Most people go to the doctor to get well – not to get sexually harassed. But a recent study found that sexual harassment by the medical profession does occur. The decade of 2003-2013 had reports of over 1,000 counts of sexual harassment, many of which were repeat offenses. The U.S. Physicians Report states that a little over 87% of victims were female, and lie in the age group of 20-39. Of the 1,000 reports, about a fourth of offenders received no punishment.
Medical malpractice and sexual misconduct/harassment are underreported because of the victim backlash, dismissal, or overall mishandling of the situation. The National Practitioner Data Bank reports that in Texas that just one physician has 22 medical malpractice suits leading in payouts, but has had no sanctions brought against him. He is by no means the only physician with many suits filed against him. They also found that 6,000 physicians in the U.S. have had disciplinary actions, but no medical board action whatsoever. In regards to sexual harassment, 12.9% of the physicians with sexual misconduct related reports were repeat offenders, with the numbers showing the habitual nature of sex crimes. With no sanctions brought against many of these repeat offenders, they are free to continue.
The studies noted that some states are better than others but listed Nevada, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee as having the worst records. While medical malpractice is a severe issue, sexual misconduct should be treated even more stringently-not less. Unlike medical malpractice, sexual harassment and misconduct is intentional, and is in no way accidental.