centered image

centered image

Mayo Physician Fired Over COVID Book

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mahmoud Abudeif, Jun 30, 2021.

  1. Mahmoud Abudeif

    Mahmoud Abudeif Golden Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2019
    Messages:
    6,492
    Likes Received:
    37
    Trophy Points:
    12,275
    Gender:
    Male
    Practicing medicine in:
    Egypt

    After publishing a book about his experience on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic, a physician was fired from his position at the Mayo Clinic this month, he confirmed to MedPage Today.

    [​IMG]

    Steven Weiss, MD, an internist who practiced at the clinic's Eau Claire, Wisconsin location for 32 years, stated that he was terminated because he identified himself as an employee of the Mayo Clinic in his new book, called Carnage in America: COVID-19, Racial Injustice, and the Demise of Donald Trump.

    According to a June 4 termination letter shared with MedPage Today, Mayo Clinic administrators told Weiss, 62, that his actions violated the health system's publishing policy, as he did not submit his manuscript to the institution for review before it was printed.

    Administrators added that Weiss was fired under a "without cause" provision, because the concerns that prompted their investigation did not involve misconduct, incompetence, negligence, or a violation of Weiss's employment contract. A personnel committee and the board of directors voted to remove him.

    The Mayo Clinic gave Weiss an opportunity to resign in the termination letter, but he decided not to. Weiss's termination will go into effect on September 13, and he'll be paid through that date. The internist is no longer permitted to enter Mayo Clinic facilities or see patients.

    "I'm still in shock that I was terminated for this," Weiss said in an interview with MedPage Today. "I had no idea that they would claim a right to pre-vet a book before publication."

    Richard Helmers, MD, regional vice president of the northwest Wisconsin region at the Mayo Clinic, said in a statement that "the book authored by Dr. Steven Weiss was conducted independent of Mayo's knowledge or approval and did not adhere to Mayo Clinic policies."

    Helmers added that Weiss's employment contract will end "for reasons beyond the publication of a book," stating that administrators at the health system have been involved in communications with the internist about past and current concerns.

    In the statement, Helmers said that "Mayo Clinic Health System is a non-profit organization and is not affiliated with any political party," stating that patients should be assured that care is not impacted by political views.

    In his book, Weiss published regular journal entries he kept during the pandemic, beginning when the first Wisconsin resident got sick. He expressed opinions on the influence of politics, religion, and culture on Americans' perception of COVID-19, and faulted the Trump administration for mishandling the pandemic response.

    Additionally, Weiss criticized some of the Mayo Clinic's actions, including a pandemic policy that he believed restricted the use of N95 masks. As first reported by the Leader-Telegram, the internist included a blog post in his book from April 20, 2020, that stated "staff wearing N95s for other than institution-approved indications, which don't include routine care to patients with documented COVID infection, could be cited for 'failure to work,' prelude to possible termination."

    Additionally, Weiss denounced the Mayo Clinic's implementation of EPIC's electronic health records system in 2017 and 2018.

    The Mayo Clinic stated in the June 4 termination letter that it conducted an employment investigation into Weiss, concluding that his book contained "unauthorized use of confidential business information, self-identification as a Mayo employee without appropriate approval, inappropriate use of patient identifiers, and derogatory and unprofessional commentary placing Mayo in a negative light."

    Weiss said that he did not include any information that would put the Mayo Clinic at a competitive disadvantage, and changed all patient identifiers in the book to protect their privacy.

    The internist added that there is some information that paints Mayo in a negative light. "But I called it as I saw it," he said. "I offered lavish praise in places, too."

    Weiss said that he does not believe he would have been terminated if he did not identify himself as a physician employed by the Mayo Clinic in his book. He is still considering whether or not to pursue legal action against his employer.

    Source
     

    Add Reply

Share This Page

<