DMC neurosurgery residency allegations are 'out of context,' 'blatant lies,' ex-director says

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The longtime director of Detroit Medical Center's neurosurgery residency program, who stepped down in September, wants to set the record straight after the program lost accreditation earlier this month. In an interview with The Detroit News, he said allegations against the program are "blatant lies."

Murali Guthikonda, MD, is Detroit Medical Center's chief of neurosurgery and for 15 years served as director of the Wayne State University neurosurgery residency program, which is sponsored by DMC.  Dr. Guthikonda left the role Sept. 5, after he received a letter in July from the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education outlining complaints about the program, according to The Detroit News. Allegations included:

  • The program had an atmosphere of intimidation, overwork and coercion.
  • Residents were bullied, forced to work excessive hours, and discouraged from reporting and documenting safety concerns.

In his interview with The Detroit News, Dr. Guthikonda said he was "floored" by the allegations. "That's an appalling, disheartening character assassination of me to the degree that I don't even have a description for that," he said, according to the report.

Dr. Guthikonda instead speculated that the program lost accreditation due to conflict between Wayne State and DMC. After the faculty group practice, University Physicians Group, declared bankruptcy in November 2018, the residency lost all six of its faculty physicians. Four of the six, including Dr. Guthikonda, sought employment at DMC, and their faculty contracts were not renewed. Two left both organizations altogether, according to the report.

Jack Sobel, MD, dean of Wayne State's medical school, previously told The Detroit News the program's loss of accreditation was due to the "failure of one or two teaching individuals," not the relationship between the two organizations.

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