February 26, 2024

Dark cloud over celebrity surgeon in New Hampshire

The award-winning Boston Globe Spotlight team of investigative reporters has targeted a New Hampshire cardiothoracic surgeon. In a series of articles, the Globe claims that Dr Yvon Baribeau had more settlements over surgical deaths than any other physician in the United States.

Dr Baribeau, who retired from his cardiothoracic surgery position at Catholic Medical Center (CMC) in Manchester in 2019 was widely known and esteemed. However, he had settled 21 medical malpractice suits at CMC, 14 of them allegedly over errors which led to a patient’s death.

The Globe analysed the records of 125 current, retired, and non-practicing heart surgeons in Manchester’s best hospitals. It found that only 12 had any lawsuits and of those only two had two. Dr Baribeau’s track record was substantially worse.

The Globe also claimed that executives at CMC were aware of Dr Baribeau’s record. One doctor even lodged a federal whistle-blower case. However, Dr Baribeau was literally the face of CMC and appeared in a number of CMC advertisements.

Through his attorney, Dr Baribeau told the Globe: “I performed over 10,000 procedures at CMC, always with patient safety as my first priority.”

And CMC reacted angrily to the Globe’s allegations. “The story paints a picture of a hospital that is unrecognizable from the place we all know, and is based on allegations that we strongly refute,” its CEO declared in a memo to staff. “And it overlooks the fact that thousands of people are only alive today because Dr. Baribeau operated on them.”