Some female students say they are now apprehensive to seek care from an institution that allowed decades of abuse to occur. Over 300 students, current and past, accused former USC gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall of sexual assault and filed civil suits last year against him and the university.
Despite changes in leadership, the question still remains as to whether trust in the Engemann Student Health Center and USC as a whole is beyond repair.
Since Tyndall resigned in May, concerns have lingered on campus. Lily Johnson, a freshman communications major, is disturbed that such a breach of trust took place at her new school.
"It's the doctor, you know? You go to doctors for them to help you and you have to trust them," she said. "You tell them about your medical history and stuff and there's this bond that's supposed to be there and that was violated by this guy. It's just really sad to have to worry about that."
It's this reason that Jesenia Orozco, a new transfer student, said that she would not feel comfortable visiting the campus health center anytime soon.
"Morally, I think that I wouldn't because of that more or less," she said. "I think that kind of impacted my views on the health center here."
In a statement last month, Chief Health Officer Sarah Van Orman promised to help students feel safer on campus through new hires and initiatives.
"I have focused on improving both the care we provide and as well as our ability to improve students' health and wellbeing so they can achieve their personal and professional goals," she said.
We sought comment from Engemann, but they did not immediately respond.
Zia Bedi, a junior accounting major, said she was not surprised by the health center scandal.
"It was shocking, but at the same time not really," she said. "You hear about a lot of things being covered up at USC so it was more shocking that it was another thing that came out."
The Tyndall case is among several scandals involving faculty misconduct under former President C.L. Max Nikias. The administration's handling of the scandals led Nikias to step down this year after intense pressure from faculty and the USC community to resign.
The initiatives include an abuse hotline and online feedback form, as well as a series of workshops aimed at sparking conversations about issues such as sexual harassment and mental health.
Tyndall's replacements are Dr. Anne Michels and Dr. Deirdre Logan, two gynecologists from Permanente Medical Group and Watts Healthcare Corporation, respectively. Jensen McRae, a senior popular music major, couldn't be happier about the news.
"I'm thrilled that they hired female doctors," she said. "I mean I'm personally way more comfortable having female doctors for all of my medical needs and I know that a lot of women feel the same way."
Like McRae, Lily Johnson is proceeding through the semester wary but hopeful of the changes to come.
"It shows that the university is committed to bettering these problems and they're not going to just keep on doing the same thing, at least that's the hope," she said. "It seems like they're going in the right direction."