Physician files racial discrimination complaint against hospital official

A physician wants to see a hospital official's medical license suspended or revoked for making racially charged remarks that discriminated against himself and co-workers from other countries, the Press-Citizen reports.

In a letter to University of Iowa administrators, Malik Juweid, who is a University of Iowa professor and radiologist at University Hospitals and Clinics, outlined an eight-point list of what he perceived as discriminatory comments made by Laurie Fajardo, a professor at University of Iowa and head of radiology at University Hospitals and Clinics.

His complaint comes at a time bias claims are on the rise, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Among examples given, the letter alleges that Fajardo referred to a visiting Pakistani faculty member as "Osama bin Laden" many times. When referring to him, she would say, "How is Osama doing?" Or she would ask, "Where is Osama?" The letter also claims that she said, "Asian faculty (Chinese, Japanese and Koreans) are desperate. They are stuck in Iowa and can request a salary increase all they want, but they're not getting it."

Juweid's letter also alleges that Fajardo once said, "Let me get a Korean; we can pay them as much as we want."

After he filed earlier complaints last September, Juweid did not have to directly report to Fajardo.

Juweid has requested that the University of Iowa forward his complaint to a medical credentialing panel. The hospital's chief of staff, Eva Tsalikian, will decide whether the complaint moves on to a medical panel. UI, on behalf of Fajardo, declined to comment.

Juweid has also filed complaints with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Office, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Iowa State Board of Regents. If "internal justice" doesn't meet his needs, Juweid said he would consider personally suing UI and Fajardo.

To learn more:
- read the Press-Citizen story

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