U of Kentucky physicians, faculty rally around surgeon stripped of privileges

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Despite being stripped of his clinical privileges at Lexington-based University of Kentucky in 2015, colleagues elected Paul Kearney, MD, to the 12-member UK College of Medicine faculty council last week, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Dr. Kearney will serve a three-year term on the council, which acts as a liaison between the medical faculty and the administration and also approves educational and policy matters for the medical school. He was previously elected to serve on the University Senate shortly after his clinical privileges were revoked, the report states.

Though the university barred Dr. Kearney from practicing medicine at the institution, he remains a tenured member of the medical school faculty.

The institution stripped Dr. Kearney of his clinical privileges after he allegedly verbally abused a patient in fall 2014. University officials said the incident followed "two decades of abusive behavior to colleagues, staff and students," according to a Lexington Herald-Leader report published in August 2015. It was the first time officials elected to revoke a physician's clinical privileges during the medical school's 50-year history.

"I am honored that I was elected by my faculty colleagues to represent their interests on the University of Kentucky College of Medicine Faculty Council,” Dr. Kearney said in a statement shortly after his election to the faculty council. "The faculty are well aware of my litigation with the university. They also know that I am a staunch supporter of the faculty and will speak freely and forcefully on their behalf."

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