Gary Hunninghake, Embattled Former University Doctor, Surrenders Medical License
A former University of Iowa doctor who has been at the center of several misconduct controversies, including a sexual relationship he maintained with a subordinate, reports that he viewed child pornography at his workplace and a false report filed with Chicago Police alleging he had been stabbed on Michigan Ave., has given up his medical license.
The Associated Press reports that Gary Hunninghake, 65, voluntarily surrendered his medical license and agreed to pay a $10,000 fine following a complaint released Friday by the Iowa Board of Medicine, which details charges that he viewed pictures of nude children and other sexual material while at the workplace and inappropriately accessed the medical files of the woman with whom he was having an affair.
Hunninghake, a professor of medicine since 1981 and director of the UI Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, also "violated appropriate professional boundaries" with another female staff member in 1992 and prescribed himself unnecessary medications, including anabolic steroids, the complaint said, according to AP. He resigned from his $360,000-per-year job May 31 after 13 months of paid administrative leave while police investigated the charges of child pornography, seizing computers from his home and university office.
The false report Hunninghake filed with the Chicago Police Department while in the city for a conference attracted media attention due to the unusual circumstances surrounding the complaint. Hunninghake told police on April 24 that "three males grabbed him and held him while one of the offenders took his cellular phone, $350 as well as four of his credit cards, and then stabbed him multiple times in the abdomen as well as in the chest," Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto told NBC Chicago.
Police investigating the report traced his credit cards and cell phone and found inconsistencies. When confronted by police, Hunninghake confessed he had fabricated the story and that he "had not been stabbed by other individuals but had in fact inflicted those wounds upon himself," Scaduto said. A police report says Hunninhake told police he stabbed himself in the chest, shoulder and abdomen with a steak knife because he was in a "strange state of mind."
Hunninghake was charged with a felony count of making a false police report, which was reduced to a misdemeanor as part of a plea agreement. He was ordered to pay $15,565 to reimburse authorities for the cost of the investigation.
His lawyer, Leon Spies, told the AP he's unsure if the doctor will ever try to apply for reinstatement of his medical license.
"He's moving on to new personal and professional pursuits," Spies said.