Dan Harkins Jul. 15, 2015, 12:23pm

A former resident physician is suing John Stroger Hospital and his former program director, alleging defamation.

Dr. Rizwan Ahmed filed a lawsuit July 7 in Cook County Circuit Court against John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County in Chicago and Dr. Ned F. Nasr, alleging defamation, negligent supervision and breach of contract.

According to the complaint, Ahmed, who started working as an anesthesia resident for Stroger in 2012, was told by Nasr during the first half of his second year of residency, that he had received complaints against Ahmed but wouldn't say who had made the complaints. Also, the suit says, Nasr raised questions about Ahmed's attendance but Ahmed told him his key card wasn't working on days that Nasr said he'd been absent.

The lawsuit states Nasr told Ahmed that he was considering not renewing his contract although the complaints from Nasr, who had never worked with Ahmed, were the only negative reviews. Nasr finally informed the plaintiff that he wasn't renewing the contract in late spring 2014, the suit states.

Three days prior to when Ahmed was due to leave the hospital, Nasr called him into his office and told him that he would have to submit to a drug test and psychological evaluation, the lawsuit states, and though he thought it highly unusual, the drug test was negative and the evaluation came back normal.

Meanwhile, the suit says, Ahmed received word from Case Western Hospital in Ohio that they were interested in him joining their residency program, and after meeting with the hospital's leadership, he was told that they were looking forward to him joining their staff. However, the lawsuit states, the Case Western program director told him that he would have to speak first with his program director at Stroger.

Case Western told Ahmed that they would like to meet with him again on July 7, 2014, so he traveled to Ohio, thinking they were offering him a position in Case Western's residency program, the lawsuit states, but he was told Nasr gave him a negative review and Case Western wasn't offering him a position.

Ahmed seeks damages in excess of the court's jurisdictional limit, plus costs. He is represented by attorney Robert D. Sweeney of Chicago. 

Cook County Circuit Court case number 2015L006875.

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