This is yet another case of a College of Physicians and Surgeons in Canada, overstepping their right to enforce particular guidelines be followed. The physician was initially penalized (cautioned) for not following “appropriate” or “recommended” guidelines.
The provincial College’s of Physicians and Surgeons across Canada, and federal and provincial health authorities have always stated publicly that guidelines are only “suggestions” for doctors and that they are not imposed upon doctors. This case and that of many others show otherwise – if you do not toe the line, you are targeted.
Guidelines that harm people and ignore evidence are neither appropriate nor recommended in a sane and civil society.
The very well qualified specialist in Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease, and Medical Microbiology who did diagnose and treat the patient in question had a complaint registered against him, not from his patient, but from a neurologist who referred the patient to another Infectious Disease doctor. Neither of these two doctors made any diagnosis. This other Infectious Disease doctor decided the patient could not have Lyme disease based upon no known exposure to the disease and no positive Canadian blood test. (This is a disease spread randomly by birds who deliver infected ticks potentially anywhere in Canada … if you have robins you can have Lyme in your neighbourhood… there is no measure for “known exposure” that is anywhere near accurate enough to affect a diagnosis. Serology used for Lyme disease in Canada is well known to have a high rate of false negative results).
The Internal Medicine specialist was a target because he regularly made the appropriate “clinical” diagnosis, saving many people’s lives and/or quality of life. For this, he became the accused.
We are nearly approaching 100% of Canadian doctors who have publicly become known to diagnose and treat Lyme disease outside of the “appropriate” guidelines over the last many years who have become victims of College witch hunts. Physicians in general are investigated by their College less than 2% of the time. What arrogance of our medical system this is and such an abuse of the privilege to self-police (which can be taken away).
Thank heavens this Internal Medicine specialist had the resolve to appeal the College’s decision to the HEALTH PROFESSIONS APPEAL AND REVIEW BOARD in Ontario.
Upon appeal… “The Board further found that the Committee reached an unreasonable decision to caution the Applicant [the Internal Medicine specialist] for failing to document the rationale and for not following the recommended guidelines for treatment of Lyme disease. The Applicant’s consultation letter to the patient’s family physician, dated December 10, 2010, contained a detailed explanation of the treatment recommended.”
The Internal Medicine specialist was right, he did not have to follow the Canada-wide imposed IDSA guidelines. He explained his rationale for not using those guidelines to the family physician. [other Lyme disease guidelines can be found at the bottom of our For Physicians page https://canlyme.com/for-physicians/]
Now one is left to wonder, why can a family physician not make the same clinical diagnosis if they appropriately document their records… THEY CAN !!