NAPLES, Fla. — NCH Healthcare in Naples has confirmed that several of their radiologists intend to leave the hospital.
"We do have four upcoming departures within our radiology department," said Sarah Frye, NCH's director of operations. "It will never cause a lapse in service, and our patients will continue to receive the excellent care they've come to expect from NCH."
Frye said NCH already had plans to expand their radiology department, and had already been recruiting more radiologists.
But Bob Stucker, former chair of the NCH Foundation Committee, thinks the loss of the radiologists is a huge blow.
"That's going to cripple the operation of the hospital until they can get those doctors replaced, and they're not easy to replace," Stucker said.
Stucker believes that NCH's controversial pilot program of putting hospitalists in charge of patient care in certain units -rather than personal physicians - is having a negative ripple effect.
"What I found from talking to these doctors and nurses is that management at the hospital has a very toxic style, and created a toxic culture," he said.
Ray Montecalvo, a radiologist who once worked with NCH, said radiologists are in short supply nationwide, and believes the radiologists departing NCH will be hard to replace.
"In order to build a strong sense of trust between radiologists and the clinicians - the other physicians who need them - you really do need to have a strong group on the ground," Montecalvo said.
"We have enough physicians, both here on site, as well as through teleradiology, to be able to read the studies that are done in the hospital, as well as in imaging centers," Frye said.
Frye could not specify the individual reasons that the radiologists had turned in their notices of intent to leave.
"It was for various personal reasons," she said. "We do wish them well."