LETTER: Doctor's farewell

On Jan. 23, I was informed Mercy Willard Hospital no longer wanted my services. For four years, the emergency staff at Mercy has been a stable, energetic, altruistic, well-trained group of nurses and doctors. I have been a team leader and educator for the nurses, and a good friend. The emergency care at Mercy has been outstanding.
Commentary
Apr 2, 2010

On Jan. 23, I was informed Mercy Willard Hospital no longer wanted my services.

For four years, the emergency staff at Mercy has been a stable, energetic, altruistic, well-trained group of nurses and doctors. I have been a team leader and educator for the nurses, and a good friend. The emergency care at Mercy has been outstanding.

During a meeting on Jan. 27, with CEO Lynn Detterman, I was informed that the reason for my termination was because of poor patient satisfaction scores, as well as called-in patient complaints. I disputed that claim because I have been shown the same quarterly scores and mine are consistently the highest among the doctors. When the nurses call patients back the day after their visit, they tell me how pleased the vast majority of patients are with their care. Medical management of my patients has never been an issue. Knowing emergency care provided to this community is excellent, I have always been annoyed by disgruntled patients' reference to Mercy as a "bandaid station."

The ED staff is upset about my termination. Most have expressed their concern to administration and been told "the decision has already been made."

Citizens of Willard, I have served you for the last four years with state-of-the-art emergency care. Many of you I consider not only patients, but friends.

Your complaints were taken seriously. Someday, you will understand your children will do fine without amoxicillin. I never want to be blamed for contributing to MRSA by indiscriminate antibiotic use. I will always practice what I have been taught is "good medicine."

I will always cherish the friendships I have made with the ED nurses and doctors and your well-trained EMS providers. The staff at Knox Community Hospital is ecstatic to have a residency-trained, board certified physician on staff. I worked there previously and they created a position so they could add me to their staff.

John Kerns, DO

Newark, Ohio