Showing posts with label ucla. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ucla. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Anti-Vax UCLA Anesthesiologist Removed From Hospital

UCLA anesthesiologist Christopher B. Rake, MD was escorted out of UCLA Medical Center for refusing to take the Covid vaccine. He filmed himself as he was led out of the building.  As he's leaving, he says to the camera, "This is what happens when you stand up for freedom. This is the price you have to pay sometimes. I'm willing to lose everything, my job, paycheck, freedom, even my life. United we stand, divided we fall." The hospital has placed him on unpaid administrative leave, which is just fancy words for getting fired. 

Dr. Rake, NOT an ASA member, graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine in 2004 and completed his residency at UCLA. He has been a prominent spokesman for the anti-vax movement in Southern California. He was filmed in Santa Monica at a rally against the vaccine and talking about Q-Anon. He is so adamant against the vaccine mandate that he hasn't even tried to use a medical or religious exemption. 

One one hand, he can be admired for standing up so strongly for his principles. He's willing to lose his reputation and livelihood for something he truly believes in. For most of us, it is far easier to just give in to these mandates and take the shot. It's not that different from the flu vaccine that all healthcare workers in LA County are required to get each year. Get the shot or get fired. 

However, I wonder what Dr. Rake thinks about all the other rules we willingly follow to improve our lives and those of others. What about childhood vaccinations for measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, etc.? How about seatbelt laws? Rules against driving while under the influence? Airport security inspections? All these things are personally uncomfortable or restrictive. Yet we tolerate them because we know they help the greater good.

Good luck to Dr. Rake finding another anesthesia job. He will probably have to move out of California since we have some of the strictest rules against anti-vaxxers in the country. However, hospitals all over the country are requiring their healthcare workers to get vaccinated so it won't be an easy job search. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Even Doctors Can Be Insensitive Jerks

You would think that of all the people in the world, the most egalitarian and racially sensitive ones would include physicians. After all, we doctors know that under the skin, everybody is virtually identical. We all have nearly the same physiology whether we are white, black, or brown. We treat people equally regardless of ethnic identity. Unfortunately that understanding isn't as universal as I thought.

This past week, a former UCLA medical school ENT surgeon successfully sued the University of California alleging racial bias. Dr. Christian Head charged that he was frequently humiliated in front of his colleagues. He was also passed up for promotions and told not to complain if he wanted to get a tenured spot. At one faculty and resident banquet, Dr. Head, who is African American, was depicted in a slide show as a gorilla on all fours being violated from behind by his white superior. While not accepting any fault, the U.C. regents admitted there was "an inappropriate slide shown". They decided to settle the lawsuit for $4.5 million.

It saddens me to see such frat boy shenanigans are still considered amusing even in the learned halls of a medical school. It's obvious that Dr. Head was never considered an acceptable partner within the department. If he was well liked and treated better, perhaps he would have taken this faculty roast as a case of poor judgement and shrugged it off. But it seems like none of the other faculty or residents knew him well enough to realize that he would not find this slide humorous. And when he tried to complain through the proper channels his career was threatened.

Hopefully this is a wake up call for all involved in realizing the prejudices people still hold against each other. I don't think these feelings will ever be completely eradicated. However, knowing that it is still lurking inside all of us, no matter how much we say we don't have them or express them, will make us better doctors as well as human beings.