Doctors Continue to Practice After Allegations of Sexual AssaultThe Austin American-Statesman has reviewed medical board records regarding discipline action taken against doctors. Between 1999 and 2016, three out of four doctors punished for sexual improprieties with patients were allowed to continue working as physicians. In response to the Statesman article, The Medical Board offered the following: “We think it is misleading to group all of these cases together regardless of offense,” said spokesman Jarrett Schneider. “There are very different and varying degrees of boundaries issues addressed in this list, ranging from a physician making an inappropriate remark to sexual assault.” Medical board officials say it’s difficult to take stronger action against doctors who have been acquitted of sexual offenses in court. Witnesses are often unwilling to testify, and a lack of evidence makes it hard to determine whether a violation occurred, Schneider said.
A Summary of the FindingsThe Austin American-Statesman reported that:
- Of the approximately 200 doctors disciplined, about 50 lost their licenses. Of the remaining 150 who were allowed to keep working as physicians, about half continue to practice today.
- The medical board has allowed doctors with criminal records keep practicing. A Houston doctor who pleaded guilty to several counts of injury to a child continues to practice.
- Medical board disciplinary orders are vaguely written. Orders may indicate patients were uncomfortable with the exam, as opposed to discussing the alleged sexual misconduct.