He’s been called a ‘lethal force’ who’s not afraid to take on medical authorities. And it all started with pain week
2018-12-06 from thestar.com
Back in 2010, a handful of University of Toronto professors gave in to an “impertinent” first-year medical resident and consented to a meeting with him.
In a boardroom of the medical sciences building on King’s College Circle, Nav Persaud warned the group he had discovered some big problems with a course they ran on pain management.
The then-29-year-old doctor-in-training charged there were serious errors in the curriculum for “pain week,” which was taught annually, over the span of a week, to hundreds of students from health science programs, including medicine, dentistry, nursing and pharmacy.
What’s more, the course was rife with conflicts of interests related to inappropriate ties to the pharmaceutical industry, he argued, imploring them to fix it.
But the unsolicited advice — coming from a trainee no less — was most unwelcome, according to some in attendance.
“Who do you think you are? How dare you question these materials.”
That was the gist of the response, recalls Dr. Rick Glazier, a professor from the faculty of medicine and research director in the department of family medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital, where Persaud was doing his residency.
Even though Persaud was polite and respectful in asking tough questions, “he was treated as being out of his place, as being highly impertinent,” says Glazier.
The academics who organized the program shut Persaud down, denying his assertions, the senior doctor recounts.
But the harsh reception did not dissuade the young man from endeavouring to set right what he saw as a significant and potentially dangerous problem.
The pain-week battle would mark the first time in Persaud’s career he would take on authorities in the health world. He has since gone on to make a name for himself as a crusader for improved care, often with Big Pharma in his crosshairs.
Read more here