State laws target sexually abusive physicians

California will become the latest state to enact a law cracking down on physicians who engaged in sexual misconduct with a patient. The new law, which goes into effect January 2023, requires the state's medical board to permanently revoke the physician’s license. Currently, physicians can petition the medical board for reinstatement after three years.

Four other states have similar laws regarding physicians who engaged in sexual misconduct:

  • Florida prohibits physicians with any unresolved sexual misconduct or sexual assault charges against them from seeing patients. They may only practice again once the charges are resolved by the legal system.
  • Georgia has authorized its medical board to revoke or suspend the license of any physician found guilty of sexually assaulting a patient in a criminal case.
  • Tennessee has authorized its medical board to suspend a physician’s ability to prescribe controlled substances if they have been indicted for any sexual offense or controlled substance violation.  
  • West Virginia prohibits its medical board from issuing licenses to physicians who lost their licenses in other states due to engaging in sexual activity or misconduct with patients.

And while not a state law, Ohio's medical board created an administrative rule that requires licensed physicians to complete an hour of CME training about their duty to report sexual misconduct committed by colleagues. Further, physicians can permanently lose their licenses for failing to report sexual misconduct complaints.

Source: Medscape

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