2007 Walter Reed memo: Hasan is dangerously incompetent as a therapist

Now that we’ve covered the jihad-related red flags that were missed, we can start in with the professional red flags that were missed. How horrible was this guy at his job? So horrible that private shrinks tell NPR they wouldn’t have hired him even if they were desperate for people. He was, quite seriously, a hazard to his patients long before he ever picked up a gun. And the Army knew it, and sent him to Fort Hood anyway — along with the radioactive evaluation. Unbelievable:

The memo ticks off numerous problems over the course of Hasan’s training, including proselytizing to his patients. It says he mistreated a homicidal patient and allowed her to escape from the emergency room, and that he blew off an important exam…

“There are all kinds of warning signs, flashing red lights, that, in terms of just this paragraph, you’d say, ‘Oh, no, this is not somebody that we would take a chance on.’ ”

Sharfstein says that in the 25 years he has been supervising and hiring psychiatrists, he has seen only a half-dozen evaluations this bad…

Broder says that soldiers seeking therapy may be falling apart, filled with rage and a distrust of authority. What those soldiers need, she says, is a psychiatrist they can trust completely — not a therapist who fails to show up and abandons his patients.

“This kind of behavior could, in fact, set off a stress reaction” in a patient, she says. “It could be a trigger to a post-traumatic stress reaction.”

Another possible warning sign: Sometimes he didn’t answer his phone when … he was on call for emergencies. The easy explanation here is that the military’s so strapped for psychiatrists to treat people that even this turd made the cut, on the assumption (wrongly, if the blockquote above is to be believed) that even bad therapy is better than no therapy. But if that’s what happened here, how to explain this?

According to the memo, Hasan hardly did any work: He saw only 30 patients in 38 weeks. Sources at Walter Reed say most psychiatrists see at least 10 times that many patients.

The memo was written in 2007. Per a new article in Time magazine today that dwells mostly on the many, many jihadist tendencies exhibited by Hasan, his caseload remained low in the ensuing years. Quote:

The classmates dispute the suggestion, in the immediate wake of the shooting, that Hasan’s counseling of returning combat vets might have given him “PTSD by proxy.” They say his Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress fellowship was essentially a full-time job, meaning Hasan saw relatively few patients in the two years before he headed for Fort Hood. His particular fellowship focused on “preventive/disaster psychiatry,” according to the center’s website. “This two-year program is designed to provide military psychiatrists with expertise,” it says, “on preparing for, and responding to, mass casualty events.”

Follow the link for reminiscences about him “pledging allegiance to the Koran” while in uniform and an explanation as to why no formal complaints were filed by his classmates. Quite simply, Hasan’s “eccentricities” were so well known that the faculty was already on notice. Exit question: Why’d the military look the other way at his gross professional negligence if he wasn’t even helping out much with patients? Or need I even ask?