committee and the PGME Board of Examiners to dismiss the Student from his Residency Program. The Student failed to meet the standards of his Remediation with Probation period. The terms of the Remediation Plan were set out in a document that set forth numerous elements of remediation, which was subsequently modified at the request of the Board of Examiners. The Faculty of Medicine determined that the Student failed on the first two required measures, and therefore did not administer the third measure. The Board of Examiners accepted the Faculty’s conclusions and dismissed the Student.
The Student appealed to the Academic Appeals Committee. The Student identified six points in which the implementation of the Plan differed from the written agreement. The issue on appeal was whether aspects of the actual Remediation process were unjust and constituted substantial changes to the Remediation Plan, or whether they constituted changes at all. The Student asked for three remedies; namely, that the Committee determine that the Plan was not complied with, that he was entitled to a proper Remediation Program, and that he was entitled to a further period of Remediation. The Committee noted at the outset that the Student’s request to be granted a further period of Remediation fell outside the purview of the AAC, which can determine whether the Faculty’s policies were applied fairly and whether the Student was entitled to reinstatement in the program, but not whether he was entitled to a further period of Remediation. The Committee noted that despite some administrative errors and miscommunications from the Faculty surrounding the Remediation Plan, the miscommunication was insignificant and the Plan’s substantive goals were met. The Committee emphasized that modifications based on patient safety were well advised and could not form a basis for invalidating the Plan. Further, the Student did not demonstrate that the changes made to the Plan prejudiced him. The Committee also noted that though the miscommunication surrounding the Plan was unfortunate, the Student should have made an effort to resolve it, especially since the stakes were so high for him. The Committee concluded that the Student failed to achieve the medical expert grades and the necessary level of communication skills as set out in the Plan, and therefore that the Faculty’s Appeals Committee’s decision was reasonable. Appeal dismissed.