ATLANTA (AP) — A newspaper investigation shows doctors who engage in sexual misconduct with patients are routinely treated as having "impairment" issues and may not be reported to law enforcement.
In the latest installment of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's series "Doctors & Sex Abuse," the newspaper details how some doctors with egregious violations were able to participate in treatment programs and return to practice, while others quietly retired without facing police scrutiny.
As a result, the physicians avoided criminal charges.
Therapists who run the programs say physicians who sexually abuse patients can be safely returned to practice if they meet certain standards and are subject to intervention and monitoring.
But some patients who have experienced sexual abuse by doctors are skeptical.
The newspaper's investigation found more than 3,100 doctors were publicly disciplined since Jan. 1, 1999, after being accused of sexual infractions.