A first-year resident who was fired in 2018 from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio after her anti-Semitic tweets were discovered has now permanently lost her ability to practice medicine.
Lara Kollab posted anti-Semitic hate speech, referred to Jewish people as dogs, downplayed the Holocaust, and threatened to “purposely give all the yahood [sic] the wrong meds.” Yahud is the Arabic word for Jews.
According to the State Medical Board of Ohio, on October 11, 2011, Kollab also posted a tweet that translates as “Allah will take the Jews.”
On August 12 this year, the state board ordered that Kollab be permanently barred from practicing osteopathic medicine or surgery in Ohio or from participating in another medical training program. Kollab had previously agreed to permanently surrender her training certificate.
Kollab completed medical school at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City in 2018. The college’s website notes that it is “[r]ooted in Jewish tradition, built on Jewish values.”
In a June 2019 deposition with an investigative committee of the Ohio medical board, Kollab admitted that after she was accepted at Touro, she deleted the anti-Semitic tweets, according to board documents.
After graduating from Touro, Kollab began an internal medicine residency at the Cleveland Clinic. She was fired from the residency after the anti-Semitic posts came to light.
The Cleveland Clinic said in a statement to Medscape Medical News, “This individual was employed as a supervised, first-year resident at our hospital from July to September 2018. When we learned of the social media post, we took immediate action, conducted an internal review and placed her on administrative leave. Her departure was related to those posts and she has not worked at Cleveland Clinic since September.”
The Canary Mission, an organization that says it investigates hatred across the North American political spectrum, published on its website a compilation of dozens of Kollab’s tweets posted from 2011 to 2017.
After Kollab left the Cleveland Clinic in December 2018, she interviewed for and was matched to a residency spot with Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, California. The following April, Kern Medical said it would not accept Kollab, noting she submitted “false, misleading, and incomplete” information during the interview and match process.
Kern Medical’s CEO, Russell Judd, told the Californian that Kollab had “lied on her application about why she left Cleveland Clinic, saying she left due to a death in the family,” and that she did not disclose that her termination was due to her anti-Semitic posts.
Possible Financial Toll
In addition to revoking Kollab’s medical credentials, the Ohio board warned there may be a financial toll as well.
The board states in the revocation document that “for any violations that occurred on or after September 29, 2015, the board may impose a civil penalty in an amount that shall not exceed twenty thousand dollars, pursuant to Section 4731.225, Ohio Revised Code. The civil penalty may be in addition to any other action the board may take.”
In a January 2019 blog post, Kollab apologized for the tweets, saying, “I have learned from this experience and am sorry for the pain I have caused. I pray that the Jewish community will understand and forgive me.”
Kollab’s attorney, James McGovern, of Graff & McGovern in Columbus, Ohio, did not respond to a request for comment. Attempts to contact Kollab were not successful.
Marcia Frellick is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. She has previously written for the Chicago Tribune, Science News and Nurse.com and was an editor at the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cincinnati Enquirer, and the St. Cloud (Minnesota) Times. Follow her on Twitter at @mfrellick.