U. of California settles medical resident suit for $1.3 million

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 9, 2004

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The University of California's board of regents agreed to pay out $1.3 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a former family medicine resident alleging that he was fired from the program 10 years ago because he was black.

David M. Dixon, MD, claimed he had been dismissed from the family medicine program at the University of California, Los Angeles, just two months shy of graduation in 1994 because of his race. According to the suit, Dr. Dixon was only the third black physician admitted to UCLA's family medicine program over a 20-year span, and officials did not know he was black when he was hired. Once he began his residency, he said efforts to discredit him began.

UC regents denied the allegations and said the settlement was not an admission of guilt.

"While the university vigorously denies that discrimination played any role in Dr. Dixon's time at UCLA, we reached this settlement in recognition of the uncertainties that any trial can bring and to put this 10-year-old matter where it belongs -- in the past," said Christopher Patti, the university's attorney.

Dr. Dixon, 43, is now a medical researcher but cannot practice medicine because he did not complete his residency.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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