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TMH Defends Policies in Dispute With Doctor

Tallahassee Memorial officials discuss the issues regarding physician governance with the media.  (l. to r.) TMH Spokesperson Warren Jones, Dr. Avon Doll, chair of the Tallahassee Memorial Medical Executive Committee, Dr. Alma Littles, chair of the Tallahassee Memorial Board of Directors, and Dr. Andrea Friall, VP/Chief Medical Officer
Tallahassee Memorial officials discuss the issues regarding physician governance with the media. (l. to r.) TMH Spokesperson Warren Jones, Dr. Avon Doll, chair of the Tallahassee Memorial Medical Executive Committee, Dr. Alma Littles, chair of the Tallahassee Memorial Board of Directors, and Dr. Andrea Friall, VP/Chief Medical Officer

A Capital City doctor is battling with Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, where he's worked for 36 years. Gastroenterologist Dr. Joe Webster claims the hospital is being unfair to black doctors like himself and that racism is the reason.

Tallahassee Memorial officials discuss the issues regarding physician governance with the media.  (l. to r.) TMH Spokesperson Warren Jones, Dr. Avon Doll, chair of the Tallahassee Memorial Medical Executive Committee, Dr. Alma Littles, chair of the Tallahassee Memorial Board of Directors, and Dr. Andrea Friall, VP/Chief Medical Officer
Credit Tom Flanigan
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Tallahassee Memorial officials discuss the issues regarding physician governance with the media. (l. to r.) TMH Spokesperson Warren Jones, Dr. Avon Doll, chair of the Tallahassee Memorial Medical Executive Committee, Dr. Alma Littles, chair of the Tallahassee Memorial Board of Directors, and Dr. Andrea Friall, VP/Chief Medical Officer

Webster said TMH was segregated when it opened in 1949 and, for he and other black doctors, things haven't changed much in the years since.

"Racism has never stopped!" he said "(The hospital) is built on a plantation called Goodwood and they're still treating doctors like slaves. The irony is the black doctors are afraid to speak up."

But Webster is speaking up. He charges the hospital has taken some of his patients away while forcing him to be on call for others without asking if he's available. Hospital officials have declined to discuss Webster's specific case, but Chief Medical Officer Andrea Friall told local media it's the doctors who set the rules for themselves through their own committee.

"When a complaint, or issue or concern arises, a peer-review process is then initiated as outlined in (the doctors') bylaws," she explained.

Meanwhile, Dr. Webster keeps insisting he and other black physicians are being singled out for unfair treatment.

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