UTMB department chair sought to remove 'foreign trained' doctors, suit says

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Sep 27, 2012

GALVESTON - A group of local radiologists is suing the chair of the department of radiology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston over what the physicians believe is the defendant's "goal to eliminate foreign trained [doctors]." 

Court documents filed Sept. 26 in Galveston County District Court allege that after she became head of the department in July 2010, Dr. Val M. Runge created a hostile work environment for Drs. Roy F. Riascos-Castaneda, Siddharth Jadhav, Jacob Oommen and Joao Fernando Kazan Tannus.

UTMB is not named as a defendant in the suit.

In the 13-page original petition, each of the plaintiffs claim Runge subjected them to workplace harassment by making changes in the call schedule, removing them from prominent leadership positions and sending negative emails about them.

The suit claims Runge last year frequently expressed displeasure toward the "sub-par" residency candidate pool and implied "it was time to get rid of foreign-trained physicians."

Consequently, the radiologists request that Galveston County 405th District Judge Wayne Mallia issue an order authorizing them to take Runge's deposition.

They have given the defendant a deadline of no later than Oct. 30 to appear.

Attorney Micky N. Das with Tyler & Das in Houston is representing the plaintiffs.

Case No. 12-cv-2084

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