A doctor in New York City has filed a lawsuit alleging he was repeatedly the target of homophobic comments during his first-year residency at The Brooklyn Hospital Center.
The New York Post reports Dr. Chad Jensen, a surgical resident, says among the vulgar jokes made at his expense was a supervisor referring to him as a member of the ATM or ‘a** to mouth crew.’
In his lawsuit, filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court, Jensen alleges the surgical residency program director, Dr. Armand Asarian, and Dr. Sandeep Sirsi, the associate director, “regularly made hateful, anti-gay comments about their gay patients and unscientific judgments that these patients’ own ‘lifestyle’ caused their illnesses.”
The 32-year-old physician, who left the residency program before his year was up, told the Post he was surprised to experience ‘that kind of discrimination’ in New York City.
Jensen moved to New York City from California in June 2017 to take the one-year residency. It was during that time he came out as gay.
“It just reinforced all of those fears, essentially putting me back into those 29 years that I was living in fear, feeling like I couldn’t be myself,” Jensen told the Post.
According to the lawsuit, the Brooklyn Hospital Center did determine after Jensen’s departure that he “had been harassed because of his sexual orientation.” Asarian was reportedly removed as director of the surgical residency program and Sirsi was forced to resign.
Jensen is now a resident in the Bronx at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln.
He tells the Post he brought the lawsuit because he felt “like he had no voice.”
“It made me think of all the other people in this country that are also gay and feel like they have nowhere to go and it leads them down dark paths,” Jensen explained to the Post. “So me coming forward, I wanted to let people know that they’re not alone.”
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and asks for the hospital to institute anti-bias training.