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South Med J. 1996 Oct;89(10):977-82.

A national survey of physicians' behaviors regarding sexual contact with patients.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Tex, USA.


To determine the prevalence of sexual contact between physicians and patients, we mailed a survey to a nationwide, randomized sample of 1,600 physicians, including internists, family medicine physicians, obstetrician-gynecologists, and ophthalmologists. The response rate was 52% (n = 787). Of all respondents, 4.5% reported having dated a patient and 3.4% reported having had sexual (genital-genital, oral-genital, or anal-genital) contact with a patient. Physicians older than 50 years and unmarried physicians were significantly more likely to have dated patients. No differences in dating or sexual contact according to specialty or gender were found. Physicians who reported having had sexual contact with a patient were less likely to report negative consequences of the contact than physicians who had personal knowledge of sexual contact by other physicians. These results have implications for educational interventions for physicians.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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