Playing doctor

Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar

This is just gross.

Dr. Larry Nassar was only one of 450 doctors who were brought before medical boards on sexual misconduct charges in 2016 and 2017. According to an investigation by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, half of those doctors are still practicing medicine, even after being convicted of a sex crime.

“Medical boards are unwilling to sanction physicians because ‘He’s recovering’ or ‘He wouldn’t have done it if he hadn’t been using drugs.’ They make all kinds of excuses,” said Dr. John K. Hall, a medical doctor and attorney who is a former executive director of Mississippi’s medical board.

Dr. Hall, who was brought in to reform the agency, was fired from the board after waging a fight against doctor-patient sexual assault. Mississippi ranks last in the nation in protecting patients from doctor sexual assault.

After the post was left vacant for nine months, Hall was finally replaced by a doctor who has been sued for malpractice 12 times.

Says Hall,

“I’m hopeful for continued change and transparency at the board. Ultimately, I’m not optimistic that the new director will have meaningful effect. The board has deep, irremediable conflict of interest that arise directly from its structure. By statute, the board members are nominated by the state medical association and appointed by the governor. This leads to the disciplinary body being controlled by the same ‘trade guild’ it’s supposed to regulate. Numerous recent cases demonstrate the board’s inability to subjugate physician interest to the welfare of the citizens. This is fundamentally a legislative problem.”

This is not the AJC‘s first investigation of doctors and sexual assault. In 2016 it published a report of more than 3,100 doctors who were publicly cited for sexual misconduct from 1999 through 2015.

Apparently #MeToo does not apply to doctors.

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2 thoughts on “Playing doctor

  1. Interesting. Here is the UK, it sometimes seems that sexual misconduct is the only thing that can get a doctor struck off — incompetence and negligence are fine, it would appear. To be clear, I’m suggesting getting tougher on the incompetent, not softer on sexual predators.

  2. There is supposedly an opoid epidemic here, I did see where the Mississippi board suspended doctors for inappropriate opoid prescription then waived the suspensions so they could get back to their practices. With sexual predators the language was more about rehabilitation.

    More rehabilitation talk with rumors of Charlie Rose interviewing #MeToo perpetrators. What about a series with the women whose careers were cut short by these guys instead? Seems to have made a few people wake up and file some charges against Rose and CBS, maybe he will be too busy now. Just learned the word “zersetzung” apparently the Stasi version of a SLAPP suit.

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