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Physician Sexual Misconduct

Edited by Joseph D. Bloom, M.D., Carol C. Nadelson, M.D., and Malkah T. Notman, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-0-88048-706-1
  • Item #8706

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At long last, a book devoted exclusively to the dilemma of physician sexual misconduct. Physician Sexual Misconduct results from years of work with physicians guilty of sexual misconduct and the patients they mistreated.

With this comprehensive reference tool, users will come miles closer to understanding and preventing incidents of this unprofessional behavior. It provides insight into all of the dimensions associated with this terrible occurrence: legal, ethical, administrative, educational and rehabilitative, including

  • Civil and criminal laws governing sexual misconduct
  • Problems associated with insurance coverage of sexual misconduct
  • The American Psychiatric Association's and American Medical Association's policies addressing this issue
  • The Medical Boards' role in policing the problem
  • Models for rehabilitation of physician-offenders
  • A sample outline for teaching medical students about the ethical problem of physician sexual misconduct

With this resource available, no health professional need feel uninformed about the problem of sexually abusive practitioners.


  • Foreword.

    Section I: Forensic Issues.

    Issues in civil sexual misconduct litigation. There oughta be a law: criminalization of psychotherapist-patient sex as a social policy dilemma. Insurance coverage for undue familiarity: law, policy, and economic reality.

    Section II: Ethical and Regulatory Issues.

    Sexual misconduct, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Medical Association: ethics and practice. Sexual misconduct and boards of medical examiners. Sexual misconduct: the Canadian experience.

    Section III: Physician Education.

    Prevention of sexual misconduct at the medical school, residency, and practitioner levels.

    Section IV: Therapeutic and Rehabilitative Issues.

    Sexual misconduct and the victim/survivor: a look from the inside out. Psychodynamic approaches to physician sexual misconduct. Cognitive-behavioral treatment of sexual misconduct. Psychotherapy with patients who have had sexual relations with a previous therapist. Index.

About the Authors

Joseph D. Bloom, M.D., is Dean of the School of Medicine and Professor of Psychiatry at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon.

Carol C. Nadelson, M.D., is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Partners Office for Women's Careers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

Malkah T. Notman, M.D., is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Cambridge Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The editors are to be congratulated on selecting an outstanding group of experts whose contributions are unusually even and excellent. Many chapters include vivid case vignettes. References are well selected and timely. . . the book's organization makes it 'user friendly' as a reference. This well-crafted volume should be basic reading for training directors, physicians responsible for impaired doctors, and forensic psychiatrists. Physician Sexual Misconduct is an ideal resource to start research on any aspect of the topic and, therefore, belongs in all medical school and residency libraries. In addition, Physician Sexual Misconduct is a well-written, informative, and stimulating read for any psychiatrist who has thought about this psychiatric occupational hazard, so damaging to patient, doctor, and our professional image.—David W. Preven, M.D., American Journal of Psychotherapy

Physician Sexual Misconduct is an excellent collection of articles that examines sexual abuse by medical and mental health professionals. The articles, grouped by subject matter, cover virtually all the relevant issues. . . . This collection synthesizes the insights, experience and research of a diverse group of professionals and victims/survivors into a highly useful and readable work on a complicated subject.—Psychiatric Times

In Physician Sexual Misconduct, Bloom, Nadelson, and Notman give a clear-eyed and nuanced account of physician sexual exploitation. Ethical, legal, educational, and therapeutic quandaries brought on by erotic boundary violations are dissected with unflinching objectivity and uncompromising commitment to patient well-being. It is hard to imagine a person in a position of medical authority who does not need to read—and heed—this remarkable book.—John Monahan, Ph.D., Doherty Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology and Law, School of Law, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Physician sexual misconduct exploits patients and undermines trust in the medical profession. This excellent volume helps us to understand why misconduct occurs and how we can help both perpetrators and victims. As we struggle to prevent sexual misconduct in the future, the wisdom contained in this book will be an invaluable guide.—Paul S. Appelbaum, M.D., Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, A.F. Zeleznik Professor of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts, Worcester, Massachusetts

I believe that this book is well worth reading by psychiatrists, ethics committee and licensing board member, psychiatric residents, and all those whose work impinges on the inormation it contains.—The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

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