OSU Wexner Medical Center faculty still distressed after CEO's resignation

Despite the resignation last week of controversial CEO Sheldon Retchin, MD, unrest persists at Columbus-based OSU Wexner Medical Center.

Leaders in the College of Medicine's internal medicine department wrote a letter May 12 expressing anger over a university statement that came in response to a May 1 letter of "no confidence" in Dr. Retchin and his leadership from 25 physicians, according to the Columbus Dispatch. The university's statement about the May 1 letter said: "Although allegations raised in letters sent to the news media this week were untrue, these letters may have damaged important relationships necessary for continued future success, and Dr. Retchin has chosen to move on in the best interests of the university, himself and his family," according to the Columbus Dispatch.

The 17 signers of the latest letter say they are disappointed in the university for calling the physicians' allegations against Dr. Retchin untrue. Fifteen of the signers had not participated in the previous letters, according to the report.

The May 1 letter claimed Dr. Retchin's leadership lowered morale and caused talent physicians and researchers to leave the organization, and made it more difficult to recruit top talent. It also said Dr. Retchin pressured physicians to prioritize revenue-generating clinical duties over teaching, according to the report.

"For the record, we fully support the concerns recently and accurately expressed by other leaders in the college," the May 12 letter states. "The statement ... questioning the veracity of the allegations in those letters was not only offensive and disappointing but reflective of the lack of due diligence to confirm the facts."

University officials have not specified which of the physicians' allegations against Dr. Retchin they consider to be false. However, data provided to the Columbus Dispatch by the university said Wexner Medical Center "continues to experience significant new growth in recruitment above and beyond turnover," according to the report.

University President Michael V. Drake, MD, and Provost Bruce McPheron have held extensive meetings with physicians since the emergence of the first letter, and Dr. Drake released a statement Tuesday that said university leaders appreciate the clinicians' concerns and plan to continue to hold meetings to address them, as well as other issues, according to the report.

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