Report: #1011442

Complaint Review: University Suburban Health Center

  • Submitted: Sat, February 09, 2013
  • Updated: Sat, February 09, 2013
  • Reported By: MD — Cleveland Ohio U.S.A.
  • University Suburban Health Center
    1611 South Green Rd
    South Euclid, Ohio
    United States of America

University Suburban Health Center - Thomas Stellato MD Medical Director will not allow that women MDs disagree with Dr. Stellato, or can consider a care plan with discussion with family, will not stand up for women students/residents being molested, mistreated medically, South Euclid, Ohio

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Thomas Stellato MD has been at/with University Hospitals for 40-some years.  As a Chief Resident in Surgery, as a Chief of General Surgery, as Director of Bariatrics Surgery and now as Director of Wright Surgery Center.  In that time he's been heavily favored to be the Chief of Surgery at University - but never quite made the top spot - despite skills, publications, a published book, a Business Masters from Weatherhead, and a repertoire of surgical procedures & endoscopy skills - all of which he doesn't use the right way - to create new ideas in surgery and to train thoughtful surgeons to THINK.  

Problem: he hasn't gotten the goodwill of many women students, residents, and MDs - looking the other way for the boys being boys, molestation of women (verbally, emotionally, physically & medically).  As Chief of Surgery at University Hospitals, he overlooked an orthopedic attending beating a woman MD in his MetroHealth office, a woman MD begging him for help with a surgical problem that's been overlooked, but still was in the literature as being treated with an injection & not a surgical procedure.  

Dr. Stellato got mad that the woman MD stood him up - instead of discussing with her so that she was sure what she was arranging for.  And what does it matter that she blogs this - he's discredited her, made fun of her, angered the family, and sent her to a consult without his office chart notes - where she was abused.  She's a nobody in his world.  But Dr. Stellato just doesn't have the standup to be real, to be involved, to be shaping surgical minds in an ethical professional way.  It's not professional to call the South Euclid Police on a colleague who is asking you to discuss - when her shoulder is broken and she can't defend herself.  That's a bully. 

Administratively Dr. Stellato always sides with the boys, even though women MDs have a right to exist, and to not have their medical licenses put in jeopardy if they don't go along with wrong care - of themselves or patients.  Tom Stellato doesn't have the guy maturity factor/computer chip - where he can do what a Chief at Lenox Hill Hospital did in the 1990s.  Stellato needs to be able to discuss with women students, residents, and MDs - care problems, differentials, options, and to let the women MDs have time to think, to make decisions, to debate - time to bring a woman's approach to a guy's field, to integrate the needs of patients into the surgical options available - not every procedure is for every patient.  And this is posted because Dr. Stellato won't discuss - women aren't worth his time unless they agree with him - and that is boring.

Give-and-take is where Dr. Stellato falls down - and the parents, siblings and business associates, of the women MDs & their families, can't recommend that behavior for a Chief of Service to run a Hospital of programs and problems..  And it's a tragedy that Dr. Stellato can't take things to the next level without calling the South Euclid Police on a colleagues who disagrees about his approach, care, or his plans for a case.  Mothers should not have to enter into discussions with 50 & 60-some year olds, and Carol the secretary is not the answer.

In the 1990s, at Hospitals in NYC (Lenox Hill) there was a problem as harassment of women students, residents & MDs became public knowledge (awareness) - where would the hospitals & Residency Directors draw the line - especially in Surgery Residency Programs.  It's well known that in the 1980s, women residents had to go into the guy's Locker Room for post-surgery discussions & teaching -- for the going over of the case & concepts.  In the 1990s, this was still a practice, even to the point of some surgical guy residents stripping down in front of the women MDs for the show, sport, and to be immature - show the women what they were missing in the flesh.  The Lenox Hill Hospital took several guy residents to court for this - they had to get lawyers - which would not have happened in Ohio at University Hospitals - where the women MDs would have been told to get counseling if they couldn't take the 'stress.'  Dr. Ponsky is a bit more Jewish decent, but Stellato has definitely dropped women patients & friends in any engagement, and been a jerk for the boy factor to support his quest to be Chief of Surgery.  And he got it back when Dr. Ponsky was chosen to be the Chief in 2006 - the guy factor wasn't the crucial vote.

At University Suburban - it is the same atmosphere - from the Administration to Carol - who is not supposed to talk with certain women MDs.  She talks enough to tell you this.

If there is a discussion of a plan, an option, an approach to a medical problem - as the Medical Director at Suburban - Dr. Stellato needs to allow the discussion - so that things are not blogged that don't need to be about surgical cases & people including himself.  

Dr. Stellato needs to allow that people/MDs see his surgical thinking, his approach to problems, and he needs to allow debate, discussion, argument, and contention over controversial medical knowledge, papers, approaches to treatment & care of patients.

One problem is common mass closures, along with neurectomies for abdominal wall nerve inflammations.  Common mass closures are now the rage - to sew all layers of abdominal muscles together in a one-suture-pack glob of tissue that creates a horrible ABDOMINAL WALL DEFORMITY.  Dr. Stellato can't discuss this.  The literature can.

These common mass closures all lead to ruptures after 3-5 years.  And then the repair is difficult because the lines of delineation between the abdominal wall muscles/fascias are blurred.  A layered repair, after a rupture, has the problem of the shortening of the muscles/fascias by this ill-thought-out closure.  And mesh causes infections and thousands are now suing for this use of mesh; women>>men.    

Neurectomies used to be common, but not since 1926 - since before Stellato's time.  Most abdominal nerve problems can be treated conservatively with an injection of 2% lidocaine - which Dr. Stellato has some mental block doing - but he won't discuss this as to the why.  And you hand him the papers, and he mails them back.  Too bad that he didn't read them.

But it is the approach that the kingmakers, and rainmakers, take umbrage at - that Dr. Stellato can't discuss, can't smile and hold his own in a debate, can't argue with a woman over an academic surgical issue, can't go over the papers with her from the literature, can't grow up.  If it is an ugly woman, ok - but this isn't an 'ugly' problem; it's a life of choosing that women are second class and not worth his talking to. 

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