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Iowa Radiologist Fired, Finally, But It’s Not Final

August 28, 2012
Written by: , Filed in: Medical Ethics, Pediatric Radiology
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The circus continues: The University of Iowa fired suspended radiology professor Malik Juweid, MD, last week. Dr. Juweid said he would appeal the firing to the state Board of Regents and seek a court injunction to stop it.

A three-person University of Iowa Faculty Judicial Commission, in a 44-page report dated July 23, recommended Dr. Juweid’s firing because of what it called disruptive behavior and violations of rules regarding patient confidentiality. A letter from university President Sally Mason, PhD, dated August 21, directed that the commission’s recommendations be carried out.

The report says that both the university and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics rely on an atmosphere of faculty collegiality. It continues:

Dr. Juweid, by his actions, has shown that he did not work within the bounds of that required collegiality.

The report reproduces dozens of e-mails from Dr. Juweid containing, to put it mildly, inflammatory language. He referred to those with whom he had disagreements as, to pluck a few random exampes, “Nazis,” “corrupt and unprofessional,” “unethical and racist,” and “manipulative, vindictive, disingenuous, and incompetent.”

Summing up, the report describes “Dr. Juweid’s larger pattern of conduct during the period in question: persistent in duration, threatening in tone, and accusatory in content.”

The report also says Dr. Juweid violated provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) by disclosing confidential patient information to support his contention that the university performed unnecessary PET and CT scans on children.

Dr Juweid has responded that Dr. Mason has a conflict of interest in firing him because she is a defendant in a civil lawsuit and an Iowa Civil Rights Commission complaint, both of which he has filed. In a statement reported by the Iowa City Press-Citizen, he said, “THIS TERMINATION DECISION WILL NOT STAND!” The statement referred to Dr. Mason as a “discriminator” and an Iowa assistant attorney general as “corrupt and irresponsible” and “unethical” for not investigating Dr. Juweid’s claim that he was being retaliated against for disclosing improper behavior by the university.

The judicial commission report includes a 2011 e-mail in which Dr. Juweid described himself as:

… funny, nice, intelligent, outspoken but fair, ethical, hardworking, dedicated, good father, good husband, peaceful, generous, cosmopolitan, proud, honest, not backstabbing, helpful, compassionate, humble but fearless and strong.

We’ve followed this case for a couple of years now, most recently in a June post about a hearing before the judicial commission.

During that hearing, incidentally, according to KCRG-TV of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, university officials testified that Dr. Juweid frequently wished death on co-workers who disagreed with him. Dr. Juweid, an American citizen of Jordanian birth, responded that doing so is common in Arabic cultures and shouldn’t be taken as an actual threat.

Related seminar: Pediatric Radiology

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