Black Neurosurgeon Files A Complaint Against Atlanta Area Hospital System For Racial Discrimination

by Duke Magazine

A neurosurgeon has filed a racial discrimination complaint against an Atlanta-area hospital system, alleging that he was fired from his dream job after high-ranking doctors at the facility questioned his professional skills due to his skin color.

Dr. Dare Adewumi’s lawyer told WSB-TV that his case isn’t unique and that other African-American doctors across the country are facing similar challenges. The lawsuit filed by Dr. Adewumi has been moved to the federal level. However, several documents related to the lawsuit appear to have been hidden from public notice and inspection.

Dr. Adewumi stated he worked for Wellstar Cobb Hospital and did surgery on the brain and spinal cord. However, he claims that insiders within the Wellstar system began working against him less than a year after he started working there. Even though he was carrying out his responsibilities without incident.

“There I was, a young Black man, a young Black neurosurgeon who was doing well, my surgeries were going well, my career was blossoming, my reputation was blossoming, and all of a sudden I started getting these letters attacking everything from my character to my surgeries,” Adewumi explained. “I was handled in a way that was considerably different from how my white colleagues were treated.”

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Wellstar Medical Group and Wellstar Health Systems Inc. are named as defendants in the racial discrimination complaint, according to CK Hoffler, one of Adewumi’s lawyers. “This is happening at a time when we need physicians, and we need Black doctors,” Hoffler said, noting that African-American doctors have been treated unfairly in the past.

Several organizations, including one sponsored by Rev. Jesse Jackson, have taken it upon themselves to look into such situations. “It’s a level playing field.” “Be reasonable,” Jackson advised.

“Jesus was born in a manger in a stable outside in the wintertime, and he was a brilliant physician.” He wasn’t included on anyone’s social calendar. But take a look at what he did: he moved from the stable to the house.”

“Wellstar does not discriminate,” an attorney for Wellstar, William Hill, stated in a statement to WSB-TV in response to the lawsuit.

“Dr. Adewumi has never faced discrimination or been treated unfairly. Wellstar’s primary priorities are patient care and safety, according to Hill.

However, during his first ten months at Wellstar, Adewumi said “everything went smoothly,” adding that he “performed around 100 procedures.” Adewumi stated he began receiving many letters of inquiry from an anonymous peer-review procedure after that period.

“We had an outside doctor, a top doctor, analyze all of the investigations and conclude that there was no deviation from the standard of care,” Hoffler said.

Despite having 11 years of medical training in his area, Adewumi claims he was put on a 12-year performance plan. During that time, he claims he was handled like an intern by a senior Wellstar doctor, and he was eventually fired before the 12-month plan ended.

“(They stated) I did nothing wrong and was fired because suitable relationships were not fostered,” Adewumi said, referring to what an executive told him. The Black neurosurgeon also claimed that he missed out on two good neurosurgical job possibilities as a result of his inability to execute the action plan.

Northside Hospital Inc. was also named in the complaint. After being sacked from Wellstar, Hoffler believes Adewumi worked there as an independent contractor. Despite working well, Hoffler claims Adewumi was passed up for a full-time Northside job offer by a Caucasian doctor who was less qualified. Northside disputes that its activities were biased.

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