The American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) and the AAEM Resident and Student Association (AAEM/RSA) are aware of media reports stating that the employment of Dr. Cleavon Gilman at a Yuma, AZ emergency department has been terminated by the Yuma Regional Medical Center, which is staffed by the corporate management group (CMG), Envision. Dr. Gilman is reported to have raised concerns about the lack of ICU beds for admitted patients. AAEM has always taken an unwavering stance against the corporate practice of medicine and against the policy of CMG contracts which require the individual physician to waive due process rights. CMGs have a long history of denying due process to physicians whose employment they terminate when the physician speaks out about patient safety issues. In fact, AAEM was the lead organization consulted on the development of H.R. 6910, the bill introduced on May 15, 2020 by Congressman Dr. Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) which bars employers from requiring emergency physicians to waive due process rights as a condition of employment.
AAEM acknowledges that emergency physicians are America’s doctors. We are the first line of defense in a pandemic or disaster and the last and only resort for the acutely, critically ill and the underserved. We have a responsibility to advocate for the best possible medical care for every patient who we evaluate and treat. We are often the only voice for the underrepresented, critically ill, uninsured, and disenfranchised. To silence our voice is unethical and immoral. AAEM condemns the termination of employment without due process of any physician for any reason. Those who speak for patients when they cannot speak for themselves must work in an environment where we are empowered to provide care based on best practices for every patient, every time without fear of retribution.
AAEM/RSA has also signed on to this statement.