U.S. Medical News: ER Doctor Fired For Telling Truth About ICU Bed Shortage In Arizona State And Contradicting Governor Doug Ducey
U.S. Medical News
: Various media are covering the plight of an American ER doctor who tweeted his concerns his concern about the lack of available ICU beds on Nov. 22 in the state of Arizona and was subsequently ‘fired’ from the Yuma Regional Medical Center at Arizona despite a shortage of doctors as he had apparently made Governor Doug Ducey look like a liar after the governor had earlier claimed that there were ICU beds still available .
Dr Cleavon Gilman(right) pictured with Dr Diksha Mishra when they
both won an award from the The National Academy of Medicine
(NAM) a few years ago.
Dr Cleavon Gilman, MD, an emergency room physician, working at a hospital in Yuma Arizona tweeted his concern about the lack of available ICU beds and hs tweer was direct,"no more ICU beds in the state of Arizona."
Governor Doug Ducey and the Department of Health said that same day that there were over 100 ICU beds, Dr Gilman said, but when Dr Gilman went to the E.R. he said he wasn't able to transfer a single patient to the ICU.
Dr Gilman said, "I tweeted that, because that was a lie. Right?"
"What I don't understand about this is I have been advocating for Arizona; I have been calling for a mask mandate, the closure of schools and indoor dining," Dr Gilman told media "I did all of this because we are seeing an unprecedented number of cases. This is my third surge and I know how this ends."
As there are no more ICU beds, E.R. patients are forced to board in the E.R. and the doctors there must take care of them for longer periods, which means that new patients will be sitting in waiting rooms for 8 to 12 hours.
He added, "The point of that was to warn Arizona that we are in a very precarious situation. That our hospitals are on the brink of collapse.”
Dr Gilman transfered one patient with a headbleed, who he said waited in the E.R. and went "probably to the O.R., but not to the I.C.U."
His tweet received more than 81,000 likes and 30,000 retweets. Gilman said he finished his shift that day "without a problem
The following day, Dr Gilman said, "I was told by Envision," which is a medical group that he contracts with, "that the hospital was not allowing me to return back due to a tweet."
Dr Gilman said that the hospital issued a statement that there had been a "misunderstanding." He said, "There's no misunderstanding here. The fact is I was sidelined for three weeks.” and because of his large social media following, "I was able to shine a light on this egregious act."
"All I know is this hospital is trying to crush my voice, they want to silence me and they want to financially hurt me. This is all so wrong."
At a time where Dr Gilman said hundreds of thousands of his colleagues are forced to leave the f
ront lines due to burnout and rising infection rates among health care workers, it is a "slap in the face" to sit on the sidelines for "no reason." But regardless of whether or not he holds a position at the hospital, Dr Gilman said he isn't going to be quiet on social media anytime soon.
Dr Gilman said he was quiet about his situation until a media reporter called him.
He said, "No one knew about any of this except Envision and the hospitals and probably my co-workers, who saw that I wasn't there anymore.”
Dr Gilman said he was willing to wait another week, but at that point, once the story had been leaked, he wanted to "get ahead" of it.
He said, "I wanted to share my side of the story.”
He added, "A lot of people try to get into semantics ... about 'were you fired?' I was not permitted to work for three weeks... I'm a highly trained E.R. doctor in a pandemic. Three of my colleagues were sick with the virus. I was unable to pick up any of their shifts to help out my team because of a tweet."
When asked whether the hospital had reached out to him, Gilman said, "No, they haven't reached out to me," and that "negotiations were not happening."
Dr Gilman said that Envision has been in "continuous negotations" with the hospital over the last three weeks, but he has not been part of those discussions.
With regards to rumors of him being scheduled to work, Dr Gilman said Envision kept him on shifts "because they were confident that this would all blow over... I've been scheduled to work. I have been not permitted to work."
Dr Gilman was scheduled to work in November and, for December, he was scheduled on Dec. 1 and this weekend, plus "a whole lot of shifts" next week. (Schedules are released the month prior.)
However the hospital kept telling Envision that Dr Gilman would not be allowed to "be vocal or outspoken" on social media.
He added, "What I don't get is how I'm in a state where they talk about freedom of 'I don't have to wear a mask,' yet I don't have the freedom to speak openly about this deadly pandemic. And that's what this hospital did they ... tried to muzzle my voice."
He further added, “That's all this comes down to is power, and them not seeing me as an ally but as a threat, and I was never really a threat to the hospital. I was an ally."
He received an outpouring support from staff and patients at the hospital and the community. He said, "I feel supported here... The doctors, the nurses and the community here, they've been great. That's truly why I'm looking forward to coming back and ... advocating for everyone here.I need to tell people in real time what's happening in the hospitals, and that's not a HIPAA violation ... that's not a violation of anything."
Dr Gilman served as a hospital corpsman with the U.S. Marines during the Iraq War well before he became the chief resident of emergency medicine at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital during the beginning of the pandemic, a moment in history he said was "worse than war by a long shot."
He said, "The death toll during the entire Iraq War was equivalent to what we see now every single day. You could leave a war zone if you couldn't handle it. COVID is everywhere."
He commented, "I think all people should be afforded due process. And hospitals should not have the abilty to just say. 'You're not gonna be able to work here, we're gonna take you off of the schedule'... I moved my entire family here. Thank God I didn't buy a house here."
When asked why he sent the tweet, Gilman said it was because cases in Arizona were rising. He was "sounding the alarm," because he felt that stricter measures were needed.
He said, "Three thousand people have died per day the last two days, which was up from twenty five hundred a day... if not higher. I've been to war ... You don't have to have served in Iraq to know that we are currently at war."
Dr Gilman stated that on Thursday, there were 150 patients who were hospitalized for COVID, and 31 in the ICU.
He asked, "Where are those patients gonna go?"
Dr Gilman said his goal has always been to raise awareness about the danger of the pandemic and to encourage people to consider their behaviors, to wear masks, and to social distance.
Dr Gilman has a strong social media following and has been sharing videos and written accounts of his observations on Facebook for months, including when he worked in New York City through the height of the pandemic.
He said that unlike in New York, Arizona's lawmakers don't appear to take the virus seriously. "Here there's no state-wide mask mandate ... Indoor dining is also open here, the gyms are open.”
He added sternly, "I'm just going to be honest with you, we need a hard-line approach. We need a shutdown. That's the only thing that's going to prevent a virus from finding new hosts. We actually have to keep people sheltered-in-place. But instead, during the pandemic massive soccer tournaments were held in Phoenix, with players coming from across the country. This virus is real.”
He advised that for those living in states that aren't going to issue mask mandates or put restrictions in places there are still things people can do.
He said, "You can protect your immediate family and not have any guests over... I've sheltered in place for 10 months now.”
Dr Gilman goes to parks and the grocery store when it isn't crowded. That's how he protects his family.
It was reported that throughout the pandemic he's tweeted about the individuals killed by the virus: young people, teachers, law enforcement.
Dr Gilman lost three colleagues and his 27-year-old cousin to the virus.
His cousin, Simon Press, went twice to the hospital and was sent home without a test and told he had anxiety. After he died, he did ultimately did get a swab -- from the coroner, Dr Gilman said. He tested positive for COVID!
Dr Gilman said he would ultimately like to do more work in health policy and was delighted to receive a call from President-elect Joe Biden, who commended him for his work. The two men apart from being COVID-prevention activists share something else: a stutter.
When asked whether he would encourage more clinicians to speak up, Gilman said he would not. Some people cannot afford to lose their jobs, or livelihoods, for themselves or their family.
America is going through dangerous times with big groups of corrupted politicians, businessmen and pharmaceutical companies buying up media, wire agencies, social media platforms, search engines, researchers, medical journals etc
Dr Gillman however supports the American College of Emergency Physicians bill to protect emergency room physicians and provide them with due process.
He said, "I spoke out because I have a moral obligation. When everything's said and done I'll be on the right side of history."
Dr Gilman said he does not believe he should have to leave Yuma at all. Yuma County has the highest rate of cases per 100,000 people in the state, according to Arizona Department of Health Services data.
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