How common is sexual abuse by a healthcare provider?

“First, do no harm.” The modern translation of the oath written by Greek physician, Hippocrates, is still held sacred by many physicians. Unfortunately, some physicians ignore their oath and use their position to prey upon women who place their full trust in the physician. The case against USA Gymnastics physician, Dr. Larry Nasser, demonstrates how he was able to sexually assault hundreds of young women because he was a doctor — using his trusted position and the safe confines of a doctor’s exam room.

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation in 2016 identified more than 2,400 cases of doctors across the country who had sexually assaulted their patients. The investigation found that half of these physicians were still licensed to practice medicine. One pediatrician assaulted as many as 1,000 children before being sent to prison.

In West Virginia, the case against Dr. Steven Matulis brought local attention to the issue.  Matulis, a gastroenterologist at Charleston Area Medical Center, was accused of fondling the breasts and vaginas of female patients while they were under anesthesia.  Dr. Matulis was convicted of a felony and sentenced to one to five years in the state penitentiary. Upon release, he will be required to register as a sex offender.

Dr. Larry Nasser and Dr. Steven Matulis are two examples of a bigger problem: physicians sometimes use their positions to take advantage of trusting patients. If you believe that you were sexually abused by a physician, contact Preston & Salango. We have handled numerous cases of sexual misconduct by healthcare providers.


Categories: Medical Malpractice