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Prior to graduation from Saint George's University School of Medicine, W.K. applied for, and was granted, a pediatric residency with New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. W.K. secured the position by way of a nationwide program known as the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), wherein the parties are bound by the match, and solely NRMP may waive the assignment.

When the hospital learned that W.K. had published anti-Semitic social media posts and that he had been the subject of disciplinary action and suspended by his university for some three months, the hospital sought a waiver from the NRMP, which denied the request. After an administrative appeal, which was also denied, the hospital still refused to grant W.K. admittance.

When a lawsuit was later filed with the Kings County Supreme Court, W.K. alleged, (among other things), breach of contract, and sought “specific performance of the match participation agreement and to recover damages.” Ultimately, after some convoluted procedural maneuvering, the Supreme Court issued an order directing the hospital to admit W.K. into its pediatric program.

On appeal, the Appellate Division, Second Department, was of the view that “ultimate relief” should not have been granted in this case. Under New York law, when a doctor is seeking to restore “wrongfully terminated staff privileges,” the proper mechanism is to file a complaint with the state’s Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC). It is only after that process is completed that equitable relief may be pursued.

Since W.K. first needed to exhaust all “administrative remedies” with the PHHPC, (as outlined in the state’s Public Health Law), before seeking an injunction, the AD2 thought the order compelling his admittance was issued prematurely and was thus rescinded.

This couldn't be what the doctor ordered ….

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W.K. v New York Presbyt. Brooklyn Methodist Hosp.