Physician resident sues Tenet, alleges retaliation at Detroit hospital 

A physician resident is suing the health system that owns his former employer, Detroit Medical Center, alleging he was fired in retaliation for notifying his supervisor of the mistreatment of a patient who became quadriplegic, the Detroit Metro Times reported March 8. 

In August, a patient was admitted to Detroit Receiving Hospital for an acute kidney injury and was allegedly placed in a sitting position despite staff knowing he was a fall risk. According to the suit, a hospital employee referred to as a sitter should have restrained the patient so he did not fall, but no one did. 

According to the report, the patient fell to the ground, struck his head and injured his spine. He was not taken to the ICU, and the next day he was unable to move his extremities. 

Joseph Owens, MD, was one of several residents and physicians in the room after the fall, but he alleges he faced all the criticism. According to the publication, he told his supervisor Shaheena Raheem, MD, afterward that the patient being not properly secured by the sitter amounted to malpractice.

Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare owns Detroit Medical Center. The suit also names Wayne State University, where Dr. Owens was enrolled in the residency program, and Dr. Raheem as defendants.

Dr. Owens was terminated from the resident program in November. He told the Metro Times he was terminated for whistleblowing.

Becker's has reached out to Detroit Medical Center and Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare for comment and will update this story if more information becomes available.

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