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6 Wayne State OB-GYN Doctors Quit

October 23, 2007

By Patricia Anstett, Detroit Free Press

Oct. 23–Wayne State University’s nationally renowned obstetrics and gynecology department is in turmoil after the departure of its chairman and the resignations Monday of six physicians.

They are the latest in what many expect to be a wave of changes ahead at the medical school, the largest in the United States on a single campus.

The latest exodus in the department — which historically has been rocked by controversy and resignations, even while gaining top national grants and awards — started with the departure two weeks ago of Dr. John Malone, Jr., chairman of the obstetrics and gynecology department for eight years.

Malone said Tuesday he was “relieved” of his duties because of a “difference of opinion” with WSU medical school dean, Dr. Robert Mentzer, Jr.

Then Monday, the six other physicians resigned. They are Susan Hendrix and her husband, Gene McNeeley, Jr.; Dave Kmak, director of the OB/GYN residency program; Renee Page, Lori Billis and Diane Vista-Deck. The main number for the doctors was disconnected on Tuesday and none could be reached for comment.

In a brief statement to the Free Press, Mentzer said the department “is currently in the process of transition, which includes the recruitment of new faculty and the departure of others.”

The changes come at a time when Hutzel Women’s Hospital, a Detroit Medical Center facility staffed by WSU doctors, is seeing a big upsurge in patients once served at the now closed obstetrics department of St. John Detroit Riverview Hospital.

Contact PATRICIA ANSTETT at 313-222-5021 or panstett@freepress.com.

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