A top surgeon at New York University was forced to resign after being investigated for inappropriate relationships with patients, BuzzFeed News has learned.
Mark Adelman was chief of vascular surgery at the NYU School of Medicine. He was one of the faces of NYU marketing videos streamed on TV and in taxi cabs, but now has disappeared from the hospital’s public website and social media pages.
On Wednesday, the hospital’s chief of surgery, H. Leon Pachter, and senior vice president of human resources, Nancy Sanchez, held a meeting with dozens of department employees. Pachter told the group that Adelman had resigned after being investigated for improper relationships with patients, an NYU spokesperson confirmed.
“[Pachter] said that it’s important to emphasize that there’s no such thing as a consensual relationship between a doctor and a patient,” a current employee, who was in the room for the meeting and asked to remain anonymous for fear of professional retaliation, told BuzzFeed News.
NYU declined to say how many patients were involved, how long the inappropriate relationships had been going on, or whether Adelman contested the findings of the investigation. Adelman did not respond to an email or return a message left on his cell phone.
“We are extremely grateful to those who flagged Dr. Adelman’s alleged inappropriate behavior,” NYU said in a statement. “We took swift and immediate action, including conducting a thorough investigation, and consequently demanding Dr. Adelman’s resignation. We continue to work with staff to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to voice any concerns in this matter, and to begin to set the department on a new course under new leadership.”
An external firm conducted an investigation, the employee said. The hospital’s human resources department also interviewed employees, an NYU spokesperson confirmed.
Pachter and Sanchez did not respond to an email requesting comment.
Adelman graduated from NYU’s medical school in 1985 and has been licensed to practice medicine in New York state since 1986. The state’s Office of Professional Medical Conduct has not issued any disciplinary sanctions against Adelman and does not release information about complaints that do not result in disciplinary actions.
Disclaimer: Virginia Hughes is an adjunct lecturer at NYU’s journalism institute.