According to a lengthy AP story, medical review boards are often lenient with the doctor, treating him as a victim of a disease.
Despite the outrage of the post-Weinstein era, medical review boards haven’t changed and, according to an Associate Press investigation, they need to. Doctors found to be sexual abusers often are allowed to go on practicing. That means the medical field, which might hold an attraction to sexual predators, isn’t being guarded.
One main factor in the problem is the medical model, which treats sexual abusers as the sufferers of a sickness who need to be treated by therapy.
The first time that Dr. Anthony Bianchi came onto a patient, California’s medical board alleged, the gynecologist placed a chair against the exam room door, put his fingers into the woman’s vagina and exposed his erect penis.
The second time, the board claimed, he told a patient that he couldn’t stop staring at her breasts and recounted a dream in which he performed oral sex on her in the office.
The third time, the board charged, he told a pregnant patient suffering from vaginal bleeding that she shouldn’t shave her pubic hair before her next visit, as he was getting too excited.
These episodes led to disciplinary actions by the state’s medical board in 2012 and in 2016. Bianchi agreed not contest the charges, and he held onto his medical license. Under a settlement with California’s medical board, he agreed to seek therapy and refrain from treating women during five years of probation.
Bianchi did not respond to telephone messages from The Associated Press left for him at the workers’ compensation clinic in Fresno, California, where he now evaluates occupational health claims.
In recent months, Hollywood moguls, elite journalists and top politicians have been pushed out of their jobs or resigned their posts in the wake allegations of sexual misconduct. In contrast, the world of medicine is often more forgiving, according to an AP investigation.
When the doctors are disciplined, the punishment often consists of a short suspension paired with mandatory therapy that treats sexually abusive behavior as a symptom of an illness or addiction, the AP found.
Decades of complaints that the physician disciplinary system is too lenient on sex-abusing doctors have produced little change in the practices of state medical boards. And the #MeToo campaign and the rapid push in recent months to increase accountability for sexual misconduct in American workplaces do not appear to have sparked a movement toward changing how medical boards deal with physicians who act out sexually against patients or staffers.
The story goes on to talk about many more incidents, including the notorious doctor, Larry Nassar, who allegedly abused 150 young females before he was convicted in court. One father lost his cool in the courtroom:
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