Doc­tor sus­pended over fake ser­vices

Montreal Gazette - - CITY - CHAR­LIE FIDELMAN cfi­del­man@post­

The dis­ci­plinary coun­cil of the Que­bec Col­lege of Physi­cians sus­pended a Mon­treal doc­tor for six months and fined him $10,000 for pre­scrib­ing med­i­ca­tion ir­re­spon­si­bly and writ­ing fake med­i­cal notes for stu­dents at his down­town clinic.

Dr. Ray­mond Rezaie pleaded guilty to eval­u­at­ing pa­tients in­ad­e­quately and then pre­scrib­ing med­i­ca­tion with­out jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for in­som­nia, al­co­hol and drug ad­dic­tion, de­pres­sion and so­cial anx­i­ety.

The Col­lege in­ves­ti­gated 13 cases, mostly Cégep de Maison­neuve stu­dents, who were given di­ag­noses of ma­jor de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety dis­or­ders. In some of these cases, Rezaie’s med­i­cal files showed clin­i­cal notes for pro­ce­dures he did not do, for ex­am­ple, mea­sure blood pres­sure and pulse.

In­ves­ti­ga­tor Is­abelle Amyot found the physi­cian con­tra­vened the pro­fes­sion’s code of ethics by sum­mar­ily is­su­ing di­ag­noses and pre­scrip­tions with­out first eval­u­at­ing his pa­tients, not for phys­i­cal ail­ments or for men­tal dis­tress.

He also handed out med­i­cal notes, for a fee of $65, to stu­dents who sought his ser­vices to drop one or sev­eral school cour­ses. The di­ag­no­sis for each of the stu­dents is the same — an in­ca­pac­ity that started in mid- Oc­to­ber 2015, although the med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tions took place in De­cem­ber 2015, and ended in Jan­uary 2016.

Amyot started her in­ves­ti­ga­tion when some­one in­formed the Col­lege that sev­eral stu­dents had their class­loads lifted with the help of med­i­cal notes from a sin­gle physi­cian. She got the stu­dents’ med­i­cal files and found Rezaie had billed the pro­vin­cial in­sur­ance health board, the Régie de l’as­sur­ance mal­adie du Québec (RAMQ), for com­plete ex­am­i­na­tions that he didn’t do.

Also, one per­son Rezaie treated was ac­tu­ally an un­der­cover in­ves­ti­ga­tor pos­ing as a col­lege stu­dent who wanted a med­i­cal note to be ex­cused from class. Rezaie gave her a di­ag­no­sis of ma­jor de­pres­sion, gen­er­al­ized anx­i­ety and ad­just­ment dis­or­der.

The coun­cil’s de­ci­sion made pub­lic Thurs­day found that Rezaie’s ac­tions were pre­med­i­tated, and he showed no re­morse or re­gret.

He demon­strated a lack of in­tegrity, the coun­cil said.

“His pa­tient as­sess­ment and med­i­cal notes were false, se­ri­ous di­ag­noses of men­tal health issues were false, the RAMQ fee claims were false, and his med­i­cal cer­tifi­cates for ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions were in­cor­rect since they were not sup­ported by true di­ag­noses.”

This isn’t the first time Rezaie has ap­peared be­fore the Col­lege’s dis­ci­plinary coun­cil. In 2016, the Col­lege up­held its de­ci­sion against Rezaie in con­nec­tion with 31 botched cir­cum­ci­sions.


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