The turmoil at the American Medical Association continued Friday with the firing of E. Ratcliffe "Andy" Anderson Jr., M.D., the AMA's executive vice president. The firing came 11 days after Anderson, the AMA's top executive, filed a $5 million defamation and breach-of-contract lawsuit against the Chicago-based doctors' association.
The executive director of the AMA's labor union also abruptly resigned last week, and the AMA's grand plans to act in concert with smaller medical specialty societies are falling apart (See stories, pages 15, 30).
In a two-paragraph written statement, the organization said its 20-member board "is terminating (Anderson's) contract . . . pursuant to the terms of his employment contract."
An AMA spokesman said the association would have no further comment on Anderson, hired as executive vice president in June 1998 on a three-year contract worth about $650,000 per year.
Anderson's lawsuit claims that the board improperly blocked his effort to fire legal counsel Michael Ile, who allegedly botched a real-estate deal by selling a parcel of land in downtown Chicago for about $13.5 million below its market value. Anderson said top AMA officials protected Ile because he shielded them from responsibility for the ill-fated 1997 endorsement deal between the association and the Sunbeam Corp.
Anderson issued a one-page statement through his Chicago lawyers that said, "I cannot function as (the AMA's) leader without being allowed the freedom provided to me in my contract to solve problems that are counter to our mission."