On November 2, DATAC published an article on accusations of conflict of interest leveled against Dr. Jennifer Melamed and Dr. Maire Durnin-Goodman relating to their IME practice and concurrent involvement in medical monitoring.
DATAC has subsequently learned that the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia released a clarifying statement on October 6th, explicitly stating that registrants may do IMEs and own monitoring companies. This cleared Dr. Melamed and Dr. Durnin-Goodman of any wrongdoing.
DATAC spoke with Dr. Alan Brookstone, an addiction physician and program administrator for Precision Medical Monitoring. Dr. Brookstone provided further context regarding the article and the allegations.
“We have been through a very challenging time following the deliberate and sustained vicious attacks by a local small special-interest group. Since being cleared of any wrongdoing, we are pleased that this matter has been addressed by the College and we are stronger for it.”Dr. Brookstone, Precision Medical Monitoring
Brookstone pointed out that their practice of due diligence in order to avoid any conflict extends back a number of years. While Precision has always met or exceeded the College’s practice standards regarding conflicts of interest, in March 2019, out of an abundance of caution, Precision engaged an independent nationally recognized expert in medical ethics to assess their practice. Brookstone said the objective was to determine if Precision was in fact meeting the highest ethical standards. Precision retained Gary Goldsand, Clinical Ethicist and Clinical Director of the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre at the University of Alberta.
The ethics review carried out by the Health Ethics Centre took 6 months to complete. Goldsand concluded that in their practice, Melamed and Durnin-Goodman satisfactorily managed ethical challenges, provided services in an ethical and reasonable fashion, and had adopted an organizational structure that enabled competing interests to be identified and managed adequately. Dr. Brookstone notes that “a financial interest in a biological monitoring company is always disclosed in advance of the IME as part of the consent process”, in keeping with the College’s standards and ethical requirements.
According to Brookstone, following the ethics review and the CPSBC’s communication, Precision Medical Monitoring continues to provide comprehensive medical monitoring and independent medical evaluation services.
In summary, Brookstone stated, “Precision provides a high-quality service focused on public safety and is fully compliant with College Standards and Guidelines as well as objectively measured current ethical standards. We are blessed with excellent working relationships with our clients and referral organizations and look forward to continuing to serve our community.”