White Coat Betrayal: Ending Sexual Assault in Medicine
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of US News and World Report
Posted: July 15th, 2018
As a women's health advocate and practicing OB-GYN for 25 years, I want to point out that some doctors, especially male gynecologists, pediatricians and anesthesiologists and psychiatrists, have raped, fondled and molested patients of all ages. Finally, the conversation is getting started because of Dr. Lawrence G. Nassar. He's the former team doctor for U.S.A. Gymnastics, and he was sentenced to 60 years in prison on child pornography (37,000 images!) charges. I've heard story upon story about sexual misconduct from my patients, including inappropriate touching and sexual misconduct during their gynecologic exams when they were young women. Experiences like these have a long-term negative effect on a woman and the way she takes care of her physical health during her lifetime. Trying to get any hard facts or statistics about doctor sexual misconduct is very difficult. According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, "half of the more than 2,400 doctors sanctioned since 1999 for sexual misconduct involving patients still have active medical licenses." A nationwide investigation by the AJC published in July 2016 found widespread sexual abuse by doctors from OB-GYNs committing rape and anesthesiologists taking advantage of sedated patients to pediatricians molesting children. We cannot tolerate business as usual. I would like to see a law passed where violating a patient would result in revoking his or her medical license, jail time and being forever identified as a sex offender on state registries.