Ontario emergency room chief faces questions about failing to hire any female doctors in 16 years
2018-12-17 from theglobeandmail.com
Dr. Marko Duic has been celebrated by health ministry officials, hospital leaders and doctors for transforming emergency medicine. He’s been hailed as an expert at reducing waiting times. Other hospitals have invited him to help them implement his care model in their emergency wards.
But over his 16 years as an emergency chief, another truth about Dr. Duic has emerged: He had not hired a single female doctor to work in his departments until October, weeks after The Globe and Mail began asking questions about his hiring practices. And hospital administrators had previously allowed those practices to go unchecked, a Globe and Mail investigation reveals.
Over the past five months, The Globe has spoken to 18 physicians who worked under Dr. Duic. Another eight were aware of concerns about his leadership. Most spoke anonymously, some because they were concerned that Dr. Duic had powerful connections in emergency medicine and that speaking publicly about him could lead to negative career repercussions for them. Others worried that they might get fired or passed over for a promotion for talking to the media about their current or past workplaces.
Nearly all of the doctors said Dr. Duic is infamous for only hiring men. Some also raised concerns about his billing practices, alleging Dr. Duic encouraged his staff to sign forms recommending driver’s licences be taken away from patients, even when the measure wasn’t warranted, as a way to boost billings.
The Globe began examining Dr. Duic’s track record in June. In early 2018, a physician had posted concerns about his hiring practices in a closed Facebook group for female doctors. The post attracted a flurry of comments and was taken down, but a group of eight physicians decided to keep talking. They were frustrated no action had been taken during his long reign as emergency chief, first at St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto, and now at Southlake Regional Health Centre, north of the city.