Doctor faces licence suspension after Flin Flon incident

A doctor will have his medical licence suspended after a hearing found he falsely accused a colleague of assault while practising in Flin Flon four years ago.

Dr. Tahseen Mahdi had claimed that on August 1, 2013, a fellow physician attempted to strangle him, pushed him to the floor of his office and threatened his life.

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The allegations did not convince the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba, which recently ruled Mahdi “made one or more accusations against a colleague which [he] knew or ought to have known were false.”

Mahdi, who now practises in Altona, Manitoba, was found guilty of two counts of professional misconduct. He will have his licence suspended for six months and pay a $110,000 fine.

The College did not identify the community, clinic or hospital in which the two physicians were based, but it is known that Mahdi was working in Flin Flon at the time.

Mahdi was employed by the now-defunct NOR-MAN Regional Health Authority (NRHA) and the Northern Health Region (NHR) from December 2009 to August 2013.

The NHR declined to comment on the College’s ruling.

Both Mahdi and the other physician, identified in the ruling as “Dr. A,” testified at a College hearing in 2016.

Dr. A denied assaulting and threatening Mahdi, saying he had not even seen Mahdi on the day in question. The College agreed that the evidence supported Dr. A’s account.

Both sides acknowledged that leading up to August 1, 2013, doctors Mahdi and A had been involved in a dispute regarding the scheduling of physicians at the emergency department.

Mahdi was responsible for scheduling shifts. In his testimony, Dr. A acknowledged he was unhappy about the scheduling and believed Mahdi was taking too many shifts for himself.

Mahdi’s lawyer alleged that “Dr. A was belligerent and threatening towards Dr. Mahdi and had physical contact with him” on July 17, 2013. Mahdi’s lawyer also claimed Dr. A threatened Mahdi on July 23, 2013.

Dr. A testified that he may have touched Mahdi with his finger on July 17 and denied the events of July 23, as described by Mahdi, ever took place. Dr. A was charged with assault and uttering threats against Mahdi on July 30, 2013.

Mahdi’s account of Dr. A entering his office on August 1, 2013 was in part “unclear and unconvincing,” the College ruled, adding that with Dr. A already facing charges relating to Mahdi, it would “have been reckless in the extreme for him to assault and threaten Dr. Mahdi” on that day.

Mahdi’s original suspension of six months was reduced to four months, taking into account a two-month suspension imposed on him by a health authority “as a result of the events of late July and early August, 2013.” His suspension begins September 1.

Mahdi must also complete a course on medical ethics and professionalism by the end of this year.

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