Maybe if he spent more time doctoring and less time attacking the president online, Eugene Gu would still be employed. But according to the Tennessean, Gu announced Friday that Vanderbilt University Medical Center had ended his five-year surgery residency after only three years. Gu, who described his termination as “no different than being fired,” also said:
The take-home message here is that there is an unwritten rule for surgical residents and that is rule is, always make your program look good and always make your hospital look good, and often that means stay silent. But as an Asian-American physician, unlike a white doctor, I don’t always have the same luxury to stay silent.
Gu, who has 189,000 followers on Twitter, was one of the seven principals in a May class action suit against the president for blocking them on the social media platform. He has also found time to contribute articles to The Hill. These actions, he maintains, are why the hospital has decided not to renew his contract.
“They don’t want that out there in the media. It’s troublesome to them, and so they punished me for it,” he said.
But according to The Hill, which received a statement from Vanderbilt on Satuday, Gu’s termination had nothing to do with his activity on Twitter or his lawsuit against the president:
Dr. Gu’s repeated assertions that he was disciplined, or that his residency program contract was not renewed, because of his political or social views are simply untrue.
Dr. Gu’s public opposition to President Trump, participation in litigation against President Trump and public advocacy against racism were not the bases for decisions relating to his continued participation in VUMC’s surgery residency program.
So why was he cut? Because he wasn’t cutting it as a cutter:
The medical institution went on to say that all disciplinary actions against the doctor were related to his professionalism and work performance, noting that surgical residents such as Gu undergo a series of steps to determine their “professional progress.” Those include feedback from colleagues and attending physicians, performance evaluations and a multiple-choice exam meant to test the residents’ knowledge, the hospital said.
“VUMC believes the processes used to evaluate its surgery residents are fair and equitable and that those processes have been fairly and appropriately administered in Dr. Gu’s case,” the hospital added.
So has Gu learned anything from this life lesson? Judge for yourself. Here’s his most recent tweet:
I took a knee to fight white supremacy after I was attacked at Vanderbilt hospital by a white supremacist. It is absolutely unconscionable for Vanderbilt to fire me for peacefully protesting against racism. pic.twitter.com/LD2QMrEsst
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) May 31, 2018