Report: When a Physician Commits Sexual Assault the Nation “Looks the Other Way”
July 22, 2016 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care
Victims of sexual assault by physicians include babies, adolescents, women in their 80s, drug addicts, jail inmates, and survivors of sexual abuse, says a national investigation on doctors and sexual abuse published July 6, 2016 in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. However, the victims "could be anyone," write the authors. More than 2,400 U.S. doctors have been sanctioned for sexually abusing their patients, the authors said, and more than half of those sanctioned were allowed by state medical boards to keep their licenses. "Layer upon layer of secrecy," the authors said, makes it "nearly impossible" for the public, and even the medical community, to know the true extent of physician sexual abuse. The authors launched their investigation in 2015 after one learned that two-thirds of Georgia doctors disciplined for sexual misconduct were permitted to practice again. They found that physician sexual misconduct is tolerated "to one degree or another" in all 50 states. The authors obtained and analyzed more than 100,000 disciplinary records and identified more than 3,100 doctors who had been publicly disciplined for sexual infractions since January 1, 1999.