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Sexual abuse is a tragic &
life-changing ordeal to go through. But it does not define the victim.

When doctors act inappropriately

We trust doctors to provide honest medical care.

Unfortunately, some doctors use their positions of authority to act inappropriately toward patients. Sometimes, that conduct involves sexual abuse.

How common is physician sexual abuse?

Starting in 2016, the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) conducted a national investigation of doctor abuse. The AJC analyzed more than 100,000 medical board documents. Between 1999 and 2015, more than 3,100 doctors in the U.S. were publicly accused of sexual misconduct by patients.

In 2016 and 2017, AJC found that more than 450 doctors appeared before medical boards or in court amid accusations of sexual misconduct.

It is important to remember that not all occurrences of physician sexual abuse are reported. So these numbers do not truly represent every case of physician abuse.

The AJC was recognized as a Pulitzer Prize finalist for its work on this issue.

How did Michigan score?

The AJC ranked each state in terms of patient safety. Overall, rating of 67/100. Michigan is rated the 8th in the nation when it comes to protecting patients.

The highest ranked state was Delaware, and the lowest ranked state was Mississippi.

High profile cases of doctor abuse

The AJC’s state rankings came out before Larry Nassar, former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics team doctor, was accused by nearly 500 females of sexual assault.

California, which was rated #3, is where Dr. George Tyndall, former University of Southern California gynecologist, was accused of sexually abusing patients over the course of 30+ years, before he was removed in 2016.

And Ohio, which was rated #10, is where Richard Strauss, former Ohio State University physician, was accused of sexually abusing hundreds of patients between 1978 and 1998.

Ensuring patient safety

Although rare, we know that doctor abuse happens. What can patients do if they are experiencing abuse by a medical provider?

First, it is important to report the conduct to the clinic or hospital. Additionally, patients in Michigan can report the conduct to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

It is advisable for patients to speak to an attorney who focuses on representing victims of sexual abuse. This conduct should be reported, to prevent further occurrences of sexual abuse. Victims may be eligible for compensation.

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