Ohio State placed one of its doctors at the Wexner Medical Center on paid administrative leave following a USA Today investigation into rape allegations made against the doctor while he was practicing at the Cleveland Clinic.
Ryan Williams, a colon and rectal surgeon, was accused by two women in police reports of anally raping them in 2008 and 2009.
Williams denied the accusations and was never charged with a crime, though according to the USA Today report, Cleveland Clinic reached a confidential settlement with both of the accusers separately before Williams left the hospital.
He joined Ohio State last summer as an assistant professor and physician. He was placed on leave last month once a USA Today inquiry made Ohio State aware of the complaints against the doctor.
On Williams’ hospital profile, there is no information about his tenure at the Cleveland Clinic. In fact, his background includes only medical degrees, fellowships and board certificates most recently dating to 2008.
Williams worked as a colorectal surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic from September 2007 to June 2017 before coming to Ohio State. He officially began at Ohio State Aug. 1, 2017.
In an emailed statement to The Lantern, Andrew Thomas, the chief clinical officer of the medical center, said Ohio State was previously unaware of the “disturbing” allegations when it hired Williams.
“The university takes these allegations of past misconduct seriously, and Dr. Williams was placed on administrative leave in December,” Thomas said. “We are actively investigating to ensure that patient safety at Ohio State was never compromised.
“When hiring a physician, we adhere strictly to the background check requirements and policies of the Joint Commission and the National Committee for Quality Assurance.”
Thomas said background checks include information from the Ohio State Medical Board, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the National Practitioner Databank and the candidate’s previous employer and peers.
“Our preliminary review indicates that these processes were followed appropriately in the hiring of Dr. Williams,” Thomas said. “We continue to review our processes to ensure they meet the highest standard.”