November 10, 2009
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR


   

NPR NEWS REPORTS NEW DETAILS ABOUT NIDAL HASAN AT WALTER REED:
FORMER COLLEAGUES WERE TROUBLED BY HIS WORK, ACTIVELY DISCUSSED REMOVING HIM FROM THE RESIDENT PROGRAM

November 10, 2009; Washington, D.C. - This morning, NPR News is reporting more details about Nidal Hasan's career at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. NPR correspondent Daniel Zwerdling has learned, through conversations with psychiatrists who worked closely with Hasan for years at the hospital, that colleagues felt so troubled by his work that the resident's director at Walter Reed actively discussed removing him from the program. The entire report is airing today on Morning Edition; audio will be posted at approximately 9am at www.NPR.org.

Zwerdling reports that the psychiatrists - who won't allow their names to be used, because they are in the middle of a criminal investigation - say that Hasan seemed detached and uninterested, and often wouldn't answer his phone when he was the psychiatrist on call. One key official tells Zwerdling that the Policy Committee, which oversees residents at Walter Reed, got reports that Hasan had tried to convert a patient to Islam, telling the patient his religion would save him. Supervisors warned Hasan that he needed to improve his performance.

Zwerdling also reports that the director of psychiatric residents at Walter Reed, Scott Moran, discussed trying to kick Hasan out of the program because he so consistently under-performed, according to an official close to the Policy Committee. Moran would not confirm or deny these details to NPR. Zwerdling's sources at Walter Reed say that it's extremely difficult to remove a doctor from practice - there has to be extensive documentation of neglect - and Hasan's supervisors had not done a careful job of tracking his alleged deficiencies. One source says the Policy Committee also discussed how it would look to remove one of the few Muslims from their program.

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