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Ex-USC doctor gives up license to practice

By LIU YINMENG in Los Angeles | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-09-12 00:16

The University of Southern California is pictured in Los Angeles, California, US, May 22, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

A former gynecologist at the University of Southern California who has been accused of sexually abusing his patients, including many overseas students from China, has surrendered his medical license to the state's medical board, officials said.

According to a statement provided by the Medical Board of California on Monday, the surrender of Tyndall's license became effective Sept 5. It came after the filing of an accusation charging him with sexual misconduct involving five patients.

"The incidents outlined in the Board's accusation against George Tyndall are egregious violations," said Kimberly Kirchmeyer, the board's executive director.

"On behalf of California consumers, the Board achieved the highest level of patient protection with the surrender of Tyndall's license," she added.

The board said it petitioned for and obtained an interim suspension order against Tyndall after learning about the reports of sexual misconduct, which prevented the former doctor from practicing medicine until the accusation filed against his license reached conclusion.

Dr. George Tyndall (left), 72, talks with his attorney Andrew Flier during an arraignment at Los Angeles Superior court, July 1, 2019, in Los Angeles. [Photo/IC]

The board's accusation against Tyndall details inappropriate sexual contact with five patients he treated during his time as a gynecologist at a college student health center, the board's stated.

Carlos Villatoro, a public information officer for the Medical Board of California, told China Daily that Tyndall would be able to apply for the reinstatement of his license three years after the date of surrender.

Several factors are taken into account when the panel of the board or an administrative law judge hears one's petition to reinstate his or her license, according to California's Business and Professions Code.

This may include: "all activities of the petitioner since the disciplinary action was taken, the offense for which the petitioner was disciplined, the petitioner's activities during the time the certificate was in good standing, and the petitioner's rehabilitative efforts, general reputation for truth, and professional ability".

"No petition shall be considered while the petitioner is under sentence for any criminal offense, including any period during which the petitioner is on court-imposed probation or parole," the code states.

Tyndall was accused of sexually abusing hundreds of female patients at USC's Engemann Student Health Center, where he was the only full-time campus gynecologist for 27 years. He allegedly targeted Asian women, including many Chinese international students.

After a yearlong investigation, Tyndall was arrested and charged with 29 felony counts in June and with assaulting 16 patients at USC from 2009 to 2016. If convicted, he faces up to 53 years in prison.

Los Angeles authorities said more than 350 women came forward to offer information on Tyndall over the course of the investigation.

The case led to the resignation of USC president C.L. Max Nikias in August 2018 and resulted in hundreds of lawsuits against the university.

USC received preliminary approval from a federal judge in June for a $215 million class-action settlement that the school had agreed to pay to Tyndall's former patients.

If approved by the court, the proposed agreement would grant $2,500 to $250,000 in payments, based on a three-tier claims system.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Tyndall chose to surrender his license rather than contest a 13-page accusation filed by the Medical Board of California last September.

Peter Osinoff, a lawyer who represented Tyndall before the board, said the state had denied a request to put Tyndall's license-revocation proceeding on hold until after his criminal trial. He would have had to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in the hearing rather than testify in his own defense.

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