A gynecologist who worked at the University of Southern California’s health center allegedly made racially discriminatory and sexually inappropriate comments for nearly two decades, but was still allowed to see student patients until being fired final year, school officials said in a statement Tuesday.
The university said the gynecologist, George Tyndall, was fired final June after a yearlong investigation sparked by a complaint from a staff member. However, there had been many other complaints made against the veteran physician for years, officials said in a statement, adding that it was unclear as to why he was able to maintain his position.
Medical assistants who worked with Tyndall had also raised concerns approximately the way he conducted pelvic examinations, officials said in their statement.
USC issued the statement after being contacted by the Los Angeles Times final week. Officials said that correspondence raised the opportunity that additional information may exist regarding Tyndall that the university wasn’t aware of.
Tyndall did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
From 2000 to 2014, eight complaints were lodged against Tyndall that university President C. L. Max Nikias described as “concerning” and included racially insensitive and inappropriate comments. The patients also said he seemed to violate their privacy and made them “uncomfortable.”
Another patient said Tyndall “gave me the ‘skeevies,'” while another eminent that he was “unprofessional,” officials said.
“While we maintain no evidence of criminal conduct, we maintain no doubt that Dr. Tyndall’s behavior was totally unacceptable,” Nikias said in the statement.
In 2016, a staff member at the student health center made a complaint to USC’s Office of fairness and Diversity, stating that Dr. Tyndall had made sexually inappropriate comments in front of medical assistants. The university says it “immediately” launched an investigation, placed the gynecologist on administrative leave, and barred him from seeing students.
During their probe, officials found a box of “photos of cervixes and surrounding internal tissue from 1990-1991.” Other gynecologists interviewed said the photos were not abnormal and no inappropriate fabric or images were found on his computer or in his email.
Yet after completing the investigation, the university decided to fire Tyndall. As for why action wasn’t taken sooner, officials said the health center’s director at the time, Larry Neinstein, chose not to raise, to promote the complaints for “proper investigation” and handled Tyndall’s behavior “independently.”
The university acknowledged other staff members had complained approximately Tyndall’s “racially inappropriate comments” in 2013, but eminent that the fairness and diversity office concluded there wasn’t enough evidence to prove he violated any policies.
It was only after some confrontation with Tyndall approximately his firing that the university reported him to the California Medical Board on March 9, 2018.
USC did not immediately respond to inquiries for additional information regarding Tyndall’s tenure at the health center.
The Los Angeles District Attorney confirmed to BuzzFeed News that it was contacted by the university and referred officials to the police department. An LAPD spokesperson said that as of Tuesday, he was not aware of any investigation into Tyndall’s conduct.
The revelations approximately Tyndall near less than a year after the Los Angeles Times reported that the dean of USC’s medical school allegedly used heroin, methamphetamine, and other drugs on a near-daily basis while working as an eye doctor at the school. The university has since stripped Carmen Puliafito of his tenure, but has near under intense scrutiny for reportedly turning a blind eye to the high-profile physician’s behavior because of his reputation and fundraising prowess.
Officials on Tuesday also if resources for anyone with additional information or concerns regarding Tyndall to contact the university.