Cardiologist sues employer, American Heart Association for alleged punishment after he wrote about affirmative action

A cardiology professor from the University of Pittsburgh has filed a lawsuit against the school, the American Heart Association (AHA) and other affiliated organizations after he says he was punished for sharing his opinions.

Norman C. Wang, MD, MS, wrote a white paper in the Journal of the American Heart Association back in March detailing issues he sees with affirmative action, observing that such policies have led to unqualified individuals being admitted to cardiovascular training programs and even medical schools.

The AHA retracted the document in August, highlighting “misconceptions and misquotes” that “void the paper of its scientific validity.” The organization also issued a separate statement about the situation, calling for “more—not less—to be done to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in science, medicine and cardiology.”

According to Wang’s lawsuit, he was also punished by his employer for the white paper. For instance, Wang says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center removed him from his position as program director of the Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellowship because of the incident. According to Wang, he was also told specifically not to communicate with medical students at the University of Pittsburgh.

The Center for Individual Rights filed the lawsuit on behalf of Wang, detailing numerous accounts of the white paper being discussed as “racist” on various social media platforms. Click here for a full news release that covers the situation from the organization’s perspective.

A representative from the University of Pittsburgh did comment on the lawsuit, telling the school’s own journalists that officials “are aware of the complaint and will respond appropriately.”

“The University of Pittsburgh took no action against Dr. Wang, and we remain fully committed to advancing the value of academic freedom,” the representative said.

Read the lawsuit here.