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FL Surgeon, Lee Memorial Health System in legal dispute

The News-Press, May 9, 2011

In almost any other case, the employment dispute between Lee Memorial Health System and one of its former neurosurgeons would be just a dry contract spat for lawyers to hash out. But the March 18 departure of Dr. Eric Eskioglu from HealthPark Medical Center in south Fort Myers, and questions over his right to practice in this area, have the elements of a medical drama. Eskioglu left a cutting-edge brain care facility with few equals in Florida temporarily without a leader. Meanwhile, he and his brother, Dr. Brian Mason, are setting up shop at Physicians Regional Healthcare System in Naples, a business rival in the Southwest Florida health care market. Patients, many loyal to him, would have to travel hundreds of miles to get comparable levels of his specialty, aneurysm treatment, if his ability to practice is blocked in court. Then there is the legal dispute itself, which has prompted charges of unprofessionalism from both sides -- an uncommonly contentious, and public, disagreement for this medical community.