Re: Rodger Haggitt, MD

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From:Don Hammer <>
To:"Janssen,Mark X" <>, 'Histonet' <>
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Hi Mark,

Your correct in stating the story you is posted from the Associated Press is
inadequate.  Before I add what I understand to be factual,  l'd like to let
everyone know that Dr. Haggitt worked his way thru school as a Histotech,
first working in the glassware washing room and then assisting on Autopsies,
eventually learning Histology (OJT)  at Holston Valley Hospital in Kingston
Tennessee. Dr. William Harrison provided him his start.   I consulted there
about 4 or 5 years into our association and kidded him a few times that he
messed it up so much, I had to go fix it.  :)   Ya couldn't put one past him
and it was always so wonderful to discuss technique and procedures in our
early days together when I managed just the Histology Laboratory and not all
the eventual Pathology disciplines which evolved over the years..  *Warm

 I have added to the press release, as I understand,  from information
received at briefings and personal communication.

There were no raised voices, nor anger in his face as he entered Dr.
Haggitt's office and locked the door behind him,  according to the same two
witness's I spoke with that are mentioned  in this article.  "There was one
shot, Rodger said, "Oh my God" then another shot, a few seconds later a
third shot."  One of the person's in the office adjacent to Dr. Haggitt
called the Security Officer to report the event.

When the police arrived, it took them near 25 minutes to enter the office as
they had to check for safety and wait for a back-up. (normal procedures)
autopsy findings are not yet out so no one knows if Dr. Haggitt died
instantly or could have been saved.

I have been led to believe the resident was under careful supervision since
Nov 99 when he was told of the non renewal of the contract.  Thru laws,
tho he was thought to be suicidal and had purchased a gun 2 months ago, he
could not be involuntarily committed to Psychiatric care and refused medical
assistance.   He supposedly made no direct threats. Security was not
provided for Dr. Haggitt, the
Residency Director or staff.  I'm not certain it was requested.  Some
resident staff had expressed
concern for his and the Resident Director's safety.  Dr. Haggitt continually
tried to help him find another program to finish his residency.

The resident was not close to  the end of his training, he was in his 2nd
year, having done 1 year elsewhere before coming to the UW and was brought
into the program under the assumption that he would excel, if given the
opportunity.  It was later determined that the work volume, language barrier
and behavioral pattern was overwhelming him.

Such a loss.  :(

Don Hammer, Retired Guy

----- Original Message -----
From: Janssen,Mark X <>
To: 'Histonet' <>
Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2000 11:06 AM
Subject: RIP: Rodger Haggitt, MD

> Rodger Haggitt was a wonderful pathologist and teacher.
> Our hearts go out to those who were close to him.
> The story below in inadequate.  MJ
> >From Associated Press
> Resident Kills a Medical Chief, Himself in  Seattle
>   SEATTLE--A resident physician who had recently been fired  walked into
> office of a high-ranking doctor, shot him to death  and then killed
> Wednesday afternoon at the University of  Washington, campus police said.
>  Staff members outside the office's closed door heard raised  voices, then
> at least one gunshot, then a few minutes later another  shot.
>  University police found both men dead and a handgun nearby.
>  "It's a tragedy. We have two highly educated men gone,"  campus police
> Capt. Randy Stegmeyer said.
>  The victims were identified as Dr. Rodger C. Haggitt, 57,  director of
> University of Washington Medical Center pathology  division, and Dr. Jian
> Chen, a resident physician from Taiwan who  was in his 30s.
>  Chen apparently had an appointment when he entered Haggitt's  private
> office in the Health Sciences Building, said Stegmeyer.   He said Chen had
> recently been told that his contract as a  resident would not be renewed.
> Such a termination for a resident, a  doctor nearing the end of his
> training, would harm his prospects for  future employment.   Police said
> they believe Chen had been at the university for  about a year.   Chen
> apparently shot Haggitt, then himself, police said.   Seattle police
> homicide detectives were called to help with the  investigation.
>  University spokesman Walter Neary said the shooting occurred  away from
> areas where patients are treated. The giant health  science complex of
> interlocking buildings includes the medical  center as well as doctors'
> offices, classrooms and research  laboratories.
>  Haggitt, a doctor of anatomic pathology, joined the university in  1984
> director of the division of hospital pathology. He was  married with three
> adult children.

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