publication date: Apr. 18, 2016

Slamming the Door

Part X – Silencing Faculty Voice


In the fall of 2012, just before Al Gilman’s departure, MD Anderson officials cracked down on internal critics.

On Sept. 26, 2012, Raphael Pollock, head of MD Anderson’s Division of Surgery, was summoned to the office of Thomas Burke, then the executive vice president and physician-in-chief, and was relieved of his duties.

Pollock, who is Jewish, was fired on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

Sources told me that Pollock was told he was fired because his division was inconsistent in meeting financial targets. Indeed, MD Anderson financial data showed that surgery produced revenues that were $5 million below budgetary projections, underperforming by 33.2 percent.

This financial performance was caused in part by changes in CPT codes for surgery, which were published in November 2011, three months after MD Anderson finalized its budget, sources said.

Surgical facilities at the institution were running at full capacity—additional operating rooms would be required to add revenues.

“I’m grateful for Dr. Pollock’s commitment to leading the division for the last 15 years, and I’m pleased that he will continue making contributions as a professor with joint appointments in the departments of Surgical Oncology and Molecular and Cellular Oncology,” Burke wrote in an Oct. 1 email to the MD Anderson … Continue reading 42-15 Slamming the Door Part X – Silencing Faculty Voice

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