Small-town N.S. doctor loses licence after underreporting his qualifications

By The Canadian Press
July 12, 2016 - 12:14pm

HALIFAX — A much-needed doctor recruited from overseas to serve a small Nova Scotia town has had his medical licence revoked because he under-reported his qualifications.

It seems an unlikely outcome for Dr. Mohsen Yavari, whose 2013 arrival in Glace Bay, N.S., was greeted with a story in the local Cape Breton Post detailing the excitement in an aging community badly in need of physicians.

But Yavari didn't disclose the six years he spent as an emergency medicine specialist in Dubai when he applied to a program to bring foreign doctors to serve as family physicians in under-serviced parts of Nova Scotia.

In a new decision, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia said the Iranian-born Yavari was intentionally deceptive about qualifications that would have made him ineligible for the family physician program.

"There can be no doubt the dishonesty was strategic and wilful," a college investigations committee wrote in its decision, dated July 7.

"Dr. Yavari has been rewarded already for an effective and strategic misrepresentation. Will this invite other such applications? Were other appropriately qualified candidates disadvantaged by Dr. Yavari's dishonesty?"

The college acknowledged his patients in Glace Bay will be struggling to find medical care, and that Yavari was motivated to lie by difficult circumstances.

"His personal circumstances were extremely difficult, motivating him to misrepresent information in order to put his family into better circumstances," the committee noted, without elaborating. It added that Yavari has no other disciplinary history, co-operated with the investigation, and is supported by colleagues and the community.

Yavari agreed to have his licence revoked, while the committee agreed he could be eligible to return to practice under certain conditions after at least four months.

When he arrived in Glace Bay, Yavari told the Cape Breton Post he'd practised medicine in Iran for 12 years, and long hoped to be a doctor in Canada: "Being a doctor in Canada is a dream come true for me."

He came to Nova Scotia through the Clinician Assessment for Practice Program (CAPP). Yavari told college investigators he was fearful his specialist experience in Dubai between 2006-2012 would disqualify him for the program.

The college committee said doctors must not only practice with integrity but "also complete the application process with integrity."

Last August, the college revoked the licence of a foreign-trained doctor in Parrsboro, N.S., after he was also caught lying on his CAPP application. Dr. Jalal Baghaee had hid his training and experience in pediatric medicine.

As with Yavari, Baghaee was permitted to seek a return to practice after a waiting period.

Rob Roberts, The Canadian Press

©2016 The Canadian Press

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