After an appointment with Dr. George Tyndall in 1995, USC undergraduate Alexis Rodriguez wrote a letter of complaint on a typewriter in the English department. The gynecologist, she recalled writing, had a Playboy magazine on his desk, used a scalpel on a vaginal abscess without anesthetic and, when she objected, marked her chart with the word “difficult.”
A student health clinic administrator sent back a letter, apologizing and pledging to remove the notation from her chart, Rodriguez said. It would be 21 years before the university forced Tyndall out of the clinic.
“They missed an opportunity to save a lot of other women from his mistreatment,” said Rodriguez, now 46 and a federal probation officer in Los Angeles.
The USC Board of Trustees’ executive committee announced Wednesday that outside attorneys would conduct an independent investigation into the Tyndall matter. The inquiry is to examine not only the physician’s behavior, but also what the trustees called “reporting failures” that allowed Tyndall to remain at the clinic for 27 years and treat tens of thousands of students.
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