HARTFORD (CN) – Everything changed for a Muslim psychiatrist the day another Muslim psychiatrist, an Army major, killed 13 people and wounded 29 others in Fort Hood, Texas, the doctor says in a federal lawsuit against Yale University.
Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Raouf says he worked for Yale’s Psychiatry Department as a resident at the Connecticut Mental Health Center from July 1 to Sept. 30, 2009, then was transferred to the West Haven Veteran Administration hospital on Oct. 1, to work there until Nov. 30.
On Nov. 5, 2009, the Fort Hood shootings made national news.
“Immediately after and in direct reaction to the Fort Hood shooting, in November 2009, his supervisor Dr. Chiles told Dr. Abdel-Raouf, ‘We have to evaluate you very carefully and keep a close eye on you because of this incident and if the soldier was evaluated thoroughly during his training, these killings and the lives lost would never have happened,'” the complaint states. “The only meaning derived from this statement is that because Dr. Abdel-Raouf is a Muslim of Arab de[s]cent, Dr. Chiles
believed he too would commit a terrorist act and kill individuals at Yale University. Dr. Abdel-Raouf confronted his accuser/supervisor Dr. Chiles and asked not to be discriminated against, a protected activity. Dr. Abdel-Raouf emphatically pleaded, ‘It is not my fault, please don’t hurt me, don’t destroy my life and my career.’
“Dr. Abdel-Raouf is a Muslim Arab American from Egypt. On information and belief, Dr. Chiles has received prior complaints regarding her dislike of foreigners. On information and belief, Dr. Chiles never received any disciplinary action as a result of her unlawful conduct. During this exact time period, Dr. Chiles also supervised another African American resident. Dr. Chiles never made any similar or identical discriminatory remarks to this other minority employee. Dr. Chiles intended and did so destroy Dr. Abdel-Raouf’s employment and career opportunities because of her racial and religious bigotry.”
Abdel-Raouf says he received a good performance review on Sept. 17, 2010, another review 2 days later that contained no rating, and a poor rating on Sept. 21. On Sept. 29, he says, he received a letter firing him. He claims there was “no evidence in the factual record” to justify it. He also claims that in October 2010, he received a score in the 94th percentile for second-year residents on the PRITE exam (Psychiatric Resident in Training Exam), a national test, a score that placed him in the 91st percentile of all psychiatric residents.
He seeks lost wages and benefits and punitive damages for racial discrimination, retaliation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
He is represented by Mark Carey of Southport, Conn.