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Nassar’s Guilty Verdict Highlights Culture of Sexual Assault With Michigan Doctors and Michigan Licensing Board Blind Eye

January 27, 2018

Nassar’s guilty verdict, and the shocking number of victims he sexually assaulted under the guise of being a medical doctor, have taken down numerous Michigan officials, but why has no one looked at the Michigan Licensing Board that supervised his medical license? Why is it that the coaches are to blame, but the medical licensing board is exempt?

I have complained to the Michigan Medical Board in the past, as have other commenters, about doctors behaving negligently, abusively, and inappropriately, but nothing was moved forward in the investigations. The Michigan Licensing Board, in all of the instances mentioned, didn’t perform a full investigation of complaints against doctors practicing, even when third party verification of injury was available. In the report I filed, I was told that the third-party verification was “unnecessary,” and I had no way to appeal the review. In other words, someone read the report, claimed it didn’t happen, and I was told three times by the Medical Licensing Board that I couldn’t appeal.

I mentioned there was another doctor who could verify what I was reporting. I mentioned the doctor whom I was reporting had a history of substance abuse, and still, no movement on the investigation.

Here is the problem with reporting physicians in Michigan: someone has to do an actual investigation, instead of signing a form that refuses one. I have had multiple readers write to me asking about ways to get the Michigan Licensing Board to examine complaints against physicians. I could only offer my experience. Now I have to wonder if any of those people commenting were part of the group of young women who were abused by Nassar.

It’s definitely appropriate for Michigan officials who turned a blind eye or deaf ear to abuse allegations to resign, and I would also say for criminal investigations to commence for aiding and protecting a pedophile, but the medical community also doesn’t police its own. Since Michigan has set financial restrictions on medical lawsuits–namely that only those with thousands of dollars can access the courts based on a decision called Scarsella (only if a victim has about $10,000 to purchase an affidavit can an injured party even access the courts)–those who are poor, victimized, and without redress have begun to number in the hundreds because of just one man. How many more are out there?

Coupled with the problems with the Michigan Licensing Board, Michigan is a breeding ground for abusive docs, and there is no one to stop them. How many years did Nassar exploit those young athletes? How many adults heard complaints and refused to act on them? How many times did the Licensing Board hear complaints and do what it did with the others? Ignore them without an investigation and offer no appeal?

I am happy to hear of officials resigning. They should. They should also be investigated for criminal collusion, but it’s time set a record about doctors policing their own, especially when Michigan’s Licensing Board was also a party to shielding a sexual predator under the guise of their profession for over 20 years.

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