70% of Physicians Reported For Committing Sexual Misconduct With A Patient Are Never Disciplined By a Medical Licensing Board, Finds Recent StudyPosted in Medical Malpractice
A recent study was conducted to determine whether physicians who were found to have committed sexual misconduct with a patient were disciplined by the state medical licensing board. The study used data from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) which is the only national repository of legally required reports subject to accuracy review concerning disciplinary actions by state medical boards or clinical peer review committees, or malpractice payments resulting from physician wrongdoing. The study had several interesting findings:
- ● Seventy percent (70%) of the physicians with a clinical-privileges or malpractice-payment report due to sexual misconduct were not disciplined by medical boards for this problem.”
- ● There were significantly more physicians aged 40 to 49 and 50 to 59 with sexual-misconduct–related reports and fewer 20- to 39-year-old physicians with sexual-misconduct–related reports than represented by those age groups in the general physician population.
- ● 12.9% of the physicians with sexual-misconduct–related reports had multiple reports of the same type.
In conclusion, the researchers “found that two-thirds of physicians with either sexual-misconduct–related clinical-privileges actions or malpractice payments—both strong forms of evidence that sexual misconduct actually occurred—were not disciplined for sexual misconduct by medical boards.”
The study called for more stringent state legislative oversight of medical boards to ensure that all physicians who have committed sexual misconduct face appropriate medical-board disciplinary actions for violating this most fundamental tenet of the physician-patient relationship.
Citation: AbuDagga A, Wolfe SM, Carome M, Oshel RE (2016) Cross-Sectional Analysis of the 1039 U.S. Physicians Reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank for Sexual Misconduct, 2003–2013. PLoS ONE 11(2): e0147800. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0147800
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