Vanderbilt orthopedic surgeon faces additional misconduct allegations


Two legal filings in less than one month have alleged departmental misconduct and employee mistreatment by Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanderbilt University Medical Center orthopedic surgeon and executive Rick Wright, MD, according to an April 17 report from the Nashville Scene

Dr. Wright was named chief medical officer and senior vice president for clinical affairs in February 2023. 

Now, two former Vanderbilt orthopedic surgeons, Ginger Holt, MD, and Christopher Hoedt, MD, and Dr. Wright's former executive assistant, Lucille Mongogna, have filed reports detailing alleged professional misconduct by Dr. Wright.

Dr. Holt filed her lawsuit against Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in March 2023. 

Then on March 15, 2024, Dr. Hoedt filed a lawsuit alleging that Dr. Wright and fellow surgeon Greg Polkowski, MD, blackballed him for refusing to use certain joint replacement devices that potentially financially benefited Dr. Polkowski.

The lawsuit alleges that Dr. Wright helped orchestrate negative performance reviews and disciplinary measures designed to force Dr. Hoedt out of his position, jeopardizing his medical career. 

Ms. Mongogna's lawsuit alleges that Dr. Wright verbally abused her, discriminated against female employees and physically intimidated her. 

"Almost immediately after I started I observed Dr. Wright throwing open doors, slamming them shut, screaming and berating all the female staff," her affidavit says. "Dr. Wright would also aggressively gesticulate while yelling at me while I was cornered at my desk, causing significant fear."

She also claims Dr. Wright put $500 on her desk after she reported his behavior to human resources. 

Vanderbilt University Medical Center did not respond to Nashville Scene's request for comment.

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