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Hospital ‘grilled surgeon on her sex life’ after saved a rectal patient 


NY hospital fired doctor after she removed a ‘large foreign object’ from patient’s butt and was accused of circulating photos of the incident: She claims in lawsuit it was retribution for past sexism complaints

  • Dr. Deborah Keller claimed New York Presbyterian Hospital administrators tried to destroy her career after she helped a rectal patient last year
  • Keller helped dislodge a ‘large foreign object’ from the patient’s butt, but said she was later interrogated by hospital admins who made jokes about the case
  • She claimed the admins asked about her sex life and accused her of violating the patient’s privacy when she shared a photo to help educate a medic 
  • Her lawsuit also alleged that the hospital filed false reports to National Practitioner Data Dank, making it impossible for her to get a job as a surgeon 
  • Keller said the hospital took down her career after she filed eight gender discrimination lawsuits against her boss 


New York Presbyterian Hospital administrators are accused of grilling a female surgeon about her sex life and ruining her as retribution for past discrimination complaints after she saved a rectal patient by removing a ‘large foreign object’ from his butt. 

In a lawsuit filed against the hospital in Manhattan Federal Court, Dr. Deborah Keller, 41, claimed she was targeted by administrators after she assisted doctors struggling to help the patient in February 2020. 

After successfully dislodging an unidentified item from the man’s body, Keller said she was put on administrative leave and ‘interrogated’ by hospital admins who ‘sexualized the object as a dildo,’ questioned her about allegedly sleeping with a male surgeon, and accused her of circulating pictures of the patient, the New York Post reported. 

She was ultimately let go and claimed the hospital submitted false reports about the incident to National Practitioner Data Dank, destroying her reputation and making it virtually impossible for her to get another job as a surgeon. 

‘They are literally trying to ruin my career,’ she said.

Dr. Pokala Ravi Kiran.

Dr. Deborah Keller (left) claimed the New York Presbyterian Hospital administration ruined her career despite her efforts to save a rectal patient. She said she was targeted for filing eight gender discrimination lawsuits against her boss. Dr. Pokala Ravi Kiran

Keller was called upon multiple times to help a patient who had a 'large foreign object' stuck in his butt. She claims the hospital's administrators joked about the case and accused her of violating the patient's privacy for sharing a picture of the object.

Keller was called upon multiple times to help a patient who had a ‘large foreign object’ stuck in his butt. She claims the hospital’s administrators joked about the case and accused her of violating the patient’s privacy for sharing a picture of the object.

Keller, the only female doctor involved in the case and the only one to lose her job, claimed the hospital gunned for her because of eight prior complaints of gender discrimination she filed against the hospitals’ chief of colorectal surgery, Pokala Ravi Kiran.   

Kiran’s alleged ‘relentless sexism’ includes comments on her body and appearance, taking away her office, diverting new patients to male colleagues and sabotaging a prestigious National Institutes of Health research grant Keller won.  

The New York Presbyterian Hospital did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment. 

Keller, a colorectal surgery specialist, said she was called in multiple times to help extract what she called a ‘massive missile-shaped item’ from the patient’s body. 

She said after the procedure, the hospital’s internal hearing committee made ‘demeaning and embarrassing jokes’ about the incident. 

‘They kept using inappropriate terms for the foreign [object], it was just getting contentious and questions that just didn’t have anything to do with the practice of medicine or patient care or colorectal surgery, making what I do seem like a joke,’ Keller said in the lawsuit.

Keller admitted to sharing a photo of the lodged object in order to help educate a surgical resident who could not remove it. She said the doctor in charge of the case also took pictures and video for education purposes and was never asked about his sex life

Keller admitted to sharing a photo of the lodged object in order to help educate a surgical resident who could not remove it. She said the doctor in charge of the case also took pictures and video for education purposes and was never asked about his sex life

They also accused her of having sex with the doctor in charge of the patient’s care, Mark Kiely, who himself took pictures and videos of the procedure with the patient’s permission. 

Keller said Kiely was never asked about his sex life and although he was initially suspended, Kiely was eventually reinstated. 

Keller admitted to sending pictures of the lodged object to a surgical resident who had been struggling to remove it from the emergency room. 

She claimed she did so in order to educate the resident about the procedure and show him that it was too large to remove without going to the operating room. 

Keller’s attorney, George Vallas, told the Post that the alleged takedown of the surgeon’s career was ‘vicious in a way that we very rarely see.’ 

Keller currently works as a researcher and assistant professor at the University of California, Davis.  

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