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Princeton Resident Dr. Nancy Snyderman Resigns from NBC News

Snyderman
Snyderman

Dr. Nancy Snyderman stepped down from serving as the chief medical editor for NBC News today, acknowledging that becoming part of the story during the Ebola crisis contributed to her decision to return to academic medicine.

“I stepped out of the OR a few years ago and it is now time for me to return to my roots, so I am stepping down from my position as chief medical editor at NBC News,” Snyderman said in a statement. “Covering the Ebola epidemic last fall in Liberia, and then becoming part of the story upon my return to the U.S., contributed to my decision that now is the time to return to academic medicine.”

Snyderman said she will soon be taking up a faculty position at a major U.S. medical school.

“More needs to be done to communicate medicine and science to our viewers and citizens, especially in times of crisis, and with my experiences in the field and on air, that is going to be a priority for me,” she said in the statement.  “I have loved my nine years at NBC and I am proud of the work my team has done. Very few people get the chance to combine two professions and I have appreciated the chance to inform the public about medical updates and the plight of so many in other countries. Every moment has been an honor.”

NBC also released a statement this afternoon praising Snyderman.

“Throughout her career with NBC News, Dr. Nancy Snyderman has provided her expertise on countless health and medical topics that are vitally important to our audience,” the statement reads. “She’s been a valuable voice both on air and in our newsroom, and we wish her all the best.”

Snyderman was spotted by Planet Princeton readers when she double-parked her Mercedes in front of the Peasant Grill in Hopewell Boro in October. She and two crew members were supposed to be quarantined at her home after potentially being exposed to Ebola in Liberia, but the groups left the house to pick up a take out order.

The incident was picked up by major media outlets across the country, and sparked outrage. Many of Snyderman’s fans never forgave her for it. She did not address the incident for several days, and when she did apologize, many viewers perceived her statement as arrogant, causing more outrage. Months later, former fans have continued to post negative comments about Snyderman on her Facebook page and on Twitter, saying she has lost her credibility because of the incident.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

  • lilymanx

    These responses are NOT based on “ignorance of the actual risks involved” – you sound just like her – blaming her town for the fact that she broke her word.

    The thing that bothered people was her agreeing to follow guidelines and then not doing that. What kind of example is that for a doctor to set? It was NOT about the risk. I thought it was fine that Dr Spencer went bowling because he was following the guidelines he had agreed to. I thought it was fine when the nurse from Maine REFUSED to follow them because she felt they were overkill. But Snyderman agreed to follow a protocol and then didn’t. And then when caught, instead of apologizing, she excused herself by saying with her superior knowledge, she could not even have imagined the ignorance and fear of the people of Princeton. That was not an apology.

  • The_Truth_Seeker(TM)

    Is there another future embarrassment for NBC (and ABC) coming soon? When are they going to correct the scandal and cover-up surrounding the results of the 2004 Siemens science ‘competition’ (i.e the ‘GyroGen scandal’ and its 10 year cover-up)? Unfortunately, what they both informed the public just wasn’t true! The top-prize winning invention turned out not to have been a “new technology”, after all, as everyone at the time claimed it was (including those in the news media). A simple check of the historical record could have found this out, but I guess too many people were just too lazy (or too corrupt) to do this – even after they were told of the BIG problem with the judging and press releases.

    This scandal is probably much worse than the Brian Williams ‘fabrication’, or the Nancy Snyderman ‘unauthorized excursion’ because 1200 other competitors effectively got cheated, not to mention the ‘real’ inventor of this “new technology”, who never received any attribution or even minor credit for it. Also 60-80 million people where told a lie that HAS NEVER been corrected by those who told the lies! And, why did NBC & ABC actually ‘help’ to cover up the scandal? What are they trying to avoid (again)? What did they know about the scandal, and when did they know it?

  • SFB=such freaking bull

    And when you made these mistakes, did you own up to them and apologize, or did you a) hide in a crowd; (i.e. “members of the crew” violated the quarantine), and b) refuse to take responsibility for your actual mistake by miscasting the problem as other people’s reaction to what you did, rather than what you did (i.e. “I’m sorry that people were upset” I broke the quarantine). The woman has steadfastly refused to accept any real accountability for her actions, which to me precludes forgiveness.
    Moreover, to excuse her by arguing that she “didn’t put anybody at risk” is akin to arguing for amnesty for a bank robber who used a fake gun, or a drug dealer who sold oregano rather than weed. It just doesn’t hold up. The mistake here was announcing loudly and publicly that she would be quarantined, then completely blowing it off. The narcissism here boggles the mind.

  • good riddance

    This isn’t about the public being “mean” and being unforgiving of mistakes. Its about who we chose as leaders and providers of medical and public health information and guidance. Nancy Snyderman benefited from her position as a public medical & public health information provider and reporter. Nancy and such reporters make a good deal of money in salary and speaking appearances for their role as a public “media doctors”, and they are afforded an opportunity to have great influence. She benefited from the overblown stature given “network doctors” and had more money and influence in that role than many doctors who may be better doctors and/or who may choose do more medicine and perhaps more for the public good in an unsung and less well compensated and public way. Ms. Snyderman herself assumed and benefited from her very public “position” of providing public health information and guidance, and she should not have that role if she is going to act so disrepectfully of a public health agreement and a “look in your eye” promise to her followers. Its not a matter of “mistake” but of the character and judgment she demonstrated. No one wishes her ill as an individual, but it is appropriate and overdue that she not have a role as a prominent provider and adviser on public health information. The risk she put people in is that she may have influenced others to disregard public health measures.

  • SFB

    OK, well, I have a little more forgivness in me than that. I have made many mistakes in my life, and if it wasn’t for people being prepared to give me another chance, I’d probalby be working in Burger King by now. She didn’t put anybody at risk. This was confirmed by the head of the CDC. That said, people are entitled to be as judgemental as they want. Good luck.

  • billthegrunt

    NBC News and Big Pharma finally decided to cut their losses. Maybe now we’ll see less pill pushing on the evening news.

  • Donna

    All of the information she ever gave was terrible. Glad she’s gone

  • NMD

    Thanks, ABW. I agree with you. It was never about the science of Ebola, it was about her arrogance. I understand she never had a great reputation as a doc, that she was always more interested in promoting herself. I found it very hard to abide her “you but not me” attitude. Clicked her off on the few occasions she has appeared on NBC/MNBC since this incident. Glad NBC canned her. Hope she puts whatever medical skills she does have to good use, without self regard, going forward.

  • good riddance

    Oh Please. As a lifelong Princeton resident I’m embarrassed that she represents an arrogant, elitist attitude that rules, commitment and the truth don’t necessarily need to apply to “me” if they are inconvenient. Pesky state health department agreements and public statements of promising to adhere to a quarantine are really only to appease the minds of the little people, they don’t really matter, especially when I’m craving my favorite snack.

    The point is not at all whether she was an Ebola carrier. The point is that in the swirl of a public health concern, she made both a public and private official commitment to quarantine herself and she then she snuck around in violation and even when caught really never seemed to own up to it to the fact that she broke her word. And, when a person with her power and position sets such an example of non-compliance, who knows how that may influence to others to lie about their compliance with public health measures? Her message: if you can sneak out, do it, no matter what you promised to the people who follow you for information and guidance. She may have even cost lives setting such an example, I don’t think her actions were benign or trivial.

  • ABW

    Umm, not to rehash this whole affair, but she didn’t come to your neighborhood, SFB, she came to mine. The point was NOT whether she was contagious, the point was she had to come to an agreement with health officials not to leave her home for 21 days. And she then proceeded to break that agreement. THAT’s the point. The rules are for everyone, esp. in the case of public health. For a doctor to do that… unbelievable.

  • Stephen

    She still double parked. Ain’t no forgiving that.

  • Bobby Vegas

    And thank you NBC, for finally ridding yourself of this woman.

  • AEMB

    and thank you SFB for being an eloquent voice of reason on this subject – when far too many of the commenters (and even news reports) are still relentlessly negative, based on ignorance of the actual risks involved.

  • SFB

    Thank you Nancy Snynderman for bringing attention to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Without the attention of journalists like you who were prepared to put yourself in harm’s way, the world would not have learned about this humanitarian emergency. As a Princeton resident I am proud you are our neighbor. I never felt threatened by you getting some lunch, because Ebola is not transmitted by asymptomatic indviduals. Now that the Ebola epidemic is subsiding in Africa, you can rest easy knowing that your work has no doubt saved lives.

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