The Queen’s former surgeon has denied using derogatory language during an exchange with the chief executive of the north-east’s health board.
Professor Zygmunt Krukowski rejected the allegation while giving evidence during the first day of his employment tribunal against NHS Grampian.
He claims he was unfairly dismissed by the health board.
Prof Krukowski was suspended from his role at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary after an investigation was launched into his conduct at the hospital in 2015.
However, he was cleared by the General Medical Council of any wrongdoing in July of the same year.
As he was cross-examined yesterday by Ian Truscott, on behalf of NHS Grampian, a number of allegations were put to him, including that he was a bully and using derogatory racial language towards his colleagues.
Mr Truscott suggested that, while Prof Krukowski had been working at ARI, his behaviour could be perceived as “unnecessarily blunt” or “insistent”.
The professor replied: “I try not to be unnecessarily blunt, I do try to be brief.”
The solicitor also suggested Prof Krukowski’s colleagues had claimed there were issues surrounding the absence of one staff member during a weekly meeting, which they were unable to attend for religious reasons.
Mr Truscott asked him if he has said that “some patients were more important than some religions”.
But Prof Krukowski said the phrase had been: “What’s more important? Patients or prayers?”
Mr Truscott also suggested NHS colleague had claimed Prof Krukowski used a derogatory phrase while he was speaking to the then-chief executive of NHS Grampian, Richard Carey.
However, Prof Krukowski rejected the claims.
He said: “I have never used that phrase in my life.
“I would have been astonished that the chief executive of a national board would not take action immediately.
“I strenuously deny I would use that phrase and I would not be so stupid to use it at a chief executive.”
Mr Truscott described another occasion when a worker felt he was being “bullied, harassed and mobbed” after Prof Krukowski questioned his methods of care and “raised his voice” at him.
Mr Truscott read from a diary entry that the surgeon was unable to go into theatre after being left “shaken”.
Prof Krukowski said: “That is a falsehood. He was not scheduled for theatre.
“We worked and discussed it and I thought we had addressed the issue.
“He recognises that he misled me about the detail of the surgery and patient care was far below what should be accepted.”
Prof Krukowski added: “I lost my temper with him and I was embarrassed and mortified. I have subsequently apologised.”
A whistleblower first contacted the then-health secretary Alex Neil in March 2014 with concerns from senior medics over management and clinical standards at ARI.
Mr Neil then ordered Healthcare Improvement Scotland to carry out a full review of performance and culture at the flagship hospital.
Inspectors raised concerns about some senior medics, particularly the behaviour of a minority of consultants in general surgery.
The tribunal continues.