All physicians are aware that they can never become sexually involved with their patients. However, what about relatives of their patients? The answer is “no”. OPMC will investigate any physician who is reported to having had sexual behavior with members of a patient’s family. This behavior most often occurs when the family member is the parent of a pediatric patient. Remember, the parent is also the guardian of the child and therefore any inappropriate sexual contact with her might well be punished by OPMC. The extent of the punishment will depend on several factors. Was a child in the room when the contact took place? Was the contact in the office? Does the physician have a history of having sexual contact with a series of parents?
You should not think that you will never be discovered. If you think about it, you will understand that romantic relationships sometimes end with one party being very angry. Since your medical license is so important to you, it is the perfect place to attack if someone wishes to inflict the maximum damage on you. Also, please note that it might not be a jilted parent who contacts OPMC, it might well be a very angry spouse or ex-spouse who would like to savor revenge.
When OPMC investigates issues such as these they obtain their initial knowledge from the person who files the complaint. That person will probably turn over to OPMC any and all incriminating evidence that is available. This will include, all emails, with photos if they exist, text messages, tape recordings, letters, presents given by you, etc. This evidence will be impossible to refute and if you try to do so at an interview, OPMC will brand you as a liar. Things will not go well for you from that point on.
So, please keep your distance from your patients and their families. Even seemingly innocent contacts might be interpreted as being an attempt to lure someone into an inappropriate relationship. You do not want OPMC investigating you regarding these issues. The mere possibility that you will be brought up on charges will be enough to give you an enormous amount of stress and could endanger your own family situation as your spouse will no doubt look at you with a skeptical eye. You really do not need any this in your life.
This informational video was brought to you by Paul E. Walker, an experienced New York Health Care Professional Defense Lawyer.