NYC doctor suicides raise concerns about treatment of resident physicians at Bronx hospital


Young doctors from around the world come to New York City’s busy hospitals to learn how to save lives, but in one hospital in the South Bronx, at least two resident physicians have taken their own lives – allegedly over abuse they endured from their supervisors.

Dr. Adhiraj Satija, a native of India, was the first resident at Lincoln Medical Center to take his life, last August.

Six months later, Dr. Bo Yu, a Chinese national, died under mysterious circumstances during a trip to Hawaii. Hospital brass said he accidentally drowned in a pool, but his colleagues have their doubts. Before he died, Yu posted a photo of himself on Facebook holding a sign that read “never forget me,” they said.

A third resident, Dr. Waleed Saleh Abuhishmeh, of Jordan, committed suicide in April.

All were immigrants working at Lincoln on visas the hospital has the power to have revoked.

All were relatively isolated. And all were serving an under-served community during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their deaths have rocked Lincoln, part of the city’s public Health+Hospitals network, and have raised questions about the rigors — and management — of the residency program there.

“There’s a constant threat of being fired,” said one foreign-born former resident who recently left Lincoln. “Ninety percent of us are on visas, and they know that. If you get fired, you likely will not get another residency. If you speak up against the mistreatment of other residents, you get called to the office and you’ll get shouted at.”