NBC News’ Chief Medical Editor Nancy Snyderman has resigned from her position following an uproar last fall when she broke a voluntary quarantine upon returning from covering the Ebola outbreak in Liberia.
Snyderman said in a statement on Thursday that she has decided to return to academic medicine in part because she had become “part of the story.”
“I will be shortly taking up a faculty position at a major U.S. medical school,” she said. “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.”
Snyderman returned to the United States from Liberia last October and was asked to self-quarantine for the standard 21 days. She had worked alongside Ashoka Mukpo, a photojournalist who contracted the Ebola virus. But she incited public outrage when people saw her ordering takeout from a restaurant near her New Jersey home, and local authorities were forced to put her under a mandatory quarantine.
At the time, NBC News president Deborah Turness said in an internal memo that Snyderman and her colleagues were instructed to “take some time with their families and friends to help restore some normalcy to their lives,” according to Newsday.
Snyderman didn’t return to the air until early December, when she publicly apologized.
“I’m very sorry for not only scaring my community and the country, but adding to the confusion of terms that I think came as fast and furious as the news about Ebola did,” she told “Today” show’s Matt Lauer upon her return to TV.
“Good people can make mistakes,” she added. “I stepped outside the boundaries of what I promised to do and what the public expected of me, and for that I’m sorry.”
She never covered Ebola news again.
Snyderman worked for NBC News for nine years and, before that, had been a medical correspondent for ABC News. She also had been an executive at Johnson & Johnson, managing consumer education.
According to her NBC News bio: “Snyderman has reported on wide-ranging medical topics affecting both men and women and has traveled the world extensively, reporting from many of the world’s most troubled areas. In 2010, Snyderman traveled to Haiti where she reported on the devastation from the earthquake. Snyderman is on staff in the Department of the Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania.”
Snyderman said in her statement that “it is now time for me to return to my roots.”
“I have loved my nine years at NBC and I am proud of the work my team has done,” she said. “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 News called her a “valuable voice both on air and in our newsroom.”
“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 news corporation said in a statement. “We wish her all the best.”