Not what you're
looking for? Try an advanced search.
Buy This Entire Record For
Ramalingam v. Robert Packer Hospital
United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
December 4, 2017
SARAVANAN RAMALINGAM, M.D., Plaintiff.
ROBERT PACKER HOSPITAL, et al., Defendants.
Matthew W. Brann United States District Judge
February 5, 2017, Plaintiff Saravanan Ramalingam, M.D., filed
a Complaint against Defendants, ECF No. 1, alleging the
a. Dr. Ramalingam graduated from Stanley Medical College in
India in 1998. In 2005, he completed a general surgery
residency at that institution, and in 2006, he was certified
in general surgery by the National Board of Examiners in New
Dehli, India. ECF No. 1 ¶ 8.
b. After further training, Dr. Ramalingam decided he wanted
to become a board-certified general surgeon in the United
States. To accomplish that goal, however, he needed to
complete a general surgery residency at an accredited
institution in this country. Id. ¶ 11.
c. Graduate medical education programs, including general
surgery residencies, are governed in the United States by the
American Board of Surgery (“ABS”) and the
Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
d. General surgery residencies in the United States normally
last five years, but due to his prior experience and
training, the ABS gave Dr. Ramalingam permission to enter a
general surgery residency program as a 4th year resident -
i.e., as a “Post Grad Year Four”
(“PGY-4”) resident. Id. ¶ 12.
e. Defendant Robert Packer Hospital/Guthrie Healthcare System
Auxiliary (“GHS”) offered Dr. Ramalingam a spot
in its General Surgery Residency Program (“Residency
Program”), starting in October 2013. Because of his
PGY-4 status, he was scheduled to graduate in September 2015.
Id. ¶ 13.
f. Defendant Thomas VanderMeer, M.D., was the Director of
GHS's Residency Program. Defendant Burt Cagir, M.D., was
the program's Assistant Director. ¶¶ 4, 5.
g. The relationship between GHS and Dr. Ramalingam was
governed by GHS's “House Officer Agreement, ”
which obligated GHS to assign Dr. Ramalingam to the rotations
required by ABS. Id. ¶ 14.
h. From October 2013 through January 2014, Dr. Ramalingam
performed well in GHS's Residency Program. Id.
i. ACGME normally requires general surgery residency program
participants to perform at least 750 procedures during their
residency, but because he would be in GHS's Residency
Program for only two years, Dr. Ramalingam asked GHS and Dr.
VanderMeer to contact ABS and ACGME to obtain a waiver for
the 750-procedure requirement. Dr. VanderMeer and Laura
Warner (GHS's residency coordinator) confirmed that they
would “promptly” secure those waivers.
Subsequently, Dr. VanderMeer and others at GHS advised Dr.
Ramalingam that he had no minimum surgery volume
requirements. Id. ¶ 16.
j. In February 2014, Dr. VanderMeer told ABS that Dr.
Ramalingam was on track to complete the GHS Residency
Program, and requested that Dr. Ramalingam's completion
date be accelerated to June 2015. ABS granted this request on
February 24, 2014. Id. ¶ 17.
k. Dr. Ramalingam successfully completed his PGY-4
requirements and was approved to advance to the PGY-5 class.
Correspondingly, GHS and Dr. Ramalingam entered another
“House Officer Agreement.” Id. ¶
l. Based on his newly-established June 2015 graduation date,
Dr. Ramalingam began looking for a hepato-pancreato-biliary
(“HPB”) fellowship, to begin after completing
Buy This Entire Record For