Little information exists on U.S. physicians who have been disciplined with licensure or restriction-of-clinical-privileges actions or have had malpractice payments because of sexual misconduct. Our objectives were to: (1) determine the number of these physicians and compare their age groups’ distribution with that of the general U.S. physician population; (2) compare the type of disciplinary actions taken against these physicians with actions taken against physicians disciplined for other offenses; (3) compare the characteristics and type of injury among victims of these physicians with those of victims in reports for physicians with other offenses in malpractice-payment reports; and (4) determine the percentages of physicians with clinical-privileges or malpractice-payment reports due to sexual misconduct who were not disciplined by medical boards.
Methods and Results
We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of physician reports submitted to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) from January 1, 2003, through September 30, 2013. A total of 1039 physicians had ≥ 1 sexual-misconduct–related reports. The majority (75.6%) had only licensure reports, and 90.1% were 40 or older. For victims in malpractice-payment reports, 87.4% were female, and “emotional injury only” was the predominant type of injury. We found a higher percentage of serious licensure actions and clinical-privileges revocations in sexual-misconduct–related reports than in reports for other offenses (89.0% vs 68.1%, P = < .001, and 29.3% vs 18.8%, P = .002, respectively). Seventy percent of the physicians with a clinical-privileges or malpractice-payment report due to sexual misconduct were not disciplined by medical boards for this problem.
A small number of physicians were reported to the NPDB because of sexual misconduct. It is concerning that a majority of the physicians with a clinical-privileges action or malpractice-payment report due to sexual misconduct were not disciplined by medical boards for this unethical behavior.
Below: Physicians with Sexual-Misconduct–Related NPDB Reports, 2003–2013 (Physician-Level Analysis)
Full article at: http://goo.gl/EUIYLx
Azza AbuDagga, Sidney M. Wolfe, Michael Carome
Health Research Group, Public Citizen, Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America
Robert E. Oshel
National Practitioner Data Bank (Retired), Department of Health and Human Services, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States of America
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