Fired Cleveland Clinic physician apologizes for anti-Semitic comments

A former Cleveland Clinic physician who was fired from the institution for posting anti-Semitic comments on social media released a formal apology in a letter through her lawyer, Time reports.

Lara Kollab, MD, worked as a supervised resident at the Cleveland Clinic from July through September 2018, but is no longer employed by the system, according to a Dec. 31 statement from the institution.

Dr. Kollab faced criticism last week after a string of tweets made between 2011 and 2013 were made public. The comments included derogatory references to Jewish people, among other statements. In one tweet, she claimed she would purposely give Jewish patients the wrong medications.

Cleveland Clinic said in an updated Jan. 2 statement that when it learned of Dr. Kollab's social media posts, it "took immediate action, conducted an internal review and placed her on administrative leave. Her departure was related to those posts and she has not worked at Cleveland Clinic since September."

In her apology letter obtained by Time, Dr. Kollab said she became "incensed at the suffering of the Palestinians under the Israeli occupation" after traveling to Palestine and Israel every summer as a teenager.

"As a girl in my teens and early twenties, I had difficulty constructively expressing my intense feelings about what I witnessed in my ancestral land. Like many young people lacking life experience, I expressed myself by making insensitive remarks and statements of passion devoid of thought, not realizing the harm and offense these words would cause," she said in her apology.

"I matured into a young adult during the years I attended college and medical school, and adopted strong values of inclusion, tolerance and humanity. I take my profession and the Hippocratic Oath seriously and would never intentionally cause harm to any patient seeking medical care. As a physician, I will always strive to give the best medical treatment to all people, regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity or culture," she continued.

To access the full report, click here.

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