Surgeon named in sex discrimination complaints steps down from Maine hospital leadership posts

A general surgeon and member of Augusta-based MaineGeneral Medical Center's staff has stepped down from leadership roles after being named in sex discrimination and patient care complaints, the Bangor Daily News reported Nov. 21.

Joy McKenna, a spokesperson for MaineGeneral Health, confirmed to Becker's that Ian Reight, MD, resigned as president of the medical staff, which automatically removes him from the health system's board of directors.

Dr. Reight told his colleagues via email that he needed to focus on his clinical practice and his family, according to the Bangor Daily News.

His announcement comes after the newspaper reported Nov. 15 that Dr. Reight's career advanced despite being named in at least five complaints in about a year. Among the allegations were those reported in 2020 and 2021 related to his behavior toward female staff and his treatment toward patients. For example, one allegation was that Dr. Reight failed to respond when nurses contacted him about patients, according to the Bangor Daily News. An online petition calling for Dr. Reight's resignation had surfaced.

In a statement shared with Becker's, MaineGeneral said its "legal obligations to maintain confidentiality concerning personnel and patient matters prevent the organization from responding to specific allegations involving employees or patients. Human rights, patient care and safety are of paramount importance to MaineGeneral. When concerns are brought forward, MaineGeneral is quick to conduct internal and external reviews. Consistent with that process, all concerns are reviewed internally by multiple individuals. When appropriate, MaineGeneral utilizes independent external reviewers to supplement and enhance this process. When a change in procedure, practice or performance is recommended, MaineGeneral takes swift and appropriate corrective action."

Ms. McKenna told the Bangor Daily News that Amy Rico, MD, vice president of medical staff, will become president of medical staff, and a new vice president of medical staff will be selected.

Dr. Reight did not immediately respond to a phone call from the newspaper. His statement to staff, obtained by the newspaper, reads:

"This has been a difficult week for me. There were several allegations made against me and I want you to know that this is not who I am as a person or as a physician. Those of you who know me well understand, and for those who don't, please look to my dedication to the patients I have taken care of as a surgeon. The president of the Medical Executive Committee and Medical Executive Committee as a whole should be focused on the quality of care delivered at MaineGeneral Medical Center, and should not be distracted from that purpose as a result of these allegations. I also need to focus on my clinical practice and my family. For these reasons, [I] have decided to step down from my position on the Medical Executive Committee. I will continue to serve the community and our organization as I always have and urge all of us not to let the focus of our efforts stray from our purpose of delivering excellent care to our patients and the community. I hope in time you will understand the full story, but this is not the time or the venue for that."

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