Frank Shin v. University of Maryland Medical
UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 09-1126 FRANK SHIN, M.D., Plaintiff - Appellant, v. UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND WOLFSTHAL, Doctor, MEDICAL SYSTEM CORPORATION; SUSAN
Defendants - Appellees.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Baltimore. William D. Quarles, Jr., District Judge. (1:08-cv-00240-WDQ) Argued: January 28, 2010 Decided: March 11, 2010
Before MICHAEL and DUNCAN, Circuit Judges, and R. Bryan HARWELL, United States District Judge for the District of South Carolina, sitting by designation. Affirmed by unpublished opinion. Judge Duncan wrote opinion, in which Judge Michael and Judge Harwell joined. the
ARGUED: Jason I. Weisbrot, SNIDER & ASSOCIATES, LLC, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellant. Neal Mullan Brown, WARANCH & BROWN, LLC, Lutherville, Maryland, for Appellees. ON BRIEF: Michael J. Snider, SNIDER & ASSOCIATES, LLC, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellant. Nicole A. McCarus, WARANCH & BROWN, LLC, Lutherville, Maryland, for Appellees.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
DUNCAN, Circuit Judge: Frank Shin, M.D., appeals a decision of the district court granting summary judgment to the University of Maryland Medical System Corporation ("UMMSC") and its Residency Program director Dr. Susan D. Wolfsthal granted (collectively, judgment and "Appellees"). to Appellees to on The Dr.
reasonable accommodation claims, reasoning that Dr. Shin was not "a qualified individual with a disability" under the Americans with Disabilities Act (the "ADA"). 42 U.S.C. § 12111(8) (2006).
Because we agree that Dr. Shin could not perform the essential functions of his job with or without reasonable accommodation, we affirm.
I. 1 Dr. Shin began his medical internship with UMMSC on June 24, 2006. 2 Initially, he performed his medical intern duties Medical interns are rated on a 9-point scale at
Because summary judgment was granted below, we present the facts affecting our ADA analysis in the light most favorable to the appellant. See Pueschel v. Peters, 577 F.3d 558, 563 (4th Cir. 2009). Dr. Shin had just completed medical school at Boston University, receiving eleven Honors grades, seven High Pass grades, and twenty Pass grades. 3
Generally, the score of 1-3 is deemed a failure; 4-6 is and 7-9 is superior. In his first rotation
through Emergency Care Services from June 24, 2006, through July 27, 2006 ("Block 1"), Dr. Shin scored eight out of nine for overall competence. His evaluator stated that "Dr. Shin [was]
ready to be an excellent clinician, [having] had a strong start to his first year of residency." After the first month, J.A. 297. Dr. Shin's evaluation
scores began to drop.
For his rotation through Critical Care
Services from July 21, 2006, through August 23, 2006 ("Block 2"), both Dr. Stephen Gottlieb and Dr. Mandeep Mehra gave Dr. Shin an overall competence score of three. Dr. Mehra explained
that Dr. Shin had to be "shadowed heavily by the residents to prevent medical errors," which placed "a greater burden of
responsibility on the other interns and resulted in residents needing to act as interns." S.J.A. 85. 3 During this rotation,
Dr. Mehra limited Dr. Shin's workload to three patients and once had to have other residents help complete his work. Dr. Shin's deteriorating performance prompted Dr. Wolfsthal to meet with him about the problem. At that meeting, Dr. Shin
explained that he found "it difficult to balance new admissions in the
References in the Supplemental Joint Appendix.
He also explained that, to keep up with
his workload, he often arrived at 6 a.m. and stayed until 8-9 p.m. Dr. Shin added that on night call he would take one to two To address the problem,
extra Provigil pills to stay awake. 4
Dr. Wolfsthal and Dr. Shin developed the following action plan: 1. [Dr. Shin] would thoroughly work up 2 patients while on call. 2. He would meet with [Dr.] Rebecca Manno on a weekly basis to discuss efficiency and organizational skills as well as key topics in cardiology. 3. He [would] check with [Dr.] Alan Krumholz [in the Department of Neurology] . . . to see how he might best manage his medications in this setting. 4. In addition to working on organizational skills, he [would] also improve his skills in retrieving old records, dealing with cross-cover issues 5 and writing notes. 5. Whenever called on a cross-over issue, he [would] review the event and his plans with [a resident]. S.J.A. 87 (footnote call number added). Provigil, or "Modafanil," is "[o]fficially [used] for narcolepsy and excessive sleepiness associated with things like shift work, sleep apnea, and multiple sclerosis, but also used as an augmenting agent to boost the effectiveness of standard antidepressants or when antidepressants cause excessive daytime sleepiness as a side effect." Jack M. Gorman, The Essential Guide to Psychiatric Drugs 131 (4th ed. 2007). Interns at UMMSC are responsible for their co-interns' patients when their co-interns go home. On-call interns are given an information sheet detailing information about each patient, such as the patient's allergies, location, reason for admission, chronic medical problems, and medications, and other information that may be pertinent to the case. 5
Two weeks later, Dr. Wolfsthal and Dr. Shin met again to discuss his progress. Despite the action plan, Dr. Wolfsthal
discovered that Dr. Shin had written orders for patients that were inappropriate, such as "ordering IV Prednisone, ordering [Fresh Frozen Plasma] on the wrong patient and placing a patient on a standing order of narcotics that cause somnolence." 88. S.J.A.
Thus, Dr. Wolfsthal asked Dr. Shin to continue meeting with In addition, she gave him the Assistance Program so that he
both Dr. Manno and Dr. Krumholz. phone number for the Employee
could seek confidential counseling. On September 1, 2006, UMMSC placed Dr. Shin on probation. The Clinical Competency Committee noted that and Dr. Shin had
Although the Committee recognized that
Dr. Shin had performed better during his Block 3 rotation, 6 that success was attributed to the fact that Dr. Shin was generally limited to three or four patients and that those patients were "the less complicated ones." S.J.A. 91. Thus, UMMSC informed
For his rotation through Medicine 1 - General Internal Medicine from August 17, 2006, through September 19, 2006 ("Block 3"), Dr. Shin scored an eight for overall competence. In a section labeled "Resident Strengths," his evaluator Dr. Jamal Mikdashi described Dr. Shin as a "thorough and hard worker, motivated," that "at times get[s] overwhemled [sic]." J.A. 299. 6
before December 1, 2006, to remain in the internship program: 1. Achieve scores of 5 in all areas of competency in all rotations. 7 2. Demonstrate the ability to manage a census of 4-7 patients and admit 5 patients per call night. He may on occasion admit less than 5 patients depending on the flow of admissions, but he must demonstrate the ability to admit 5 when the need arises. 3. Demonstrate improvement in both his written and oral presentations. 4. Continue meeting weekly with Dr. Rebecca Manno to work on organizational skills and efficiency as well as enhancing his knowledge base. 5. Meet every 2-3 weeks with Dr. Wolfsthal. at the
6. Be evaluated and have a drug screen Employee Assessment Program (EAP). . . .
7. At the end of 3 months, Frank will do a full H&P ([Clinical Evaluation Exercise]) under direct observation by Dr. Graeme Forrest. S.J.A. 92 (footnote call number added). Dr. improved.
For his rotation through Critical Care Unit/Telemetry
Although a five is generally classified as "satisfactory" in other medical internship programs, a five "is borderline in [UMMSC's] program. That already means there are issues that are being raised." S.J.A. 394-95. "Interns and residents with scores of five and below are generally brought to the [Clinical Competency Committee] for further discussion." S.J.A. 395. "The mean score for an Intern by the end of the year is approximately 7.3, plus or minus a very small standard deviation, so all the scores are between maybe 7.1 and 7.5." S.J.A. 394. 7
("Block 4"), Dr. Gary Plotnick gave Dr. Shin a four, and Dr. John Kastor gave him a three. Shin's rotation as a "troubled Dr. Kastor characterized Dr. performance," and recommended
that Dr. Shin not be allowed to "[a]dmit more than one patient on call until [h]is ability to d[e]al with more information
Dr. Kastor also noted confidentially
that Dr. Shin displayed "[t]he poorest performance by an intern that [he had] experienced at [UMMSC]." S.J.A. 248. Similarly,
Dr. Plotnick explained that Dr. Shin had "difficulty putting it all together" and "[n]eed[ed] help synthesizing and seeing the big picture." S.J.A. 93. Dr. Plotnick communicated to Dr. S.J.A.
Wolfsthal that Dr. Shin "need[ed] complete supervision." 95.
These reviews prompted Dr. David Tasker to recommend that
Dr. Shin no longer be allowed to attend the outpatient clinic, a requirement of the internship program. He reasoned that this S.J.A. 101. his rotation Both Dr.
would "take some of the pressure off [Dr. Shin]." Dr. Shin also received poor reviews for
through Med 4 - General Internal Medicine ("Block 6").
Majid Cina and Dr. Aba Ibe gave him a competence score of four. S.J.A. 105-06. Dr. Cina commented that Dr. Shin's "most glaring
deficiencies . . . [were] lack of efficiency, an inability to think globally with about patients, poor organization He skills, and
difficulty help with
prioritization. . . . S.J.A. 8 at 105.
extensive Dr. Ibe
resident to constantly supervise him and [she] also stayed late on many occasions to ensure that his documentation on patients was appropriate." Finally, for S.J.A. at 106. his Block 7 rotation through the Veterans
Affairs Medical Center, Dr. Richard Rees gave Dr. Shin a one for overall competence. noted: Frank's overall performance was unsatisfactory. He doesn't know what he doesn't know. He is extremely argumentative and refused to accept explanations for why certain decisions were made when they were based on clear evidence and were well accepted standards of care[.] Taking that one step further, he would then write orders on those patients based on what he felt was right/appropriate, in direct contradiciton [sic] to the orders which the resident stated he should write . . . . To make things even worse, when I discussed these issues with him, it was clear he had no insight into his problems. S.J.A. 115. Confidentially, Dr. Rees said that Dr. Shin was To explain such a low evaluation, Dr. Rees
"dangerous and should no longer be allowed to continue in a direct patient care role." S.J.A. 249. He felt that Dr. Shin
was not remediable and that an extended internship would be of no benefit. Not only were Dr. Shin's performance scores low, but he also failed the Clinical Evaluation Exercise. 8
Although Dr. Shin
"The clinical evaluation exercise (CEX), a direct observation of a history and physical examination with feedback (Continued) 9
was able to get an adequate history of the patient, he was unable to perform a satisfactory physical examination. assessment, Dr. Forrest noted twenty-three problems In his with Dr.
Shin's physical examination, including the fact that Dr. Shin "[p]erformed "[f]ailed to [the] wash exam [his] without hands turning before on the lights" the and
S.J.A. 102. Shin's]
In his summary, Dr. Forrest explained that "[Dr. competency is borderline. He may get an
adequate history and utilize the resources around him, but his thinking is rather rigid and inflexible and he is not very open to suggestions of help." that S.J.A. Dr. 103. Dr. Forrest was
[was] so poor that he may miss something obvious." The record reflects that Dr. Forrest's
true: Dr. Shin misdiagnosed patients or prescribed to them the wrong medications while at UMMSC. For example, during his Block
7 rotation, a nurse called to inform Dr. Shin that the blood pressure of one of his cross-over patients had dropped. In
response, Dr. Shin told the nurse to give that patient fluids. Dr. Lee-Ann Wagner overheard the conversation and instructed Dr. to the house officer, is a form of clinical skills evaluation used by many internal medicine training programs." Frank J. Kroboth et al., Didactive Value of the Clinical Evaluation Exercise: Missed Opportunities, 11(9) J. Gen. Internal Med. 551, 551 (1996). 10
Shin to go and see the patient.
Specifically, she reminded Dr.
Shin that "[w]hen a nurse calls that there's been a change in a vital sign like this, you need to see the patient." 07. Shin S.J.A. 206-
Upon arriving at the patient's room, Dr. Wagner and Dr. learned that the patient was in critical condition and
needed to be rushed to the Intensive Care Unit.
asked Dr. Shin to page the Intensive Care Resident while she prepared the patient to be moved. Dr. Shin, however, could not
follow Dr. Wagner's instructions on how to obtain the resident's beeper number. Dr. Wagner was thus forced to leave the
critically ill patient so that she could page the resident. Similarly, during his Block 4 rotation, Dr. Shin prescribed a large amount of Lasix 9 for a patient with aortic stenosis. 10 After being subjected to ten times the medication he was
supposed to receive, the patient began "urinating out more fluid than [UMMSC] would have wanted for a patient with aortic stenosis." S.J.A. 281-82. Although the patient suffered no
lasting "bad effects," after that incident, Dr. James Strait Lasix, or "Furosemide," is a "diuretic (water pill) used to treat high blood pressure. It is also used to treat swelling due to fluid retention associated with heart failure or kidney or liver disease." The Pocket Guide to Prescription Drugs 709 (9th ed. 2010). Aortic stenosis is a heart valve disorder, in which "the heart -- specifically, the left ventricle -- has to work harder to pump blood to the brain and other vital organs." The Merck Manual of Health & Aging 722 (Keryn A.G. Lane ed., 2004). 11
Yet, even under such close supervision,
Dr. Shin continued making mistakes. 11 UMMSC made assistance available to help Dr. Shin complete his medical internship. with "tutoring from from For example, UMMSC provided Dr. Shin [its] of less chief residents," faculty patients S.J.A. members and 66; and fewer
admissions; and dayfloaters and "moonlighters to help with [his] workload" at certain critical times, S.J.A. 86, 193-94. also excused Dr. Shin from participating in the UMMSC
clinic -- a requirement of the internship program.
several faculty members and residents assisted Dr. Shin with his duties. While the "Friends of Frank" would meet weekly with Dr.
Shin to discuss his various problems, 12 several of Dr. Shin's Other mistakes included (1) wrongly documenting that "[t]he patient [was] deceased," when in fact the patient was not; (2) giving wrong orders for insulin (NPH 40/30 BID) at discharge in addition to starting a new dose of Lantus; and (3) omitting critical information, such as vital signs, in patients' medical histories. S.J.A. 247. Dr. Strait testified as follows, "We were having meetings with Frank and Dr. Wali on a weekly basis, I and one of the other residents, to try to discuss various time management issues and try to help him out. We would meet, have lunch, and then discuss things." S.J.A. 255. They met to discuss what sort of issues Dr. Shin was having and to "see if [they] c[ould] help him out." S.J.A. 257. They sometimes called it the "Friends of Frank." S.J.A. 257. 12
supervisors would "write his notes" or verbally dictate them to him, S.J.A. 182, "wr[i]te orders on his patients," S.J.A. 222, or encourage him to go home and leave the "leftover work [for] . . . the resident," S.J.A. 438. Despite difficulties. these accommodations, Dr. Shin continued having
As a consequence, both on his own initiative and
at the direction of UMMSC, Dr. Shin sought evaluation by several mental health professionals to better understand his problems. Dr. James F. McTamney diagnosed Dr. Shin with possible Attention Deficit Disorder, finding that Dr. Shin had difficulties He
"switch[ing] back and forth between ideas." also noted that Dr. Shin's "working memory
S.J.A. 113. was ...
expected levels." medication and seek
He suggested Dr. Shin be placed on aid of a rehabilitation specialist.
Similarly, after a thorough evaluation, Dr. Jill A. RachBeisel diagnosed spatial Dr. Shin with and "significant visual impairment S.J.A. in visualand
recommended that Dr. Shin be placed on a trial of stimulant medication, consider Strattera, 13 and seek behavioral coaching. On January 5, 2007, UMMSC placed Dr. Shin on leave so that he Strattera, also known as "Atomoxetine hydrochloride," is "used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)." The Pocket Guide, supra note 9, at 1226. This medication is believed to help "increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity." Id. 13
rehabilitation for his deficiencies. Even with medication, however, Dr. Shin did not improve. Thus, on March 12, 2007, Dr. Craig D. Thorne determined that Dr. Shin had reached maximal medical improvement but was unfit to return to work as a medical intern. by letter dated April 4, 2007. UMMSC terminated Dr. Shin
His termination was upheld in an
internal grievance proceeding held on June 18, 2007. Before being terminated, Dr. Shin requested the following accommodations: (1) fewer patients; (2) additional time to
record and synthesize verbal information from the night flow team; and (3) "a more compassionate environment." UMMSC rejected implementation of these accommodations. that Dr. Shin by would not achieve the minimum for 210 J.A. 202. It noted admissions Medical
Education ("ACGME") in his first year if his admissions were further reduced, and that more time to absorb information from the night team would not adequately train him in the skills he needed to become a physician. compassionate environment, UMMSC As to his request for a more explained that many of Dr.
Shin's colleagues and administrators had already come to his aid. Under these circumstances, UMMSC felt termination was
Dr. Shin filed a complaint with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which issued its right to sue letter on November 1, 2007. He then brought suit against UMMSC,
the Medical Center, the Residency Program, and Dr. Wolfsthal, alleging both discriminatory discharge and the failure to
provide reasonable accommodation in violation of the ADA and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., breach as of well as state and law claims for wrongful Dr. Shin
defamation. and the
Program as defendants on February 27, 2008.
On January 7, 2009,
the district court granted summary judgment to UMMSC and Dr. Wolfsthal on the over ADA Dr. claims, state and law declined claims. supplemental This appeal
II. On appeal, Dr. Shin maintains that the district court
erroneously granted summary judgment to Appellees on his claims under the ADA. We review a district court's decision to grant
summary judgment de novo, "viewing the facts and the inferences to be drawn therefrom in the light most favorable to the
Riddick ex rel. Riddick v. Sch. Bd. of the City of Summary judgment
Portsmouth, 238 F.3d 518, 522 (4th Cir. 2000). 15
disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." 56(c)(2). Dr. Shin's suit is based on the ADA, 14 the pertinent part of which provides: "No covered entity shall discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability because of the disability of such individual in regard to . . . discharge of employees, . . . job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment." as used in of the an 42 U.S.C. § 12112(a) (2006). ADA prohibits not only see "Discrimination" treatment also the Fed. R. Civ. P.
disparate id., but
Significant changes to the ADA took effect on January 1, 2009, after this appeal was filed. See ADA Amendments Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-325, 122 Stat. 3553. Congress did not express its intent for these changes to apply retroactively, and so we look to the law in place prior to the amendments. Landgraf v. USI Film Prods., 511 U.S. 244, 270-71 (1994); Olatunji v. Ashcroft, 387 F.3d 383, 389 (4th Cir. 2004) ("In the face of congressional silence on the temporal reach of a given statute, it is presumed that Congress did not intend for the statute to be applied retroactively."). Our sister circuits have found that the 2008 ADA amendments are not retroactive, see Thornton v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., 587 F.3d 27, 34 n.3 (1st Cir. 2009); EEOC v. Agro Distrib., LLC, 555 F.3d 462, 469-70 n.8 (5th Cir. 2009); Milholland v. Sumner County Bd. of Educ., 569 F.3d 562, 565-67 (6th Cir. 2009); Fredricksen v. United Parcel Serv., Co., 581 F.3d 516, 521 n.1 (7th Cir. 2009); Becerril v. Pima County Assessor's Office, 587 F.3d 1162, 1164 (9th Cir. 2009); Lytes v. DC Water & Sewer Auth., 572 F.3d 936, 939-42 (D.C. Cir. 2009), and we see no reason to disagree with their conclusion. 16
failure to make "reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or employee," id.
§ 12112(b)(5)(A), and "denying employment opportunities to a job applicant or employee," based on where the the need denial ... of to the make employment reasonable
accommodation," id. § 12112(b)(5)(B).
See Smith v. Ameritech,
129 F.3d 857, 866 (6th Cir. 1997); Sieberns v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 125 F.3d 1019, 1021-22 (7th Cir. 1997); see also Burch v. Coca-Cola Co., 119 F.3d 305, 314 (5th Cir. 1997) (recognizing that a reasonable accommodation claim under the ADA differs from a wrongful termination claim under the ADA), cert. denied, 522 U.S. 1084 (1998). In his complaint, Dr. Shin alleged both
discriminatory discharge and the failure to provide reasonable accommodation. For both wrongful termination and the failure to provide reasonable accommodation, a plaintiff must first establish that he is a "qualified individual with a disability" under the ADA. See Rohan v. Networks Presentations LLC, 375 F.3d 266, 272 (4th Cir. 2004) (applying v. this standard F.3d to wrongful 387 (4th termination Cir. 2001)
(applying this standard to failure to accommodate claim); see also Sieberns, 125 F.3d at 1022 ("No matter the type of
discrimination alleged . . . a plaintiff must establish first 17
individual The as
disability.'") "qualified with a
quotations with a
disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires." 42 U.S.C. § 12111(8). Thus,
in order to survive summary judgment on his ADA claims, Dr. Shin had to produce evidence showing that he is both qualified and disabled. sufficiently In its order, after determining that Dr. Shin had created a genuine issue of material fact as to
whether Appellees regarded him as disabled, 15 the district court
The ADA defines "disability" as:
(A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; (B) a record of such an impairment; or (C) being regarded as having such an impairment. 42 U.S.C. § 12102(2)(A)-(C). The district court concluded that Dr. Shin had not met his burden as to (A) or (B), but that a genuine dispute remained as to (C). We recognize that prior to the 2008 ADA amendments, courts were split on whether a plaintiff could bring an accommodation claim if he could prove only that he was regarded as having a disability. Compare Kaplan v. City of N. Las Vegas, 323 F.3d 1226, 1232-33 (9th Cir. 2003) (concluding that there is no duty to accommodate an individual who is regarded as having a disability); Weber v. Strippit, Inc., 186 F.3d 907, 916-17 (8th Cir. 1999) (same); Workman v. Frito-Lay, Inc., 165 F.3d 460, 467 (6th Cir. 1999) (reaching same conclusion without analysis); and Newberry v. E. Tex. State Univ., 161 F.3d 276, 280 (5th Cir. 1998) (same); with (Continued) 18
functions of his job with or without reasonable accommodation, and thus granted summary judgment in favor of Appellees. Shin challenges this latter finding. Dr.
He contends that he could Alternatively,
indeed perform his job's essential functions.
Dr. Shin argues that he could have performed these essential functions if UMMSC had made reasonable accommodations. We
address each argument in turn.
A. We first consider whether Dr. Shin was able to perform the essential functions of his job. The essential functions of a
job are those "that bear more than a marginal relationship to the job at issue." Tyndall v. Nat'l Educ. Ctrs., Inc. of Cal.,
31 F.3d 209, 213 (4th Cir. 1994) (internal citations omitted).
D'Angelo v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., 422 F.3d 1220, 1240 (11th Cir. 2005) (concluding that there is a duty to accommodate an individual who the employer regards as having a disability); Kelly v. Metallics W., Inc., 410 F.3d 670, 675-76 (10th Cir. 2005) (same); Williams v. Phila. Hous. Auth. Police Dep't, 380 F.3d 751, 772-76 (3d Cir. 2004) (same); and Katz v. City Metal Co., Inc., 87 F.3d 26, 32-33 (1st Cir. 1996) (same). This court has not taken a position on this issue. See Wilson v. Phoenix Specialty Mfg. Co., Inc., 513 F.3d 378, 388 (4th Cir. 2008). Nevertheless, because we resolve this appeal on other grounds, we need not address whether Dr. Shin was an individual with a disability within the meaning of the ADA, nor whether Dr. Shin could bring an accommodation claim if he could prove only that he was being regarded as disabled. 19
The parties do not dispute the district court's determination that [t]he essential functions of Dr. Shin's position were to provide competent medical care to patients with efficiency and reasonable autonomy. [UMMSC's] Graduate Medical Education Policy and Procedure Manual states that a resident should be able to "quickly and accurately integrate all information received" and identify findings, provide a reasoned explanation, and prescribe appropriate medications "in an efficient and timely manner." One of Dr. Shin's responsibilities . . . was to "provide safe and appropriate care for patients." J.A. 192-93 (internal citations omitted). argues that his performance evaluations Instead, Dr. Shin demonstrate that he
performed those essential functions. 16
The evaluations upon which Dr. Shin relies do not support his argument. and Block 3 Aside from favorable reviews during his Block 1 rotations, his reviews are all unsatisfactory.
Dr. Shin even conceded that, other than in June, his evaluations do not show that he "establish[ed] [him]self as a satisfactory resident."
The record also shows that Dr. Shin was
Dr. Shin also argues that he was qualified for the position as evidenced by his academic accolades. In particular he notes that his "transcript while at Boston University School of Medicine shows that [he] received 9 Honors, 10 High Passes, and 20 Passes." Appellant's Br. at 30. While that may be so, as the district court noted, "`[s]tudent performance and performing the essential functions of a resident physician are [very] dissimilar.'" J.A. 193 (quoting Stopka v. Med. Univ. of S.C., Case No. 2:05-1728-CWH, 2007 WL 2022188, at *13 (D.S.C. July 11, 2007)). One may achieve high marks throughout one's education and still not be able to perform the essential functions of a job. 20
unable "to provide competent medical care to patients with . . . reasonable autonomy." Shin, many of his J.A. 192. In their evaluations of Dr. that Dr. Shin required
constant supervision and aid.
Dr. Mehra explained that during
Block 2, Dr. Shin "was shadowed heavily by the residents to prevent medical errors." S.J.A. 85. Similarly, Dr. Cina noted
that while in Block 6, Dr. Shin "required extensive help with workload. Because of this, the senior resident functioned in a
hybrid resident/intern role, and [he] functioned in a hybrid attending/resident role." S.J.A. 105.
His supervisors also explained that Dr. Shin was highly inefficient. more Several evaluators noted that Dr. Shin "need[ed] S.J.A. 84, "lack[ed] ... efficiency,"
S.J.A. 105, and "appeared to be frequently behind schedule for most of his tasks," S.J.A. 106. Shin "was so inefficient that Dr. Wagner testified that Dr. he couldn't get those things
[listed in his task list] done for his patients," and thus, she relied on "the medical students on the team . of the tasks for [Dr. Shin.]" . . [to do] a lot Similarly, Dr.
Strait testified that Dr. Shin "would spend too much time on unrelated things." things S.J.A. and not enough Such time on the ... one important of his
supervisors to stay "late on many occasions to ensure that his documentation on patients was appropriate." 21 S.J.A. 106.
Finally, the evidence shows that Dr. Shin was not able to "to provide safe and appropriate care for patients." (internal quotations omitted). J.A. 193
Not only did Dr. Shin order the
wrong medications for several patients, but his poor judgment in critical situations forced his supervisors to step in and
prevent several errors.
Dr. Shin's failure to check up on a
patient after that patient's vitals changed is of particular concern. Dr. Wagner's constant supervision of Dr. Shin's Left
actions allowed her to help a patient at a critical time. to his own devices, Dr. Shin would have left that
unattended. This evidence, even when taken in the light most favorable to Dr. Shin, demonstrates that Dr. Shin was not performing the essential elements of his job. 17
No reasonable jury could find
Nevertheless, Dr. Shin maintains that if he did fail to perform the essential functions of his job, it was only because Appellees forced him to work beyond the work hour limits set forth by ACGME. We disagree. There is no evidence on the record showing that Appellees forced Dr. Shin to work such long hours. Rather, Appellees required Dr. Shin to complete all his work, and for Dr. Shin, that took longer than the maximum eighty hours per week allowed by ACGME. Dr. Shin chose to work these long hours "to compensate for [his] problems" and get the essential functions of the job completed. S.J.A. 116. Thus, although there is some evidence in the record to support the view that Dr. Shin often worked over eighty hours and that his performance was affected by these long hours, we find that the work hours were necessitated by the disability, not by UMMSC. Moreover, we recognize that Appellees tried to correct the problem. As Dr. Strait explained, "[b]ecause Frank would many times stay after he was supposed to leave, . . . [w]e tried and (Continued) 22
that, while at UMMSC, Dr. Shin provided "safe and appropriate care" for patients "with efficiency and reasonable autonomy." J.A. 192-93.
B. We next consider Dr. Shin's alternative argument that he could have performed his job's essential functions if reasonable accommodations had been made. The ADA states that "`reasonable
accommodation' may include . . . job restructuring, part-time or modified position." burden of work schedules, [and] reassignment to a vacant
42 U.S.C. § 12111(9)(B). identifying an
The plaintiff bears the that would allow a
qualified individual to perform the job, as well as the ultimate burden of persuasion with respect to demonstrating that such an accommodation is reasonable. Halperin v. Abacus Tech. Corp.,
128 F.3d 191, 197 (4th Cir. 1997). Dr. Shin argues that he would have been able to perform the essential functions of his job had Appellees: (1) reduced the number of patients for whom he was responsible; (2) provided him we would force him to leave." S.J.A. 262. At one point, the "Friends of Frank" would page him every day at approximately 6 p.m. to remind him to go home and would even volunteer to take care of his incomplete work. Likewise, Appellees would not allow Dr. Shin to take a clinic - a requirement of the internship - so that he would not violate the eighty hour restriction. 23
information team; and
staffed a nurse practitioner while he was on call.
respond that Dr. Shin was given every possible accommodation to perform the essential functions of his job, and that "there were no additional, reasonable accommodations that would have allowed [Dr. Shin] to perform the essential functions of a resident." Appellees' Br. at 56. We agree with Appellees.
The record shows that ACGME requires UMMSC to show that its first year residents admit a minimum of 210 patients per year. This requirement exists to provide residents with "direct
clinical experience with progressive responsibility for patient management." S.J.A. 67. Moreover, "any reduction in [Dr.
Shin's] workload for number of patients that [he] admit[s] or care[s] along the continuum of care would become the
responsibility of supervising residents on the team." 68.
As a consequence, Appellees argue that "[p]atient safety
and resident morale [would] be compromised since others [would] be required to assume a greater role in managing those cases that [Dr. Shin] would be routinely expected to manage, diluting or delaying their routine responsibilities." S.J.A. 68. He also
Dr. Shin offers no evidence to rebut these facts.
fails to show how handling a reduced volume of patients would satisfy his job's essential functions. 24 As the district court
noted, "[t]he ADA does not require an employer to assign an employee to `permanent light duty,'" J.A. 192 (quoting Carter v. Tisch, 822 F.2d 465, 467 (4th Cir. 1987)); nor does it require an employer to "reallocate job duties in order to change the essential functions or of a an job," 29 C.F.R. person Pt. to 1630 perform App. an
essential function of a disabled employee's position," Martinson v. Kinney Shoe Corp., 104 F.3d 683, 687 (4th Cir. 1997). See
also Laurin v. Providence Hosp., 150 F.3d 52, 60-61 (1st Cir. 1998); Milton v. Scrivner, Inc., 53 F.3d 1118, 1125 (10th Cir. 1995) ("An accommodation that would result in other employees having to worker [sic] harder or longer hours is not
required."). More importantly, Dr. Shin has failed to provide evidence showing that "light duty" was an option for medical interns and residents at UMMSC. C. Goldman opined The record shows the contrary. that a reduced patient load Dr. Thomas is "not
reasonable, in that [it] could not be offered without seriously compromising the functions of the hospital, the needs of the staff, and patient safety." S.J.A. 423. Similarly, Dr. Holly
J. Humphrey explained that Dr. Shin's requested accommodations are "not only unreasonable but in direct conflict with the goal of residency education -- to build memory strength about patient care disease presentations in order 25 to develop the clinical
judgment essential to being a physician." further explained that "[g]iven that the
S.J.A. 172. goals of
training are to develop competency, the doctor must function at a level allowing managing complex multiple problem patient solving care including and
dealing with ambiguity."
Because Dr. Shin provided
no evidence to bring this fact into dispute, and we can find none, we defer to the views of Appellees on the standards for professional and academic achievement. See Doe v. Univ. of Md.
Med. Sys. Corp., 50 F.3d 1261, 1266 (4th Cir. 1995) ("We are reluctant under these circumstances to substitute our judgment for that of UMMSC."); see also McGregor v. La. State Univ. Bd. of Supervisors, 3 F.3d 850, 859 (5th Cir. 1993) (deferring to a law school's determinations on how best to meet the ABA's
accreditation requirement on attendance); Zukle v. Regents of Univ. of Cal., 166 F.3d 1041, 1048 (9th Cir. 1999) (making a similar finding in the medical school context). reasons, we reject Dr. Shin's alternative For the above argument. No
reasonable jury could conclude that a reduced patient load was a reasonable accommodation under these circumstances. Accordingly, we conclude that the district court did not err in finding that Dr. Shin is not a qualified individual with a disability under the ADA. the essential functions Dr. Shin was not able to perform of 26 his job without reasonable
unreasonable in light of the circumstances.
III. For the reasons set forth above, the district court's order granting Appellees' motion for summary judgment is AFFIRMED.
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