Orthopedic surgeon sues Vanderbilt over alleged discrimination


Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center is being sued by an orthopedic surgeon who's alleging discrimination, Nashville Scene reported March 2.

Ginger Holt, MD, an orthopedic oncology surgeon, filed a lawsuit alleging she "has been consistently held to a higher standard than her male colleagues, been removed from a role she held for years as Program Director and Vice Chair of Education, and had her salary cut in half." Dr. Holt, who is gay, is also alleging discrimination based on sexual orientation, the report said. 

Dr. Holt worked at Vanderbilt as the orthopedic residency director and was its vice chair of education, the report said. Her lawsuit said she strengthened the program's diversity and brought on more female employees, but that changed when Rick Wright, MD, was named chair of orthopedics.

The court filing said Dr. Holt experienced complaints and threats to her job despite "indications of positive performance," Nashville Scene reported. A letter Dr. Wright wrote in 2021 accused her of "creating an environment of inequity and harassment." Dr. Holt's lawsuit claimed he said on more than one occasion that "orthopedic surgery is just different for women, it's different for you."

Dr. Holt also alleged Vanderbilt conducted a "half-hearted investigation" of the alleged retaliation and discrimination and didn't find instances of it. 

Vanderbilt University Medical Center didn't respond to Nashville Scene's request for comment.

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