3 doctors at trauma center fired Facility director gave physicians no reason

July 29, 1992|By Rafael Alvarez | Rafael Alvarez,Staff Writer

Also yesterday, the name of the director of the Maryland Shock Trauma Center was spelled incorrectly. His name is Dr. Kimball I. Maull.

The Sun regrets the errors.

Three veteran doctors at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center were fired without explanation yesterday by Kimball I. Maul, director of the downtown medical complex.

Longtime surgeons Ameen Ramzy and C. Michael Dunham, and Dr. Howard Belzberg, a critical carespecialist with 10 years at Shock Trauma, were told their contracts were being terminated this Friday.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

Sources said Dr. Maul, who took over as head of the Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services five months ago, personally fired the physicians and gave them 72 hours to leave hospital property.

"No reason was given and [Dr. Maul] wasn't interested in hearing anything they had to say," a Shock Trauma source said last night. "They were told it wasn't anything clinical, moral or ethical, they were just terminated."

The doctors have opposed efforts to integrate Shock Trauma into the University of Maryland Hospital, with which it is affiliated. They and other physicians at Shock Trauma had threatened to resign last year if the University of Maryland moved to weaken the center's autonomy.

A spokesman for Shock Trauma confirmed the firings last night, but gave no clear reason why a trio of veteran doctors was ordered to leave.

"I don't know the exact reason why these three were let go, it wasn't because of their ability," said spokesman John M. Murphy, who earlier noted the doctors "were impeding progress" in reviewing program changes.

"It was not downsizing; eventually we will get additional physicians. The director has the right to organize as he sees fit." Mr. Murphy denied the firings resulted from hospital politics.

"I was shocked and terribly disappointed by this summary dismissal without cause," said Dr. Belzberg, who added that he and Drs. Ramzy and Dunham are seeking legal counsel.

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