I have recently found some renewed enthusiasm for writing on my blog. I read about an exciting new center for physicians rights appropriately called CPR- Center for Physician Rights that was started by Dr. Kernan Manion. He was subjected to mistreatment by the North Carolina PHP and the medical board and subsequently lost his license in 2013. I am excited and hopeful that this organization can help stop the unfair treatment for now countless physicians. I have provided a link to his group on the sidebar.
In searching for material for my blog, I found a letter I wrote to the Chief of Staff of the hospital where I worked dated back to March 2008. First, a little background.
I left the physician I originally joined in 2002 and opened my own office in March 2005. I had no complaints or issues for three years prior. Four months after I opened my office I started getting “notices” of inadequate care of various patients or “inappropriate” comments I apparently made. My clinical decisions were constantly questioned by nursing who would call one of the other more senior physicians for clarification. The physician I originally joined, Dr. X didn’t speak to me for a year after I opened my practice. Our department consisted of only three doctors, Dr X, Dr. Y and me- the only female. Out of incredible frustration I requested a meeting with the Chief of Staff along with the other doctors in my department. Below is the letter I submitted as exactly written back in 2008.
Dear Dr. Z,
Since I opened my own office there has been an obvious and palpable tension between Dr. X an myself. Although he hasn’t been openly hostile in public, his manner and inability to communicate with me in a professional and collegial manner has been apparent and has progressively accelerated. I have been told by nurses that he has made disparaging remarks on the nursing station about my patient care and I am also aware that he has asked numerous physicians about my performance in medical record keeping presumably to use as ammunition at the peer review meeting. I have read incriminating comments made by him in my patient’s chart which could be quite damaging to me in a potential lawsuit by said patient. I am also aware that the hospital peer review asked the head nurse on labor and delivery if the nurses had any problems with my performance prior to the peer review meeting, again presumably to “make a case”. This amounts to professional harassment, economic favoritism of one physician over another, abuse of power of those physicians on various committees, failure of due process and grounds for legal action.
(This was written prior to a peer review meeting regarding my delinquent medical records- I was placed on probation for not finishing my dictations in a timely fashion.)
I find it reprehensible that I have been left with a situation in which I feel my every move, patient encounter, and conversation is scrutinized and reported to an authority within the hospital . There is an obvious conflict of interest where my economic competitor is scrutinizing my patient’s charts and using hi position on various committees to report any and all perceived digressions. This is an untenable situation and no respected and clinically competent physician should be expected to work in such a hostile environment. This situation places me at a potential risk of Medical Board action should the situation escalate. My only obvious choice at this point is no longer share call with Dr. X which will again potentially result in retaliation on his part.
My summary suspension was issued in May of 2011. In retrospect, I should have started to move my practice at the point I wrote the letter. It would have been very difficult as I would have to sell my house and office building as I was in solo practice, divorced, and managing the office as well.
Hind sight is always 20/20. The writing was on the wall.