November 18, 2009
Emerson Brown, NPR
HARSHLY CRITICIZING HIS WORK PERFORMANCE
MEMO FROM WALTER REED SUPERVISOR, DATED SPRING 2007,
CITES "PATTERN OF POOR JUDGMENT AND A LACK OF PROFESSIONALISM"
A transcript of the full letter is now posted at NPR.org, where there is additional information and links to related reporting by Zwerdling. His report is also airing tonight on NPR News’ All Things Considered. For local stations and broadcast times, visit www.NPR.org/stations
The memo outlines numerous problems over the course of Hasan’s training, as Zwerdling reports: "For instance, Hasan proselytized to his patients. He mistreated a homicidal patient, and allowed her to escape from the emergency room. He blew off an important exam. Hasan hardly did any work: he saw only 30 patients in 38 weeks. Sources at Walter Reed say most psychiatrists see at least 10 times that many. When Hasan was supposed to be on call for emergencies, he didn't even answer the phone."
Zwerdling shared the letter with three leading psychotherapists outside the military; he reports they say the content is so damning, that it might have stopped Hasan's career had he left the Army. Dr. Steven Sharfstein, who runs the Sheppard Pratt psychiatric medical center in Baltimore, tells Zwerdling: "Even if we were desperate for a psychiatrist, we would not even get him to the point where we would invite him for an interview." He continues: "There are all kinds of warning signs flashing red lights...you'd say, oh no, this is not somebody that we would take a chance on."
All excerpts must be credited to NPR News. Television usage must include on-screen credit with NPR logo. Zwerdling has continuously broken news about Hasan's career at Walter Reed; his prior reports and all of NPR's coverage on the shooting at Fort Hood are available at: www.NPR.org