Approved by the Board: October 18-19, 1999 Board meeting
Service Area: Medical
Subject: Physical Examinations by Physicians
Patient complaints of sexual misconduct by physicians are the most sensitive and difficult cases the Board investigates. The incidents are rarely witnessed. Allegations of sexual misconduct are particularly difficult to prove and can lead to public humiliation for both the patient and the involved physician.
Physicians will, of course, continue to routinely perform physical examination in the course of patient care out of medical necessity and professional responsibility. In order to prevent misunderstandings and protect physicians and their patients from allegations of sexual misconduct, the following guidelines are advocated as policy by the State Medical Board:
(7) The physician must uphold the same professional standards as a medical staff member in the hospital, and as an employer in the office.