A California medical clinic serving uninsured and indigent patients announced on October 23, 2014 that it had suspended a doctor’s privilege to practice at the clinic after allegations arose that the doctor had taken sexually inappropriate photographs of patients at the clinic. The allegations against the 67-year-old endocrinologist first came to light in July 2014, when a former patient filed a complaint against the doctor with the Medical Board of California.
The woman alleged that she visited the clinic in January 2014 for stomach pains. The doctor asked her to undress and lie on the examining table. According to the woman’s complaint, the doctor inserted his finger into the woman’s vagina twice during the examination. She got up from the examining table and tried to cover herself. The doctor placed the woman’s arms by her side and then took five photographs of her, according to the complaint.
A search warrant executed in July 2014 turned up more than 1,300 inappropriate photographs on the doctor’s cellphone of women who were fully nude or partially nude. According to the attorney who represents the original complainant, similar allegations against the doctor have been made by more than a dozen patients that covers a period of twenty years.
The complainant’s attorney stated, “These victims were particularly vulnerable since they needed medical care and had nowhere else to go. It is particularly egregious that [the doctor] took advantage both of these women and of the facility, which serves a desperately unmet need. They trusted their doctor.”
The doctor, who has practiced medicine for more than forty years, has not been arrested and still holds a valid medical license in California. The doctor also teaches at the University of California at San Diego but does not see patients in that capacity.
According to the official records maintained by California as of October 27, 2014, the doctor had no public record of administrative disciplinary actions, court orders, misdemeanor convictions, felony convictions, malpractice judgments, hospital disciplinary actions, public reprimands, administrative citations, administrative actions, or arbitration awards against him.
Breach of trust is a common theme in medical malpractice cases. We trust our doctors and other medical providers to have our best interest as the driving force behind their decisions and care, and that they will not engage in self-dealing (such as ordering unnecessary medical tests from which they make a profit or providing unneeded treatment so that they can recover unjustified reimbursement from our health insurance) or suggest risky treatment options for reasons other than what is best for our health.
If you or a loved one were injured due to medical malpractice in California or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a California medical malpractice lawyer or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your medical negligence claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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