Over 2,000 Doctors Have Been Punished For Sexually Abusing Their Patients

by Candice Jalili

Is there a relationship built on more trust than the one you have with your doctor?

Honestly, the only one coming to mind is the one with your parents, but even then, how often do you trust your mom to check your naked body to make sure you aren't dying anytime soon? I'm going to go ahead and guess not very often.

People go to see doctors every day, and for the most part, we are lucky to have trusted, upstanding individuals help us with our health. But unfortunately, a new investigation has revealed this may not be the case for everybody.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution released its Doctors & Sex Abuse project this Wednesday. The project investigated the thousands (yes, THOUSANDS) of medical professionals who were disciplined for various forms of sexual misconduct with their patients since 1999. Unfortunately, the means of discipline were usually very light, and the cases were consistently kept very quiet.

If you're more of a numbers person, let me throw one your way right here: The investigation found at least 2,400 doctors who were publicly sanctioned by their respective licensing boards and hospitals for sexual misconduct with patients.

What sort of "sexual misconduct," you ask? The investigation cites acts ranging all the way from making sexually explicit comments to a patient to putting their mouth on a patient's genitals while treating an abdominal infection.

Rather than being sent to the police after patients filed reports, they often underwent other lesser forms of punishment such as rehabilitation programs, regular polygraph tests or an assigned chaperone for a temporary amount of time. Some doctors who were actually barred from practicing in their own states easily obtained licenses in other states.

The reporting team found that half of these sanctioned doctors are still actively practicing medicine today. Who knows how many doctors were never even sanctioned in the first place?

Citations: Explosive Investigation Finds At Least 2,400 Doctors Have Been Disciplined For Sexual Misconduct With Their Patients (Medical Daily), Doctors & Sex Abuse (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)