Is academic freedom only for academics?

Yesterday, I had a few email exchanges with Dr. Harvey Rosenbaum, director of anesthesia resident education @ UCLA. I told him I was planning to attend Anesthesia Grand Rounds this coming Wednesday because the topic, Delirium: risk factors, potential mechanisms, prevention and treatment, was of great interest to me.

Without any admonition from Dr. Rosenbaum (or anyone else in his department), at 09:40 April 5, 2010, I received the following communication from the Director of Security Services @ UCLA:

Dr. Friedberg

Hello sir

I wanted to reach out to you about your upcoming unauthorized visit to UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center on April 7th, 2010. I have seen in the communications that you are not invited to speak or attend. I understand that wish to present some information, but the administration of the hospital is advising you not to attend. Please, do not attend the meeting. If you do so, you will be in violation of California Penal Code 602 (Trespassing). I will have you arrested and removed from the facility.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Daniel Schmidt
Administrative and Operations Manager, Security Services
UCLA Health System
310-267-7106 Office
310-597-1640 Cell
757 Westwood Blvd., #B641
Los Angeles, CA 90095

To which I responded:

Dear Mr. Schmidt,

Re: Anesthesia Grand Rounds

Are UCLA Anesthesia Grand Rounds by invitation only?

If so, what are the criteria for such an invitation?

Will attendees have been issued such an invitation?

Are any and all board certified anesthesiologists not welcome?

Is UCLA not a public educational institution supported by California taxpayers, among whom I am one?

Is it the official policy of the UCLA is that I, as a board certified anesthesiologist interested in pursuing my continuing medical education as required by the State of California, will be denied access to attending Anesthesia Grand Rounds otherwise open to members of the physician community?

I would appreciate an immediate response to my questions.

Barry L. Friedberg, M.D.

Diplomate, American Board of Anesthesiology

CA. Medical License # G-29706


cc: Steve Silvertstein, attorney at law

Russ Stanton, editor, Los Angeles Times

Board of Regents

So far, no response from the halls of academic freedom. Is academic freedom only for academics?