In 2008 or early 2009, Dr. Olcese and another chief resident shared concerns about Dr. Desai with their supervisors — senior physicians and faculty at Duke — during discussions about whether to promote him to the next year of residency. It is unclear what the faculty members discussed during their private deliberations, but ultimately, Dr. Desai was moved up. A Duke spokeswoman would confirm only his time there.
After his residency, Dr. Desai obtained an M.B.A. in three months from Western Governors University, an online university based in Salt Lake City, the school confirmed. Then, after starting a vascular surgery fellowship at the University of Texas at Houston, he ran into trouble. He had so antagonized some supervisors that they asked the department chairman to expel him, said Dr. Hazim Safi, who was then in that role.
“Some of the attending staff didn’t like his behavior, and didn’t want him to graduate,” Dr. Safi said in an interview.
While Dr. Safi said that Dr. Desai could be abrasive, he had worked on papers with the younger physician and was convinced the complaints were driven by personality differences and professional jealousy, not substantive deficiencies in surgical skill or patient care. Instead of failing him, he said, he gave Dr. Desai an opportunity to work on his professionalism and interpersonal skills.
“I intervened and he graduated,” the former chairman said.
At Dr. Desai’s most recent post at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Ill., he became involved in at least four medical malpractice cases that are still pending, including three filed in 2019.
Those suits include a claim that he failed to properly perform surgery to restore circulation to an accident victim’s leg, which later required partial amputation. Another alleges that negligent treatment by Dr. Desai and other doctors resulted in the removal of a substantial portion of a patient’s bowel.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Updated July 27, 2020
Should I refinance my mortgage?
- It could be a good idea, because mortgage rates have never been lower. Refinancing requests have pushed mortgage applications to some of the highest levels since 2008, so be prepared to get in line. But defaults are also up, so if you’re thinking about buying a home, be aware that some lenders have tightened their standards.
What is school going to look like in September?
- It is unlikely that many schools will return to a normal schedule this fall, requiring the grind of online learning, makeshift child care and stunted workdays to continue. California’s two largest public school districts — Los Angeles and San Diego — said on July 13, that instruction will be remote-only in the fall, citing concerns that surging coronavirus infections in their areas pose too dire a risk for students and teachers. Together, the two districts enroll some 825,000 students. They are the largest in the country so far to abandon plans for even a partial physical return to classrooms when they reopen in August. For other districts, the solution won’t be an all-or-nothing approach. Many systems, including the nation’s largest, New York City, are devising hybrid plans that involve spending some days in classrooms and other days online. There’s no national policy on this yet, so check with your municipal school system regularly to see what is happening in your community.
Is the coronavirus airborne?
- The coronavirus can stay aloft for hours in tiny droplets in stagnant air, infecting people as they inhale, mounting scientific evidence suggests. This risk is highest in crowded indoor spaces with poor ventilation, and may help explain super-spreading events reported in meatpacking plants, churches and restaurants. It’s unclear how often the virus is spread via these tiny droplets, or aerosols, compared with larger droplets that are expelled when a sick person coughs or sneezes, or transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces, said Linsey Marr, an aerosol expert at Virginia Tech. Aerosols are released even when a person without symptoms exhales, talks or sings, according to Dr. Marr and more than 200 other experts, who have outlined the evidence in an open letter to the World Health Organization.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?
- So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.
The earlier case against the hospital contends that Dr. Desai performed surgery in 2016 to remove plaque buildup from a 60-year-old man’s carotid artery, then failed to report to the hospital after the patient developed swelling in his neck that caused difficulty swallowing and breathing. The patient later died.