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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 111600
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I have a question regarding my residency program
, we

Customer Question

Customer: Hi, I have a question regarding my residency program
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: we have two semi-annual meeting with program director and during each visit, beside belittling, discrediting and threatening to put me on remidiation, he doesn't say anything else. when I inquire about the facts, he gets so mad, for instance , despite great oral and written feedback from attendings, He was quite unhappy with my performance especially in the area of professionalism. I scored below average from my peers in professionalism where as last year I had no problems in this areas. He asked me why did I have problems with professionalism? First I asked him to educate me on how these survey number work. I stated that many of my evals were not in yet in and was wondering if that would somehow contribute to the lower score? He got really mad at me and told me I’m always looking for an excuse or to blame the system for my poor performance, that I’m here to fit into the system and not necessarily change the system, these numbers are from overall evaluations by attendings, peer review and “the committee” all of whom are unhappy with me etc.I responded that I’m sorry if it came across as excuses, that I was just confused because my written evals and oral evals don’t quite match up to these numbers and I’m very confused as to what to work on to improve this because no one has told me about bad behavior on my part.Then he went on to explain that one of my biggest problems is that I am too persistent, continuously seeking details which frustrate him and “the corporate” and I need to stop it “right here and now”. He gave an example of one of the meetings we had with the class about changing the floor schedule for the first time and there was ambiguity for me so I was asking questions (there are still questions and ambiguity for all us residents on this topic) and he cut me off when I was asking James. He told me today he did that on purpose because he thought I was asking too many questions and he needed to “shut me down”.He said that if my unprofessional behavior continues, I’ll face remediation. I don’t even know what that would consist of because I have never been informed that I’ve been unprofessional, or that there are instances of unprofessional behavior.As I told Dr. Trim, I ask for feedback from every one of my attendings twice per rotation, and I have never had anyone tell me I was unprofessional or that there were specific behaviors I needed to change.I don’t know who to refer to and how change anything when he doesn’t give me any specific example of unprofessional behavior besides asking too detailed questions and that there are general reviews from the committee.
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Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 10 months ago.

Hello,

Thank you for the information, can you tell me what your legal question is? Also, what State do you work in and do you have a term contract that requires misconduct in order to be terminated?

I will be away from my computer most of the morning but will respond as soon as I am available.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
what laws protect medical resident in this case? I have a filling my program director is trying to set me up for failure by gradually creating evidence against me so he can refuse offering me my last ( 3rd year ) of training contract. As you can read from the above story, for instance, in the area of professionalism, it's a simple match, if I have less evaluations in compared to my colleagues, of course, my overall average would be lower than my fellow residents, but the way he interpret the information creates a negative remarks on my profile. This is to me more of defamation, slandering and emotional distress. Do you agree or not? I live in Alabama. Residency contract requires verbal and written notification of misconduct, and I'm sure if you read more on ACGME website, you'll know more about the terms. For instance, during my previous meeting, He said that if my unprofessional behavior continues, I’ll face remediation. I don’t even know what that would consist of because I have never been informed that I’ve been unprofessional, or that there are instances of unprofessional behavior. Thanks,
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
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Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 10 months ago.

I'm going to have to open this question to other Experts as I cannot devote the attention to it today that it deserves. Someone will let you know when they have an answer for you. It shouldn't be too long and I apologize for the delay.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only
I understand your situation and have had to deal with residency programs before. Unfortunately, it is not easy, because your time as a resident you are under the direct supervision of the director and your evaluations will govern the situation. If you are saying your evaluations do not match the director's comments, then you bear the burden of proving that to the dean of the program who is over the director. If they dismiss you from the program based on false statements, then you could sue the program for readmission. However, if the director does have evaluations from those who worked with you and their opinions are as he says, it is virtually impossible to fight opinions and in order for you to have a case you would need to prove the only reason they are doing this to you is discriminatory based on your race/sex/disability or national origin to have a claim against them. Other than those reasons I am afraid your options are very limited and it means that you must pick up as the director wants and follow their direction without questioning them any further (these programs are set this way for a purpose to try to weed out those who cannot conform to hospital settings, so they are necessarily very difficult and critical and you have to work to deal with that unless it is based on false claims of the director or one of the aforementioned discriminatory reasons and only in those cases could you have legal rights to pursue against the program if they dismiss you or try to do so).

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