Ontario Divisional Court upholds international medical graduate’s dismissal from anesthesia residency program following his failure to satisfy remediation plan requirements

18. July 2017 0

International medical graduate was dismissed from his anesthesia residency program following his failure to satisfy the requirements of his third remediation/probation plan.  The dismissal was upheld on appeal and by the Court on judicial review.

Administrative law – Decisions of administrative tribunals – Academic Appeals Committee – Professions – Physicians and surgeons – Competence – Universities – Educational malpractice – Judicial review – Appeals – Standard of review – Reasonableness simpliciter 

Evangelista v. University of Toronto, [2017] O.J. No. 2270, 2017 ONSC 2513, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Divisional Court, May 5, 2017, K.E. Swinton, M.T. Linhares de Sousa and N.J. Spies JJ.

The applicant, Dr. E, was placed on a series of three remediation plans while in his fourth year of his anesthesia residency program at the University of Toronto.  He was first placed on the remediation plan after gaps in his knowledge and decision-making skills were identified.  The third remediation plan was to be six months long and required him, in part, to achieve a grade of 3 (meets expectations) in 90% of his written evaluations and achieve an overall score of greater than 65% on his examination at the end of the remediation/probation period.  He was advised that at the end of the remediation period, he may be reintegrated into the program or be dismissed from it.  When the applicant failed to meet the criteria set out in his remediation plan, the Board of Examiners decided to dismiss him from the program.

The applicant appealed the decision to the Faculty Appeals Committee, who dismissed the appeal as the applicant had not substantiated any of the grounds for allowing appeals under the Faculty guidelines.  The applicant appealed to the Appeals Committee, who agreed with the Faculty Appeals Committee.  The applicant then sought judicial review of the Appeals Committee’s decision.  The applicant submitted that the decision was unreasonable in that it did not recognize that the differences between the approved remediation plan and the actual remediation process were so significant that it rendered the entire evaluative process unfair.  The Court found that, despite some factual errors, the Appeals Committee’s findings were entirely reasonable and supported by the evidence.  The application for judicial review was dismissed.

This case was digested by Kara L. Hill of Harper Grey LLP.  If you would like to discuss this case further, please feel free to contact her directly at [email protected] or review her biography at http://www.harpergrey.com.

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