What kind of job is it to work at a student medical center?

I find this whole idea disturbing and alien. Daniel Kelly, an MD who worked at USC and UCLA, is currently under investigation for sexual abuse of a large number of gay and bisexual men who received ‘care’ from him — he seems to have been fond of overlong, invasive rectal examinations, and of prolonged fondling of patients’ genitals. He would, for instance, give a rectal exam if a young man had symptoms of a cold.

But that’s not what bugs me — if found guilty, he’s just another sick abusive man, and we’ve got evidence of plenty of those. No, the bothersome bit is how the university handles these situations.

Kelly joined UCLA in 1980. In 2002, he stopped working there, signing a confidential settlement that paid him $68,320 and barred him from seeking employment at any University of California campus. In a statement, UCLA said the settlement was “unrelated to allegations of sexual misconduct.”

He did something that got him banned from any UC campus, but it was all wrapped up under a confidentiality agreement, and he got paid? I don’t get it. I keep my nose clean my whole life, I do my job, and my university never takes me aside and hands me a big check while telling me I can’t talk about it. I’d happily not talk about it for that much money!

Especially when that much money is just about exactly what I need to pay our lawyer.

But no, it always seems to get paid to creeps who objectify and abuse students, and nope, I’m not willing to do that. Why is it always corruption and crime that are so lucrative?


  1. cormacolinde says

    It’s all about reputation. It takes a lot of PZs to make a good reputation, it takes a single Daniel Kelly to destroy it. What they don’t realize is when the truth eventually comes out, the knowledge of the cover-up hurts them more.

  2. PaulBC says

    The most treatment I ever got at a student medical center was earwax removal. I left a very satisfied customer since I went in thinking I was most likely dying from a brain infection. I’d like to think I’d get suspicious if the exam went far afield of the affected ear (but I was naive, like many college students and probably many of the victims).

    It’s outrageous for him to have been paid off in a settlement, but wonder if student medical centers should be doing rectal exams at all, since they are less well funded than hospitals (I would think) and potentially lacking in oversight. There’s also a naive and exploitable population.

    Is there a fixable problem here? For example, publicize guidelines on what kinds of exams are routine and expected, and require a lot more consent and oversight if it goes beyond this.

  3. PaulBC says

    What they don’t realize is when the truth eventually comes out, the knowledge of the cover-up hurts them more.

    And yet I bet there is a brand new crop of HS seniors right now agonizing over what it will take to get into UCLA and parents trying to figure out how much financial support they can afford to give them.

    I wish there was a self-correcting “reputation” system that had any substantial effect.

  4. thirdmill301 says

    People who are inclined to be abusers are also inclined to go into professions in which they will have ready access to victims. If you enjoy giving rectal exams to good looking young men, then what better job for you than to be a college physician? For the same reason that pedophiles tend to gravitate toward jobs that give them ready access to children. It doesn’t mean that everyone who takes a job as a college physician or a little league coach is a pervert; it simply means that those types of professions need better checks and balances to make it harder for abusers to get away with it.

  5. jrkrideau says

    It was a long time ago but the treatment I got from the Canadian universities’ health clinics was superb. They can be overloaded especially during flu season but they do their best and generally it in pretty damn good.