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Univ of Texas hires abusive boss sued for creating hostile work environment

In early 2009, Sagun Tuli, MD, Harvard’s first female spinal surgeon, was awarded over $1.5 million in damages incurred from a hostile work environment, including discrimination and retaliation, at the hands of Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital and its then chief of neurosurgery, Arthur L. Day, MD

A seven-week trial by jury found Brigham and Women’s and Day responsible for creating a severe hostile work environment that was motivated in part by Tuli’s gender and/or national origin (she was born in India). Day, who has had three gender bias cases brought against him in the recent past, including Tuli’s, resigned from his Harvard post in December 2009.
 
Now, less than a year after Day’s resignation, the University of Texas (UT) has hired and appointed him as residency program director and vice chair for education at the UT medical school’s neurosurgery department at the UT Health Science Center (UTHealth) in Houston. Day, who started his new position on July 1, will once again play a supervisory role for students and residents.
 
Day’s arrival at UTHealth has stirred up controversy and concern. While some female students, faculty, and employees are outraged at his hiring, UTHealth administration and officials hold steadfast to their decision. Giuseppe Colasurdo, MD, UT medical school dean, and Larry R. Kaiser, president of UTHealth both publicly expressed support for Day.
 
Tuli stated that Day repeatedly ridiculed and intimidated her. She claimed that Day made racist comments to her and sexist statements as well, such as, “You are just a girl, are you sure you can do that?” during surgery, while frequently referring to his female colleagues as “girls.” Once at a hospital dinner he requested that Tuli “get up on the table and dance for us to show the female residents how to behave.”
 
In sworn affidavits that supported Tuli’s case, department staff alleged that Day once pointed at the belly of a pregnant staffer and said, “We know what you’re doing at night” and also told a female employee who was counting money, “Sugar, I told you that you don’t have to pay for what I do for you.” He was also notorious for displaying an 8-inch phallic statue on his desk, and once downloaded sexually explicit images onto a nurse’s PDA.

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Univ of Texas hires abusive boss sued for creating hostile work environment
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6 Responses to “Univ of Texas hires abusive boss sued for creating hostile work environment”

  1. Mary says:

    It will be interesting to see what happens. I feel for the women in that program, but it doesn’t surprise me – for Texas or academia. The good ol’ boy mentality permeates the south and institutions.

    But I expect that in a year or two, he will be resigning again, amidst the same type of scandals.

  2. Pat Jackson says:

    I’m coming to this late, though I am very interested in Sagun’s saga that BWH. It is bad enough that the ‘ol’ boys’ club’ rehired Day so quickly. What is most shocking is that he has again been put in charge of resident education. The residents need the director’s recommendation to get jobs later, so they will do whatever pleases him. Sagun’s affidavit detailing what Day’s residents did to her is public record and needs to be known and acted on by all the women at UT. Day is again in a position to transmit to the next generation of neurosurgeons the misogyny which is so covert and systemic in the field. Sagun was immeasurably courageous in suing Day and BWH. It is instructive that she had to sue twice before Day “resigned”. The misogyny is deep and cruel in medicine.

  3. New Place and Happy says:

    This guy has 3 daughters of his own. I am shocked!!

  4. bland says:

    I feel like I am reading about my self whey I read all of these blogs. I have been harassed, cyberstalked, and gangstalked for nearly 2 years. I never give up on anything, but I feel like I am about ready to throw in the towel. I feel hopeless.
    Bland, Texas

  5. a patient says:

    This guy is nasty. I was sick and he was harassing and sarcastic. He is not as brilliant as he thinks he is and personal and verbal judgement are definitely lacking, who wants him cutting into their head???? Never ever again for this girl.

  6. Live and learn says:

    I also saw him recently as a patient. He was arrogant and pompous. The medical student with him acted like he was scared to death of the man. It didn’t matter the diagnosis, all I wanted was out of that office.

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