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Tuesday, May 21, 2024 | Back issues
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Doctors Called ‘Walking Vaginas,’ Woman Says

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A group of male doctors routinely referred to female doctors at the Kaiser medical facility in San Diego as "cunt," "bitch," and "walking vaginas," and plaintiff was demoted after complaining, she says in court.

"Kaiser's clear bias towards male doctors resulted in tolerating grossly inadequate patient care if the physician was part of the 'good ol' boys club,'" according to the complaint in Superior Court. "After Plaintiff began reporting this gender discrimination and sexual harassment, as well as a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ('HIPAA'), Plaintiffs supervisors began taking adverse actions to make her working life intolerable so that she would quit.

"Specifically, Plaintiff's supervisor stripped Plaintiff of her regional position as the head of the Family Violence Prevention Program and removed her from the Physician Leadership Program, which reduced her annual compensation by 20 percent. In addition, despite her seniority, Plaintiff was disproportionately assigned the most complex cases in her department and unfairly scrutinized.

"While other male physicians were given leeway regarding their use of sick leave, Plaintiff was told she would have to obtain a doctor's note if she ever took one day of sick leave. In addition, Plaintiff's supervisor referred to her as 'another slow bitch.'

"Following Plaintiffs complaints regarding gender discrimination, inadequate patient care, and HIP AA violations, and subsequent hostile work environment created by her supervisors, Plaintiff suffered from major depression and took sick leave from November 2011 to June 2012.

"On March 30, 2012, while she was on sick leave, Plaintiff provided truthful deposition testimony in a case brought against Kaiser by another female physician, Nancy J. Goodman, M.D., whom she worked alongside at Kaiser's medical facility in San Diego. "During that deposition, Plaintiff provided testimony regarding Kaiser's blatant gender discrimination and hostile working environment towards female physicians.

"When her doctor approved her return to work, Plaintiffs supervisors took actions to prevent her from going back to work, specifically not letting her return to work in the same department that she had previously worked at and falsely telling her that she had to take additional training and obtain additional certifications. Plaintiffs psychiatrist even wrote to Kaiser 'in my 37 years of practice, I have not encountered such obstacles for a patient or doctor to be re-integrated back into their workplace once they have recovered.'

"Finally, plaintiff demanded that Kaiser conduct an investigation and take corrective measures to ensure that she would not be subjected to the same hostile working environment that caused her major depression.

"Rather than take any corrective measures to prevent further retaliation, Kaiser gave Plaintiff an ultimatum: either return to work under the same supervisors who had retaliated against her and who made her working conditions intolerable, or resign. Having no other choice, on August 13, 2012, Plaintiff was constructively terminated from her position at Kaiser."

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