Scholarship News

Multiple Allege Sexual Harassment by Yale Doctor at Clinic


April 14, 2015
by Suada Kolovic
A former nephrology professor at Yale University's medical school has been accused of sexual harassment while he was medical director of a dialysis clinic where physicians treat patients, according to The New York Times.

A former nephrology professor at Yale University's medical school has been accused of sexual harassment while he was medical director of a dialysis clinic where physicians treat patients, according to The New York Times.

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The professor, Rex L. Mahnensmith, worked at Yale for more than two decades. In January 2014, he was removed from the practice at the university and forced to resign from the faculty in April. Now, there are two federal lawsuits that assert that he had a history of sexual misconduct that stretches back more than a decade; in that case, a young nephrologist filed a formal university complaint of sexual misconduct against Dr. Mahnensmith. (The complaint was resolved when he was ordered to attend sensitivity training.) With sexual misconduct running rampant on campuses across the country these days, universities are being held more accountable for the safety of students and employees. A Yale spokesman declined to comment on the litigation to the Times but said the university takes sexual-harassment allegations seriously and is working to improve the campus climate for women. (For a more in-depth look into this story, check out The New York Times.)

For the second time in less than a year, the Yale School of Medicine is embroiled in charges of sexual harassment. What should be done to assure prospective students that changes are on the way? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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Eric Dill  on  4/24/2015 12:08:10 AM commented:

Generally, all schools have policies that involve background checks that include more than enough information that would lead to the discovery of those not suited for occupation by any institute. If at any time someone is allowed the opportunity to work for an establishment with these rules and guidlines in place then that establishment should be held accountable

Scott P.  on  4/20/2015 3:38:59 PM commented:

It's hard to imagine prestigious university's such as Yale have received unfortunate infractions such as this, but ultimately I feel that these events come at random. Regardless, I think there should be a mandatory background check, however, for new and upcoming faculty employee's throughout all public and private unversitys throughout America and the rest of the world, providing the notion of having slightly more comfort in terms of safety.

J.K Min  on  4/20/2015 2:24:11 PM commented:

I think the fact there should be a trial for this professor who was accused of Sexual Harassment. If he had an allegation in the past then what he did currently at the Yale must be true. Schools do not need professionals who will violate women; its wrong and not appropriate at all. It does not show any recognition to other student and certainly it will not send any good messages at all.

Claudia F.  on  4/18/2015 1:13:41 AM commented:

I think there should be conferences or assemblies on how sexual harassment is NOT okay and there is ways to stop it. Professors should not be sexually harassing students, and if they are, the conferences and/or assemblies should be inferring students with the information that they should feel safe enough to report it. criminal background checks should be prominent with every professor, and students should be aware of that. the more information that students know, the better. Every student has a right to be safe in their learning environment. after all, they pay a lot to be educated. sexual harassment shouldn't ever be a problem.

S. B.  on  4/16/2015 1:54:07 PM commented:

I think that the fact that a college professor would even do something like that is disgusting. He knew exactly what he was doing when he did it, it isn't like he was confused or mislead or anything like that. As an educator, you have to have a respect not only for your students, but for yourself and an action like that makes him look completely incompetent.

K. L  on  4/15/2015 12:54:38 PM commented:

I think that he should lose is license, status and should be charged by the federal justice system. Sexual harrassment is not child's play, he knows exactly what he was doing and he needs to be dealt with.

Tianna Person  on  4/15/2015 12:28:02 PM commented:

The institution can provide multiple ways of allowing students to report these abuses and the university can investigate these allegations. Prior to being hired to the university all employees should be subjected to a background check. The punishment should occur through both the judicial system and the university. During student orientations, students can be informed or educated in the ways in which to handle they should handle this situation.

Li L.  on  4/15/2015 12:14:23 PM commented:

I'd say that the school should keep their students in touch with what they're doing to help change this sorry situation. I think the school should take an immediate action to assure students, especially female students, that their campus is safe and they are are able to voice their concerns. I feel that the punishment for this vulgar act of crime is too lenient. Too easy. There seems to be no justice that is done. While it is good to have forced the professor to resign, how can we guarantee that this will not happen again? The punishment for this kind of act should be dealt with much harsher and firmer.

Joe B.  on  4/15/2015 10:26:06 AM commented:

"Well, forcing his resignation certainly helps. It's nice to know that when push comes to shove, these sexual harassment charges are taken seriously." They are charges - unless a person is CONVICTED of something, then he (or she) is supposed to be treated as innocent. We are too often looking for vengeance rather than justice. Maybe the focus should be on the archaic pay to play judicial system...

Veronica S.  on  4/15/2015 9:56:24 AM commented:

Well, forcing his resignation certainly helps. It's nice to know that when push comes to shove, these sexual harassment charges are taken seriously. Unfortunately, it has taken far too long to get this recognized, and action taken. It's our culture that screams "Don't get raped" instead of "Don't rape". We victim blame far too much, and it makes women afraid to speak up, in fear of being told they're lying, or they were asking for it, etc. Yale definitely should make a campaign that tells their students (no matter what gender, sexuality, OR position they have in the school) that if they are sexually harassed or assaulted, they can make a formal complaint and have it be taken seriously. Punishments for such things need to be harsher, because often we are too lenient on those who feel like they're allowed to sexually harass and/or assault another person. Yale is a top school, and has plenty of money to launch such a campaign.

jennifer l  on  4/15/2015 12:24:22 AM commented:

Its quite amazing how one of the top school in the nation is subjected to this mess. Its miserable to know that women and young ladies have to where such clothing so guys aren't wondering eyes , what needs to change is punishment , rules that confine people of their actions . It saddens me to know that in any college or university where ever a female may go they can be sexually abused ...new rules and more harsh punishment actions must be taken and inform students of way it is urgent to stop this mess before it increases completely.

laura burdine  on  4/14/2015 10:57:31 PM commented:

Students should be careful with doctors or anyone. They should watch them and if they start making them uncomfortable leave. Inappropriate behavior as obsessive massaging or getting to close for comfort should be reported and stopped. I think sexual harassment is a form of abuse, I should know. my problem was not sexual. Harassment of any kind is wrong and should be considered as abuse. A victim of such acts should seek help and if in question of actions report them and don't let them continue. If you say no, nobody should do anything.

Tamara L.  on  4/14/2015 8:44:00 PM commented:

Universities should take the initiative to inform students on appropriate behavior and have consequences for it.

Sibley B.  on  4/14/2015 8:21:04 PM commented:

Proper attention need be taken and supervision of all medical staff overseeing patients privately. There should thus be no private supervision by any doctors. Unfortunately, this is a sad epidemic of our humanity that needs to be stopped. Little changes will help make a difference increased supervision of all medical staff, no matter, what title, position of honorary award that the medical staff may have should make them not have to be under the supervision of someone that is specifically looking for signs of sexual assault in patients.

donnie walker  on  4/14/2015 6:34:58 PM commented:

i believe yale should hire outside experts to come in with expert backgrounds in law enforcement to come in and do a investigation. Take that information and form a committee that will come up with solutions to insure future students the campus is safe and doing all it can to insure future students this want happen again.

Saleha H  on  4/14/2015 5:24:04 PM commented:

The climate of universities and colleges will not change unless there is a change in Hollywood and what is shown on the Internet. It is inevitable to change a person's behavior when the climate around them is conducive to immoral behavior. People turn to Hollywood and TV as potential role models. In addition, people turn to the Internet unconsciously or consciously to witness immoral behavior. When both the immoralities are eradicated from these two important communications systems, there will definitively be some improvement in human behavior. I truly hope to see that day.

India H.  on  4/14/2015 5:14:19 PM commented:

How about you have random undercover assessments of these employees? If it's a sexual assault or something like that, then bring in an attractive male/female in order to test the harassers/assualters temptation to do anything. These assessments must be RANDOM and they should occur every few months, say 4-6. How about learning to LISTEN though... One sexual assault charge seems to always lead to another. Encourage students/faculty/staff to feel comfortable enough to report the incidents.

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