Dr. Death Down Under



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He’s no fun for patients, according to the Corvallis Gazette-Times, but his colleagues in Portland seem to have loved him, sending this doc, with his incredible fatality rate, on to Australia with glowing letters of recommendation:

RASPBERRIES to six former Oregon colleagues of Dr. Jayant “Jay” Patel, 56, who recently was dubbed “Dr. Death” by the Australian media because 87 of his patients have from complications in the two years that he worked as a surgeon in a Queensland hospital. But then, patients dying in droves is nothing new for Patel, whose fatality rate more resembled that of a serial killer than a surgeon.

Patel practiced in Oregon from 1989 to 2000 at Portland’s Kaiser Permanente hospital, when his practice was restricted here statewide because of the high rate of complications and death among Patel’s patients. The Oregon Board of Medical Examiners finally restricted Patel’s practice statewide in 2000. Undaunted, Patel left Oregon, armed with six glowing letters of references from his former colleagues.

Patel moved in 2003 to Australia and sought to hand out his shingle again. The Medical Board of Queensland failed to check Patel’s dismal medical history in New York and Oregon, relying heavily on the letters of recommendation from those Oregon doctors who wrote them seven months after the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners restricted Patel’s practice.

The word again was proved to be more powerful than the sword and, where Patel is concerned, just as lethal.

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