After 'climate review,' UW-Madison names Dr. Kelly McQueen anesthesia head

Kelly McQueen, MD, will take over the University of Wisconsin-Madison's anesthesiology department, which had been characterized as a difficult place for female physicians under the previous leadership, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

Three details:

1. Dr. McQueen will become department head Oct. 1, replacing Robert Pearce, MD, PhD. Dr. McQueen is currently an anesthesiology professor at Nashville-based Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She directs Vanderbilt Anesthesia Global Health and Development, as well as the Vanderbilt Global Anesthesia Fellowship.

2. Dr. Pearce stepped down as UW-Madison's anesthesia department chair in July 2017 while the department was undergoing a "climate review," which ultimately determined the department needed to recruit more female physicians, examine salary equity and improve female mentorship.

3. Dr. Pearce was sued by UW anesthesiologist Maria Fabbrocini, MD, in March of this year. Dr. Fabbrocini alleged he was responsible for unequal pay, unequal opportunity and a hostile work environment for the department's female physicians. The lawsuit also claims Dr. Pearce failed to reprimand a male physician who had a history of abuse toward women and allegedly attacked Dr. Fabbrocini in 2010.

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