Doctor David Chao quit after hospitals barred him from performing surgeries

It would seem that concerns about Doctor Chao's fitness to be team physician were well founded.

Last week, the San Diego Chargers announced that Doctor David Chao was resigning his position as team physician. They cited a desire to spend more time with his family and a need to tend to his own ailing back. Yesterday, Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today reported that Dr. Chao had been barred from performing surgeries at two local hospitals.

San Diego hospitals Scripps Memorial Hospital and Scripps Mercy Hospital had conducted reviews of both Chao's alcohol consumption and quality of care. As noted here before, Chao had been ruled against multiple times in malpractice lawsuits and been reprimanded by the state medical board for not disclosing a 2007 conviction for drunk driving. He was also frequently criticized by fans, media and the NFL Players Association.

As these hospitals were the only ones with which Chao had surgical privileges and they've now barred him from performing surgeries, it's would seem that this led directly to the orthopedic surgeon's resignation from the San Diego Chargers. His attorney, Robert Frank, disputes this assertion, but attorney Marc Stern asserts that the ruling would affect Chao's ability to perform surgeries at his own surgery center as well. This is because members of Chao's surgery center are required to be members of an accredited acute-care hospital nearby. Chao clearly no longer meets that requirement. The Chargers, unsurprisingly, have not issued a comment.

Both Scripps and Chao have remained silent thus far. The former has done so due to confidentiality, and the latter is letting his attorney do the all of the talking.

Per Schrotenboer, the decision to revoke or suspend surgical privileges typically occurs when a hospital's governing committee feels the doctor is unqualified to work or does not meet proper standards.

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