Let go by Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa, he contemplates next steps
By Pat Shaver
CEDAR RAPIDS – A well-known Cedar Rapids doctor who was fired last month said he is not sure what’s next for him or his future as a practicing physician in the area.
Chirantan Ghosh, who specializes in hematology and oncology with the Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa, was let go from the clinic late last month. His last day will be June 30.
Mr. Ghosh said if he wanted to start his own practice in the area or work at a local hospital, he would have to wait a certain amount of time as part of a no-compete clause in his contract. He did not want to say how long the no-compete time period will last.
“There’s another six to seven weeks to go; a lot of things could happen. I’m always realistic, but also hopeful,” he said.
Along with Mr. Ghosh, about five staff members he works with were told they were being let go, effective June 30. The other physicians at the clinic will stay. Mr. Ghosh said he believed PCI had been in the process of hiring his replacement.
He received a letter in the mail on April 30from PCI informing him of his termination. He said his firing was without cause.
“It was a mixed reaction. I never thought that after being here 21 years I would not have a job,” he said.
When he heard the news, he kneeled and prayed to his father, who taught him that the character of a person is more important than all else.
“The No. 1 thing you have is your character and values,” he said. “I feel good in this town, I have continued to do what I thought was right, what I thought was my character, so I feel good about that.”
Despite being let go and not leaving on his own terms, Mr. Ghosh said he’s been told that the no-compete clause still applies. But he said he is considering all of his options at this point and he appreciates the community support.
A Facebook group was formed called “Support Dr. Chirantan Ghosh,” where former and current patients have shared stories of the impact Mr. Ghosh has had on their lives.
“What people are saying, usually people say when someone dies, and I’m hearing those when I’m alive,” Mr. Ghosh said.” I thought that I worked hard, but never thought that so many people would stand up and support me. That is just humbling.”
Mr. Ghosh founded the Iowa Blood & Cancer Care, which joined PCI in 2009. It was announced last month that the name was changed to Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa- Hematology & Oncology. The clinic is at 855 A Ave. NE in Cedar Rapids.
Mr. Ghosh is an active philanthropist and humanitarian. He has been involved in programs encouraging students in Cedar Rapids high schools to take AP courses and rewarding a good score on the AP tests. He started a foundation to support cancer patients who aren’t able to pay for medications. He is also among four finalists for the humanitarian award given by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
“I want to bring positive changes. If me staying here is going to cause some negative things, in terms of medical practice, (I would still want) to stay here and continue to do other (community) work that I have done,” he said.
Plans are in place for a new $47 million PCI Medical Pavilion, which will consolidate the five current PCI medical office buildings and their ancillary services into a “medical mall” facility
Construction of the new facility in downtown Cedar Rapids is expected to start May 19. PCI hopes to add 15 to 20 new medical providers to the facility over the next three to seven years.