Whine of the week: Dr Paul Miniter

johnboy 9 November 2010 23

The ABC brings the irritating tale of Dr Paul Miniter who’s arguing the toss on a selection process he dipped out on.

My personal rule of thumb is that people who start getting arsey about selection processes are the last people you’d ever want to work with.

Two orthopaedic surgeons who were given contracts to work as visiting medical officers (VMO) in ACT Health were colleagues of some members of the selection panel.

Two surgeons who were unsuccessful contract applicants complained about a potential conflict of interest.

Health Minister Katy Gallagher says she stands by her Department’s choice of panel members and all potential conflicts of interest were declared.

At the end of the day I’d prefer a selection panel, with personal experience of the work of some applicants, deciding they do good work and giving them the job.

Dr Paul appears outraged that no one is taking seriously his demands for meetings with the Minister or external reviews.


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23 Responses to Whine of the week: Dr Paul Miniter
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stingy1 stingy1 10:39 pm 16 Nov 10

I awoke to Dr Minitar on 666 a week ago, and I couldn’t believe it.

Around 6 years ago, Dr Minitar reconstructed my knee after I’d done an Anterior-Cruciate Ligament playing soccer. I had it done privately, because I didn’t want to wait a year or two in the public system.

He was then a visiting surgeon from Sydney. I found him extremely professional, very communicative, and my knee has stood the test of time.

I believe that Dr Minitar would not have taken lightly the step he took to go public. I wish him well in his campaign, but it seems that everyone including the Minister and even Johnboy from riotact an ‘independent’ media voice, has dismissed his claims.

I’m sorry but if due process means making a submission to a Departmental process, then I can understand Dr Minitar going to the press with his concerns. The fact that he’s being pilloried for it is very disappointing.

What chance do any other whistle blowers have if a surgeon going public gets shot down in flames.

pug206gti pug206gti 3:59 pm 10 Nov 10

A good surgeon who is getting lots of referrals from local GPs who agree the surgeon is good probably wouldn’t be too worried about not getting a hospital VMO position.

astrojax astrojax 4:32 pm 09 Nov 10

put patients on the panels, too, and see how well the applicants do then…

clp clp 4:28 pm 09 Nov 10

Some of these positions aren’t the same as other jobs either – its about allowing someone to have admitting rights to the hospital and they get perks like car parking etc – often its like they are able to provide their services there.
The issue is often about whether VMOs should be appointed in the first place – sometimes hiring staff specialists is more cost effective but people in private practice don’t want to do it.
Orthopaedics appears to be very money hungry game.

Amanda Hugankis Amanda Hugankis 1:57 pm 09 Nov 10

I-filed said :

Ian said :

I’m with johnboy on this. All other things being equal(ish) you pick the person you want to work with, that you think fits your team better.

Also, if someone doesn’t want me, I probably don’t want to work for them.

That’s corruption and nepotism – exactly the problem we cane developing countries for – and reflects an inability to work with people on a professional basis. If a person is an arsehole they are going to get bad references, so where’s the real risk?

You’d hope they get a bad reference – but who is going to submit a bad reference? The real risk is that I’ve selected many a person with an outstanding reference, a beautifully written application and could charm the pants off a nun, and they’ve become my worst nightmare to work with – chasing off good people and failing to produce anything.

I’m not saying I don’t believe in the process of merit based selection – but you have to listen to your gut instincts. Sadly, on a few ocassions I haven’t and have paid the price.

amarooresident3 amarooresident3 1:56 pm 09 Nov 10

Imagine the uproar if the Minister did get involved.

Amanda Hugankis Amanda Hugankis 1:49 pm 09 Nov 10

johnboy said :

Because every time someone doesn’t get a job it should go straight to the Minister? Get real!

Snap! I was thinking the same thing – as the minister has nothing better to do than listen to people whinge about the unfairness of it all, presuming to actually know that they were better than anyone else who applied for the job, and that the panel were all in cahoots. These people would be the first to whine that Ministers aren’t doing their job and giving the public value for money either.

And let’s just say that the panel didn’t pick him because they didn’t like him and liked the successfuls better, and not because he wasn’t the best applicant for the position. Why the hell would a sane, reasonable and rational person want to work with those people anyway?!

Delusional, paranoid people with an over-inflated sense of entitlement will be the death of any work team, as this carry-on is just the tip of the ice berg. Yay panel!

Ian Ian 1:25 pm 09 Nov 10

I-filed said :

Ian said :

I’m with johnboy on this. All other things being equal(ish) you pick the person you want to work with, that you think fits your team better.

Also, if someone doesn’t want me, I probably don’t want to work for them.

That’s corruption and nepotism – exactly the problem we cane developing countries for – and reflects an inability to work with people on a professional basis. If a person is an arsehole they are going to get bad references, so where’s the real risk?

It’s not either of those things. It’s just that there are intangible or unwritten criteria used when hiring people. It’s wrong and stupid when you hire people who are not competent because they’re your friend or something, but if candidates are approximately equal on other criteria you choose the one you think will fit best.

And like johnboy says, references are often not worth the paper they’re written on or the time taken to make the phone calls. People fudge to be nice, and to offload problems.

colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 1:24 pm 09 Nov 10

johnboy said :

Because many employees give good references to offload their arseholes.

spot on.

p1 p1 1:22 pm 09 Nov 10

johnboy said :

Because many employees give good references to offload their arseholes.

Sadly this is true. When one of my cow-orkers recently got a new position (same pay rate but a much more important one) I could not believe it. But I was mighty pleased to see their back.

I-filed I-filed 12:56 pm 09 Nov 10

Ian said :

I’m with johnboy on this. All other things being equal(ish) you pick the person you want to work with, that you think fits your team better.

Also, if someone doesn’t want me, I probably don’t want to work for them.

That’s corruption and nepotism – exactly the problem we cane developing countries for – and reflects an inability to work with people on a professional basis. If a person is an arsehole they are going to get bad references, so where’s the real risk?

    johnboy johnboy 1:00 pm 09 Nov 10

    Because many employees give good references to offload their arseholes.

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 12:52 pm 09 Nov 10

In the team I look after, we ONLY hire people we know, or people who people we know know.

clp clp 12:50 pm 09 Nov 10

This is standard practice for working out VMO appointments in all hospitals.

Ian Ian 12:23 pm 09 Nov 10

I’m with johnboy on this. All other things being equal(ish) you pick the person you want to work with, that you think fits your team better.

Also, if someone doesn’t want me, I probably don’t want to work for them.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 12:06 pm 09 Nov 10

Alarm bells should start ringing when anyone suggests that just because people know each other, they can’t exercise objectivity.

I’m guessing that there wouldn’t be many more than a dozen orthopaedic surgeons based in Canberra. It’s inconceivable that they wouldn’t all know each other –professional contact through their college would mean that they all knew each other. I’d say it’s even money that Dr Minter has made a cock of himself in other fora and that fact was reflected in the panel’s decision. Perhaps that’s even a better way to look at it – the panel didn’t choose the other two doctors because they were good mates – rather the panel didn’t choose Dr Minter because he is a twat.

Erg0 Erg0 12:06 pm 09 Nov 10

It’s not like this never happens with other jobs – I’ve done more than one public service job interview where the panel consisted entirely of people I knew, and I know a number of people who’ve been in the same situation.

In any case, there’s a pretty big gap between a suspicion of possible bias and proof of actual bias, and unless you’ve got the latter it’s just sour grapes.

housebound housebound 12:04 pm 09 Nov 10

Ummm, it is so easy to believe there would have bene some collusion and that the conflict of interest would have had a bearing on the outcome.

It says more about Canberra that people label the man as a whinger for speaking out. He tried to talk to the minister, and she froze him out, so he had little option but the press.

    johnboy johnboy 12:07 pm 09 Nov 10

    Because every time someone doesn’t get a job it should go straight to the Minister? Get real!

johnboy johnboy 11:44 am 09 Nov 10

There’s nothing more miserable than working with arseholes.

If all else is equal you’re a mug not to choose the person you actually want to work with.

And your organisation will do better work as a result.

p1 p1 11:30 am 09 Nov 10

I would have thought that in a market the size of Canberra, all orthopaedic surgeons would be colleagues of each other to some degree.

I-filed I-filed 11:29 am 09 Nov 10

I disagree – selection panel should avoid conflict of interest and be objective. The perception of recruiting people you simply like should be avoided; the process is potentially corrupt and if an organisation tolerates nepotism that will inevitably lead to incompetence in the organisation.

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