A disturbing new report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has revealed that more than 2,400 doctors in the U.S. have faced sanctions for sexually abusing their patients. The wide-spread scale of the abuse was uncovered after Journal-Constitution reporters combed through news reports, state medical board records, and court files going back 16 years. Many of the doctors found guilty of abuse had been accused by large numbers of patients, typically women and girls being seen by male doctors. And in a move reminiscent of the Catholic Church attempting to rehabilitate priests found guilty of sexual abuse by moving them to new parishes, more than half of the sanctioned physicians were allowed to keep their licenses by state medical boards — even after it was officially determined that they had committed sexual abuse.
While many cases appear to have been swept under the rug, in some high-profile cases, such as that of former head of clinical research at the Mount Sinai Hospital emergency room in New York City, Dr. David Newman, criminal prosecutions are underway. Newman is alleged to have drugged and abused one of his female patients while she was in the ER. He stands accused of abusing at least three other female patients.
“One thing we found that was shocking to us is some of these doctors are the most prolific sex offenders in the country, with hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of victims,” said Carrie Teegardin, one of the reporters who broke the story. Making matters worse, the American medical establishment appears to have ignored or even concealed the scale of the problem. “It’s treated with a sort of secrecy that we don’t see in other arenas when we’re talking about allegations this serious,” Teegardin explained.
The American Medical Association has thus far declined to comment on the allegations.