Home > Uncategorized > Fired Hopkins Surgery Resident Sues for $24 Million

Fired Hopkins Surgery Resident Sues for $24 Million

It seems like Hopkins is yet again on the cutting edge of medicine these days. According to the article, a former surgical resident, Dr. Oscar Serrano, with a seemingly impeccable record up until his dismissal had gotten the axe from his program after allegedly his superiors erroneously assumed he was behind a complaint that initiated an investigation of their surgery residency program. Furthermore, the article also states that, Dr. Julie Ann Freischlag, chief of surgery claims that this was not the case and that he was terminated because he was MENTALLY ILL! I am quite frankly nauseated to keep hearing about former residents who were just booted out of their program, have been put on probation, are afraid of pending probation, or dropped out altogether because of the hell they have been put through with their programs. In any other job if you get fired you can simply get back up on your feet and just work somewhere else. However, this is not the case with residency. It is like being dropped in the middle of Death Valley in the middle of July and left to fend for yourself without any food or water. Essentially, an MD without residency merely equates to that of a BA degree. In this case, MD stands for “Massive Debt”. Furthermore, you have all the years you already invested into medical school and the six figure debt that does not go away. This is why this is such a scary scenario and sadly it happens way more than it should. I hope this resident takes Hopkins to the cleaners and a precedent is set that an environment of bullying and intimidation with the threat of constant dismissal will no longer be tolerated.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Resident
    August 27, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Absolutely agree. Hope this goes all the way.

  2. Resident #2
    September 28, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    I wonder if there is a way other residents can show their support. I swear, I think residents need a union of some sort. There is so much abuse that wouldnt be tolerated in any other profession. Even fields like Investment Banking have a level of etiquette that needs to be adhered to. I have seen fellow residents screamed at, belittled and threatened to be dismissed all the time!!

  3. Anonymous
    November 28, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    I was fired from orthopaedic surgery residency during my chief year. That was 8/2008. I still have not found my way back. I wish there was a better system out there.

    • medicinesux
      November 28, 2009 at 9:04 pm

      You got the axe in your senior year and you were a chief! Mind numbing and absolutely repulsive. There is NO excuse for this in my book. Have you considered seeking out legal counsel?

  4. DMack
    December 18, 2009 at 3:59 am

    Residents don’t get fired for no reason. Especially not in their chief year. One has to have done something quite negligent or unethical.

    • medicinesux
      December 18, 2009 at 5:01 am

      You are gravely mistaken. The politics in medicine makes what goes on in Washington seem as cordial as that of the Mickey Mouse Club. All you need is one PD with a vendetta whose on some maniacal power trip and your career can be ruined. We will really see how “blameworthy” Dr. Serrano really is with the outcome of this case.

    • Humberto Amaya
      October 18, 2010 at 9:45 am

      You are wrong, residents get fired all the time at various levels of training. Just look at studentdoctors.net and see how many medical school graduates are looking for jobs.

    • YesTheyDo
      December 27, 2010 at 12:43 pm

      Residents are fired for no reason all the time. Here at Brand X we’ve had 2 R3s terminated 6 months prior to graduation. Another resident, having completed 4 years of a 5 year program left instead of coming back for a 5th year. Another R2 just was let go, and yet another plans to not come back for an R3 year. All told, there are around 8 dead bodies in the past year and a half. Office politics have been the reason for most if not all of them.

      • Watchman
        December 27, 2010 at 4:53 pm

        Damn, which specialty was this?

  5. shannon harris
    September 23, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Hi,Same story for several other residents.When you report to ACGME,instead of taking action on the perpeterators,ACGME retaliates against the residents and protects these individuals and tries to cover up.There are multiple cases like this

  6. Miguel
    November 9, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Was there ever an outcome to the Oscar Serrano case? This was over a year ago. Did he get his $24M or what? This will set a great precedent for future bullying.

  7. ohio
    November 15, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Looks like it goes to trial in early january according to the maryland court database

  8. Forever Intern
    March 14, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Yes, some residents are fired because they’re worthless. But sometimes residents are fired, put on leave, made to do research, or made to repeat years for unfounded reasons other than pissing off the wrong attending or the department needing to make room for some foreign incoming researcher or something.

    When we are old cranky faculty members, hopefully we will remember these examples and choose NOT to take part in such archaic forms of discipline.

  9. Anonymous
    January 30, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    There were 2 residents fired from my program this year a 2 and a 3. They have no recourse that I am aware of. Our program director is on a witch hunt for at least 1 more. Keep your mouth shut, your head down and say “yes sir” if you want to make it through. Residency is not the time to make waves; just conform to the indentured serventry and do your time wisely. Document everything thoroughly. They’ve got you by the balls until you are done.

  10. Anonymous
    August 30, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    I am friends with a resident who was fired at the end of his first year and was told by the attending who ruined his reputation, “I hope you learned a lesson.” Yes, this can absolutely happen.

    You can get fired from a residency for being on the wrong side of the wrong person. It doesn’t matter how great your skills or how smart/nice/friendly/competent you are. The wrong person takes a poor view of you – for whatever reason – and you are gone.

    It really is that easy. In fact, you could be an amazingly good resident, ever popular and be fired because of your excellent skills and popularity. Believe me, it happens.

    Patient harm is usually not enough to get someone fired, as it is not really about the patients but about the attendings. The most important patient on the service is the attending.

    I am sorry to hear about your colleagues. I was in program that regularly fired residents, and four left over two years. There is a lot of money at stake with residents, especially the $130,000 that comes per resident from the government for their training – and all the free labor. The stakes are very high, and you walk a razor’s edge as a resident.

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