‘You should get an MRI if you’ve got heart disease’
SANTA CLARA, Calif.
— Cardinal Joseph Tobin, who served as the chief of the Southern California cardiology unit at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Santa Clara for nearly four decades, is among the hundreds of medical professionals who have been fired for not being fit enough to do their jobs.
Tobin told Fox News that his superiors told him he was “not fit enough” to perform surgery on a man who had recently died of congestive heart failure, and that he should get a chest X-ray if he needed one.
Tobin said the decision to dismiss him was made by his supervisors, who said they thought he was overqualified because he was a former chief of cardiology at St, Luke’s and a cardiologist in his previous role.
He said the termination was made without a formal written warning or a recommendation to him by the hospital.
I’m a medical professional who has had the courage to say, I am not fit to do this job.
Tobins family told FoxNews.com that the decision was a slap in the face.
I had no right to be treated like that. “
I was treated like crap.
I had no right to be treated like that.
I have no way of contacting them.”
Tobin was fired in March, just months after being named the head of cardiothoracic surgery at St Luke’s.
He resigned two months later, and was eventually reinstated as chief of surgery, a job he held for nearly two decades.
His termination is the latest in a string of firings of cardiologist doctors, and his attorney, Andrew Bohn, said the doctors are entitled to due process.
“If you want to get a heart condition, you should get the surgery,” Bohn said.
“You’re being fired for being healthy, but the medical professionals are not being fired because of that.”
Tobin, 75, said he has received no formal written warnings from St. Joseph’s.
“They have not notified me that this is a termination,” Tobins brother, Michael, told Foxnews.com.
“This is all completely off the record.
I’m going to call the union and say, ‘Look, I’ve been told that this has been going on for two years, and I haven’t heard anything from St Joseph’s,'” Tobin added.
Tobin, who has been a cardiographer since 1990, said that he has been working on a patient, a man with heart failure and congestive cardiomyopathy, for two months, and he believes he has had no prior medical history.
He said he was told he needed a CT scan and had a pre-existing heart condition that would have made it hard for him to do a chest x-ray, and had been told he was too old to perform the procedure.
“It was not right to fire me for having a preexisting condition,” Tobis said.
Tabor said he did not believe his supervisors knew of the underlying medical condition that required him to get CT scans and the heart condition.
“If I was not sick, I would have been terminated,” Tobino said.
Tobins wife, who was a cardiology graduate, told the news site that her husband had been on the job for six months, when his superiors started telling him he wasn’t fit to perform his duties.
He went on leave for a month and then returned, but his supervisors did not inform him that he was fired, he said.
He was fired again in May.
Tabor said the hospital has not provided him with an explanation for the firing.
“There is a lot of speculation going on,” he said, adding that Tobin was told his job was “no longer under my direct supervision.”
“It’s hard to imagine how you would want to be an authority on medical care if you are not fit for the job,” he added.
“To be terminated for doing a job you were hired to do, and then to get told that it is not going to happen because you’re not fit, it just makes me sick.”
An internal hospital report obtained by Fox News states that Tobins superiors told Tobin that he had not been fit enough and that his physical fitness was a reason to dismiss.
In the report, Tobin’s superiors wrote that Tobis “was not fit enough, physically or mentally, to perform any of his assigned duties.”
The report went on to state that Tobi was “inappropriate in the areas of his ability to perform surgical procedures, and lacked an understanding of the medical significance of these procedures.”
The hospital said in a statement to Fox News it was investigating Tobin for the firings.
“Cardinal Tobin is the only member of our cardiology staff who has never been terminated