OrthoSC toppled residency program to maintain monopoly, lawsuit claims

Carly Behm -   Print  |
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A former OrthoSC surgeon is suing the Conway, S.C.-based practice, alleging an executive board member made threats to a now-canceled residency program, The Sun News reported Nov. 22.

Orthopedic surgeon Scott Duncan, MD, was hired by HCA Healthcare to start a residency program at Myrtle Beach, S.C.-based Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in 2017, the report said. The job came with the promise of a five-year director role, and there were plans to bring on OrthoSC physicians to serve as staff for the program.

Dr. Duncan began interviewing other candidates for staff positions after feeling OrthoSC representatives weren't interested in participating, the report said.

OrthoSC was given a deadline to decide, and one of its executive board members allegedly sent an email to Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA threatening to pull surgical cases from Grand Strand Regional Medical Center if the residency continued. The email allegedly said the residency program threatened the practice's monopoly in Myrtle Beach and that doctors didn't want "to be training their competition."

HCA canceled the residency program and let Dr. Duncan go without cause in April before the five years promised in his employment agreement ended, according to the lawsuit. Dr. Duncan is seeking unspecified financial damages.

OrthoSC didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. This article will be updated if they reach out.

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