Scrape away at the glitzy promotional ads and what’s left at the core?
It’s a fair question to ask, but no one at Vanderbilt is responding.
Vanderbilt puts Duke Med alum on leave after complaint about kneeling to protest white supremacy
By Ben Leonard | 01/09/2018 |
Duke medicine alumnus Eugene Gu has been no stranger to controversy.
He is suing President Donald Trump for blocking him on Twitter. He has been subpoenaed by Congress for his research on fetal tissues.
Medicine and activism have been intertwined for him—intended or not.
The now-Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) resident was placed on paid administrative leave for nearly two weeks on Nov. 9.
He says it might have to do with a patient’s mother complaining that he took a knee on Twitter to protest white supremacy.
She wrote two public Facebook posts identifying herself as the patient’s mother that kicked Gu out of the room and prevented him from caring for her son because of Gu’s actions.
She did not respond to multiple requests for comment from The Chronicle.
The third-year resident who has found fame—he has more than 100,000 followers on Twitter—
for taking a stand on social issues said that he was removed from the patient’s room after his mother complained.
Gu was let off administrative leave Nov. 22 but is still on probation until March 2018, he says.
According to emails obtained by The Chronicle with the name of the patient and their mother redacted to protect patient privacy,
VUMC administration officials discussed investigating all the mother’s complaints regarding his social media posts on Nov. 8.
That day, Seth Karp, chairman of the department of surgery,
requested that someone document the mother’s complaints about Gu and get them to him by the end of the next day, Nov. 9.
One day later, Gu was placed on administrative leave.
VUMC did not return more than a dozen requests from the Chronicle for confirmation that Karp is involved in personnel decisions over more than a week, over email and the phone. . . .
In Nov. 2016, the Huffington Post published a piece regarding his subpoena which detailed alleged abuse from colleagues.
“But Gu said the negative attention from Congress has created a “harrowing” ordeal for him. Fellow surgical residents at Vanderbilt became suspicious of him.
He said one colleague compared him to Martin Shkreli, the deeply hated pharmaceutical executive who had to testify before
Congress after he acquired the manufacturing license for a life-saving anti-parasitic drug and raised its price by 5,556 percent.
Gu’s academic evaluations turned negative, after years of near-perfect grades, and he says the doctors he was observing in surgery became more demanding and critical of him.”
Laura Bassett in Huffington Post investigation
A current chief resident told him after the article was published that he had “scorched his own backyard” and make things “so much harder for himself,” he said.
Since then, Gu said he has tried to transfer to any program that would take him so he could get away from the environment at VUMC.
But even though he attended Stanford and Duke medical school and co-founded Ganogen, he hasn’t been able to be accepted anywhere because when schools call his fellow residents,
their reviews aren’t too rosy.
“Just like how Colin Kaepernick was blacklisted from NFL, these residency programs are very tight knit,” Gu said. “I’m like damaged goods now.
It’s almost impossible for me to transfer anywhere. I wasn’t even asking to transfer to a prestigious institution.”
In a letter dated Sept. 14, 2016, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) voiced her support for Gu to transfer to a “more supportive residency environment.”
She wrote that Gu had “been pulled into the on-going Congressional political theatre orchestrated by Republicans against Planned Parenthood and fetal tissue research.”
“As the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished—it is also this research that has made Eugene a target of discrimination at Vanderbilt due to a witch-hunt in Congress,” Speier wrote.
Or is it simply a sign of the times - better not exercise your American right to free speech, and you sure as hell better not voice any kind of social conscience, or off comes the head.
And the beat goes on, as our White House Brat lounges in his ketchup stained bedsheets, twittering away precious irretrievable time, and cheering on America’s tragic unraveling.
Thanks for the shitshow Koches, Murdochs, Mercers and your stable of GOP puppets, oh and yeah, the sleepy apathetic consumer zombies and a few passionate racists.