Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Here's a reassuring headline for you: "Now teaching and treating patients at U, dentist settles suit for $2M with family of dead teen."

You've got to wonder what the parents of Sydney Gallager are thinking right now. Two years ago their daughter died after having her wisdom teeth removed by Edina oral surgeon Paul Tompach. The Gallagers sued, arguing that Tompach had incorrectly administered general anesthesia to their 17 year-old daughter and failed to provide proper monitoring. The case was settled for over $2 million. The state temporarily suspended Tompach's right to practice.

But while the malpractice litigation was still pending, the University of Minnesota hired Tompach as a clinical professor in the dental school.

Yes, you read that correctly. The U hired a professor whose license had been suspended, and who was still in the middle of a wrongful death lawsuit.

How do you explain this decision? Apparently, you can't. Here is what a U spokesman told the Star Tribune.

The U hired him a few days after the state lifted the final restrictions on his license, said Erin McHenry, a spokeswoman for the university's Academic Health Center. "He teaches oral surgery to residents and supervises oral surgeries," McHenry said. She added on Tuesday that he also performs dental procedures at the university.

As for hiring someone while wrongful-death litigation was pending, McHenry said, "The credentials and training of candidates are reviewed and evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Dr. Tompach is a highly trained surgeon with a strong academic background."

And so it goes. Will anyone care, other than the parents of Sydney Gallager? It seems unlikely.

1 comment:

  1. Very impressive that University of Minnesota is. I never killed or blinded a patient. Yet, I am an unemployed surgeon, yes, unemployed since being assaulted by an adult male autistic patient. Assaultive adult male autistic persons "enjoy" protected status in our society which I now assume to mean they enjoy the freedom to assault the right victims with impunity. So much for the patriarchy and hierarchy cited elsewhere in this blog for protecting white males from the tender mercies of injustice. No white coat wall for my benefit. The VA medical system also dignified my unemployment by refusing to consider an impeccable record as neutralizing factor for being a victim of assault by a mentally impaired patient, an incident I am required to disclose on every credentials application, license renewal, and specialty board recertification for what remains of my miserable career. But none of the aforementioned exceeds the humiliation of being labeled a "disruptive physician" for refusing to permit the interference with patient care by senior Vice Presidents, nurses and technicians when hospital credentials, state law and common sense dictate a physician's affirmative responsibility to protect patients from harm by those non-physicians