Aug 12, 2019
AP – The number of complaints against California physicians for sexual misconduct has risen 62% since fall of 2017 — a jump that coincides with the beginning of the #MeToo movement, according to a newspaper investigation published Monday.
During the fiscal year that ended in June, the board got 11,406 complaints against physicians and surgeons, the most it has ever received.
Medical boards across the country also noticed a surge in sexual misconduct complaints, according to Joe Knickrehm, spokesman for the nonprofit Federation of State Medical Boards.
Many experts link the increase to societal shifts spurred by the #MeToo movement, which encouraged victims to speak out, as well as noteworthy abuse cases involving medical professionals, the newspaper said.
Larry Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics doctor, was sentenced in 2018 to 40 to 175 years in prison for molesting young athletes.
The same year, hundreds of women came forward to accuse former longtime University of Southern California gynecologist George Tyndall of inappropriate behavior.
In June, former University of California, Los Angeles gynecologist James Heaps was charged with sexual battery and exploitation during his treatment of two patients at a university facility.
As these stories make headlines, patients have become more willing to speak up if something bothers them, said Dr. Sheryl Ross, an OB-GYN in Santa Monica.
“The days of just sitting back and having the doctor tell you what to do are gone,” she said. Read more.