Investigation into suspended Charlottetown doctor nearly completed

Jim Day
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Dr. Grant Matheson

The College of Physicians and Surgeons is getting close to completing a lengthy investigation into a Charlottetown family doctor currently under suspension.

The college reported in October 2012 that it had suspended Dr. Grant Matheson’s medical licence and was conducting an investigation on the doctor.

On Monday, the college told The Guardian that the 14-month-old investigation will likely wrap up within two months.

The college would not offer any details on the nature of the investigation.

Five years ago, Matheson’s licence to practise medicine was suspended for a series of infractions that included over-prescribing narcotics to a patient so that he could purchase them back for his own use.

A successful appeal of that ruling granted Matheson a conditional discharge, putting the doctor on probation for two years. In 2010, he met all the requirements of his probation. In a candid interview with The Guardian at that time, Matheson admitted to struggling with addiction to the potent painkiller Dilaudid between 2003 and 2005.

He said he spoke with hundreds of Islanders about his experience with addiction, which he also said helped him connect with his patients who were experiencing similar issues. It is not known whether Matheson’s former struggles with drugs are linked to his current leave of absence.

At the time of his suspension in 2012, Matheson had roughly 1,500 patients.

A physician was assigned to review any lab reports or tests that were sent out and required follow up.

Any prescriptions Matheson wrote were to be honoured for a limited time following his suspension.

Organizations: College of Physicians, The Guardian

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • RAM
    January 29, 2014 - 12:13

    Dr. Matheson has been my family doctor for years, He would do anything to help a patent and go to any length to make then feel better. I have struggled with addictions threw-out the years and in my early stages of recovery Grant was there for me will to listen and problem solve with me.. Id love to see him back again..

  • Harold
    January 29, 2014 - 07:49

    Yes i had Dr Matherson for a few yrs.he was a good doctor for me.always listened to your problems. If you needed a specialist he would always try get you in. Always treated me good . With all the shortage of Doctors we should not be getting rid of him. After all this man has gone to school a lot of yrs to get this far as a Doctor. Think he should be put back with his practice n if needed be monotered by whom ever for a few yrs if need to be. .Thank You.

  • Jamie Lynn MacDonald
    January 28, 2014 - 11:48

    Here we go again!! Once again, only partial information is being provided about the investigation into Dr. Matheson's suspension. I have to say that I am embarassed and ashamed that a few people continue to want to bash Dr. Matheson and accuse him of falling susceptible to his admitted dilaudid addiction. Let me be very specifio!! A couple of known facts, had a few of the rude people took time to notice: 1. Dr. Matheson gave up his right to prescribe narcotics a long time ago therefore, he was not providing all of these pills for users or dealers on the streets. 2. Ever since he first admitted to suffering from this terrible addiction and seeking treatment, Dr. Matheson has completely drug testing on a weekly basis, and never once!! Has he failed a test with traces of any narcotics!! So, for the few negative people out there consider those 2 very important facts!! Therefore, without knowing the facts of their so-called investigation (which leaves one to wonder why or how it would take 2 years to complete) PLEASE STOP putting the cart before the horse, and give this wonderful, caring, physician, the dignity and respect which he completely deserves!!! I was never a patient of Dr. Matheson, but I know many who have been yet, not "1" has anything bad to say about Dr. Matheson however, all of them have always talked about his amazing care that he provides, and his willingness to always stay late and squeeze that additional person in to see him, so they wouldn't spend hours waiting in Out-Patients to be seen. To me, as Islanders we need Dr. Matheson back at work and I know that my myself and my family, would be one of the first people eager to become his patients. This physician has never misdiagnosed a patient, we need him back, as he truly is a family doctor that cares!!

  • Dennis
    January 28, 2014 - 11:18

    i don't have a Family Doctor, and had seen Dr. Matheson a couple of times at the walk-in clinic. well, after 2 visits i went out of my way to go when Dr. Matheson was on, a very caring Doctor, very thorough with a good bedside manner. knowing i didn't have a Family Doctor he would usually give me a sort of quick mini physical while i was there. i would love to have him back, and as my Family Doctor.

  • Islander
    January 28, 2014 - 10:45

    What this Doctor done is dead wrong. He has addiction issues and hopefully he has or will take the treatment and be a successful individual again. He could help alot of people who fall to this type addiction. What is the point of this story, tells us what we already know. The Colege of Physicians should complete their investigation and than release the information so we all know the true facts. People in deperate situations do desperate things. That doesn't mean they are no good. In todays society wheather a Doctor, Nurse, Police officer, Garbage Collector, Politician, Truck Driver you name it, its called addictions, many people have rebounded and become very worthy individual once given a second change. Some of the comments in this article are people mouthing off when first, they don't know the facts and second they know very little or nothing about how addictions can ruin anyone's life.

  • grateful
    January 28, 2014 - 10:35

    He saved my mom. He went to bat for her when others wouldn't and she got the surgery that saved her life. I hope he gets the help he needs, same goes to those of you who are demonstrating your own problems, with anger.

  • Tracy
    January 28, 2014 - 08:57

    Dr. Matheson is a wonderful, caring, knowledgeable and humble doctor. He is very missed. Don't really understand the point of this article.. No facts are being reported.. what's the point.. Just to drag his name through the mud again because as a journalist, you can?

  • Marie
    January 28, 2014 - 08:45

    A doctor who, above everyone else, knows the destructive force of these "illegible pad drugs" uses his patient as a middleman pusher and someone/anyone thinks this is OK?!? OMG...not a wonder you have a big addiction problem on the Island. This doctor crossed his professional line and should never be allowed to practise alone again. PEI is in such need of good doctors that you're forced to accept the wrong to get a right!!!

  • Sasha
    January 28, 2014 - 08:30

    A few points....addiction can affect anyone....Dr. M may have made it easier for your brother to access these meds but if the good doc didn't then someone else would have....your brother addiction is his issue, perhaps if you helped your brother accept some personal responsibility then his likelyhoodbof getting better would increase....and given the sad state of our medical.community....comparable to our failing education system,shouldn't a MD with a proven record of good patient care be given the opportunity to continue to provide this much needed service with appropriate monitoring....and I believe Dr. M took his recover seriously by speaking up.and out....would be an excellent resource for the rampant addiction issue on Pei....and for the record...approximately 75%.of people who abuse prescription drugs find them at home or from a family member....

    • Where do you think the precription drugs came from
      January 28, 2014 - 09:13

      You said "...and for the record...approximately 75%.of people who abuse prescription drugs find them at home or from a family member...." and where do you think those prescription drugs came from? The Mexican drug cartel? No, from a doctor's prescription pad! There are so many available to our youth and homes and elsewhere because they have been over-prescribed. Five million opiates pills were prescribed on PEI - population 145,000 - in 2012. You don't think that is excessive and a problem? Dr. Matheson has a disease. Unfortunately,t he nature of his disease - addiction - causes one to be desperate and do desperate things like what he did. Would we tell a doctor he can't work again because he had cancer? As long as he is in recovery and working his recovery he should be given another chance.

  • Tanya
    January 28, 2014 - 08:18

    @Rotten ralph@you are very ignorant!! I did not have my "scripts filled without question", yet I have to agree that he was a wonderful doctor. Myself, my husband and my 9 year old son all adored him. Yes he has some very serious problems but he was truly a very caring and compassionate doctor who had more bedside manners than most of all the doctors on the island put together. He would never just hear your symptoms and write you a prescription. He was talk to you about other ways to deal with the issue so that you wouldn't have to rely on meds as a fix and he would explain to you what your health issue was and answer any questions you may have. He truly listened and didn't just rush you out of the office. He will be truly missed as a doctor by my family although we were fortunate to find another wonderful family doctor. I will always have nothing but good things to say about him. We all make mistakes and we all struggle with our own personal issues and/or demons. Like for instance Rotten ralph, your personal issue would be diarrhea of the mouth.

  • Rotten ralph
    January 28, 2014 - 06:43

    This guy is a disaster, only ones spouting his virtues obviously had their scrips filled without question. How many chances does poor grant get, gimmie a break...a nurse or a policeman and you all would have no issues about shutting him/her down...joke.

  • Nancy Ingalls
    January 28, 2014 - 03:39

    I never had Dr Matheson but my father was a patient of his and I also found that he cared very much for his patients.My father had Bowel Cancer in 1999 and he was in the hospital and only had a short time left to live he asked Dr Matheson to allow him to go home to have his final Christmas with his wife and family, he was granted his final wish.I had gone to visit him the following day and he was in so much pain that he was laying down on his sofa in the fetal position when I arrived he had strong pain meds at home but I didn't know what to give him, because he was in so much pain that he couldn't talk to me. I phonedDr Matheson's office and told him the situation, he immediately came to my father's house to check on him and to make sure that he was okay and to give him his meds to make sure that he was okay and not in pain. I wonder how many Dr's would have taken the time to make a house call in 1999? My father went back to the QEH after Christmas and that is where he stayed until he passed in February 2000.I will never forget that! I know first hand that we have a Dr shortage on PEI,because I've had a number of new dr's since Dr Lecour left her practice. because they all leave PEI ! I'm very fortunate to have Dr Paul Jewers he is a wonderful caring Dr.I always ask the Dr's when I'm assigned a new one, how long will you be staying? I hope that Dr Matheson will be allowed to practice again with some restrictions for his patient's sake.

  • Alisha
    January 28, 2014 - 01:22

    I would just like to say he is a wonderful doctor, who actually does care. I have gone to other doctors in this island and been misdiagnosed and given minimal treatment . I am not saying that it was right what he did, but I think the public should put down their stones and take a look at themselves first before they cast any. The man needs help and support , it is not a reflection on his medicine for what happened . To be really honest people should mind their own business!!! Also the dumbass patient who helped him out should be punished as well , and stop acting like the victim!!!! they were both Addicts using each other, they both need help !!!! I hope Dr. Matheson can come back really soon :)

  • what comes around
    January 27, 2014 - 22:54

    what comes around goes around. this man ruined young peoples lives with over prescribing so I think his life should be ruined by losing his licence and charged. pei cannot afford to have this addict (with the power to prescribe pills that end up in our youths hands) back in the system. my brother's life is messed up because of over prescribing. let him go. they just printed this story to get feedback to see what the reaction of islanders would be if they let him off the hook because of his elite status. he had his second chance so get rid of him we don't want him!!!!

  • The Bradleys
    January 27, 2014 - 21:20

    Dr. Matheson is a great doctor very caring and he always took the time to listen to your concerns, I never felt like i was being push threw my Appt. We do wish him all the best and hope that he will be back.

  • Sasha
    January 27, 2014 - 21:15

    What is the point of this story and who released this information to the media. Finish your investigation on whatever it is you are investigating and release your findings then to the professional body. I think the Medical Society should honor Privacy legislation and not disclose information like this. Where is your professionalism.

    • huh
      January 28, 2014 - 11:49

      They did honor privacy legislation by not going into details. So a family physician with 1500 patients should just disappear without a word being said as to what is going on?

  • kaymac
    January 27, 2014 - 20:51

    We surely need more Doctor's and I have heard from many reliable sources that Dr.Grant Matheson is one of the absolute best. Pretty easy to put him back to work and monitor his condition. Strong chance that he has beaten that addiction. Please consider and review. Thanks

  • another chance
    January 27, 2014 - 20:26

    The difference between this doctor and others is that he may be able to afford proper counseling and treatment. The rest of us poor islanders need to stay within Robbie's crooked system and have no chance of getting proper help.

  • Claudette Ferguson
    January 27, 2014 - 19:27

    Dr. Matheson is one of the most caring Dr.s I've had in a long time. He is greatly missed by our family. I think it would be a terrible loss to the medical community and his patients to loose him. After all he is only human and we all make mistakes.

  • Bill
    January 27, 2014 - 19:21

    This goes to show that EVERYBODY is succeptible to addiction. Those who judge should look at their own shortcomings before they point out others'. Unless of course they are perfect.