Monday, August 10, 2009

Whose Drawing the Battle Lines? UCLA or OTW

On Monday, August 10th, OTW published an article entitled, "The Anonymous Letter to OTW." The editor stated that the name on the return address on the envelop was Dr. Jeffrey Wang. The author of the letter describes themself as a non-voting observer on the UCLA board. They are quoted as saying that they cannot divulge their identity. Supposedly, the letter goes on to attack the credibility of OTW and Dr. Wang by using various nouns and adjectives to describe Dr. Wang. I must question the validity of the author when stating that Dr. Wang would blackball a resident or a fellow from a spine society, yet, I must admit that this isn't the first time that any of us have heard that a surgeon consultant wanted or demanded that his protege use the product of his choice.

The Spine Blogger must question OTW when the editor states that UCLA suffers from lack of transparency which undermines the legitimacy of their actions. Before OTW attacks this phantom "impartial observer" the question must be asked, who is calling the kettle black? By stating that Dr. Wang failed to fully complete his disclosure forms, OTW makes it sound like he made a slight mistake of omission. If OTW questions whether this fight is about ethics or money and embarrassment, the answer is simple, Dr. Wang's ethics must be questioned. Ethics pertains to rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions, an example would be medical ethics. Yes this is about money and embarrassment but on whose part? Maybe UCLA is looking to do damage control, but the question must be asked who violated the provisions in their employment contract? Does OTW think that UCLA is looking to avoid embarrassment because of potential improprieties at its institution? Maybe, or maybe they feel as though they were duped by their rising star and don't want egg on their face. Maybe UCLA does bear culpability, but as long as there is an ongoing investigation that could potentially lead to Dr. Wang's dismissal, they are not obligated to provide OTW or any other news service information.

Of course, silence is always golden when you are accused of violating your fiduciary responsibility to your employer. I know that those of us in the industry respect and know that Dr. Wang has been a rising star based on his contributions to academia. And, yes the SpineBlogger believes that any physician that works as a consultant is entitled to be compensated. Yet, until Wang sets the record straight or proves that he did not violate the provisions in his employment agreement the jury is out. In closing, it's hard to believe that UCLA was looking to try Dr. Wang in the press, we can only thank Senator Grassley for that. The SpineBlogger wants to know what you think?

1 comment:

  1. I have to say that I was personally shocked that Dr. Wang actually was "putting in time" at UCLA. I can't think of a meeting, conference, symposium or speaker session where I haven't seen Dr. Wang in attendance. I was starting to wonder if he actually operated or saw patients as he always seemed to be at a resort or on an airplane.