One woman's exhausting quest to protect patients
This is the sort of thing that I think of when folks try to assert that the answer to injustice is dealing with "bad apples" rather than reforming systems, or potentially dismantling them and beginning again because they are irredeemably corrupt. Yes, there are shitty, abusive people everywhere, but they continue to do what they do with impunity because systems protect them.
Lyz - is it acceptable for me to send this to my state rep and senator (Marion, Ia) and ask that they look into Ms. Moler's case?
Thank you for lifting the veil of secrecy and silence about this issue. I too, live in Iowa, and appreciate learning more about the place I call home and the strengths and weaknesses of the governance which exists here.
The failure of the Board is also a result of the failure of the Medical School allowing the individual into a medical program without proper vetting. At a loss to understand either entity not doing due diligence! How many others are allowed into a position of authority without background checks?
So frustrating! I was abused by a physician when I was a senior in high school. The nurse stepped out. When she returned she had asked what was wrong. I told her and you could see she was shocked. I didn’t want anybody to know because I was in for a pregnancy test. Needless to say, he stayed practicing until he retired.
Doctors, like priests, having access to the secrets of our bodies and/or our souls, have been anointed with TRUST. To assail that trust with allegations of breaching it endangers our belief systems, and our first responses are to deny them. This gives the anointed astonishing temptations to act on their most base desires. For women and children in particular, it leaves us unprotected, unbelieved, and deeply wounded.
I first considered saying that we should present these situations as attacks on public trust, which might gain more notoriety and quicker action. But then 2016 happened, and we see how much good that did. "Mr. Yada Yada, have you no shame?" Nope.
Keep at it, Ms. Molar, please! And run for election. Please. DON'T GIVE UP. Any. of. us. Ever.
This is caste, right? Protect men at all costs. We don't care about women and girls.
Thank you for amplifying her story. I hear stories like this every day, and It’s enraging that no one really listens or cares (but BOY do they want to protect kids from puberty blockers...)
Sexual predators don't stop after one incident. She was absolutely not his only victim. Has Sherri tried forming a FB page or something like it to get other victims to come forward? Strength in numbers....potential for a current criminal case(s) from other victims? Not that she should have to do that, but just thinking out loud. There have to be others. The Bill Cosbys and Harvey Weinsteins of the world weren't brought down until multiple victims came forward.
The way that abusers are continually affirmed by these boards, by the justice system, and by society is just disgusting. My heart goes out to this woman, and to everyone who has been subjected to sexual assault.
How are members of the medical board chosen? Do they receive a stipend for being on the board? Are there "term limits" for members? In other words, how partisan is the board? Is it a reflection of the current state government's ideals?
Here’s a dirty little secret about way too many licensure boards. They purport to protect the public. But, all too often, they protect their profession. It’s another “buyer beware” situation with no way for the “buyer” to access information that could literally save their life. And, in Iowa, Kim Reynolds now owns it all.
Thank you for writing about this important issue. Since the Nassar case has been out of the news, the physician sexual assault is out of the spotlight. Not enough folks realize the ways medical regulation (of grounded in self-regulation) are ineffective at addressing serious ethical violations by physicians. I reference your work here with a ProPublica piece re: Utah tort reform and a judge who threw out 94 survivors’ cases against an OB/Gyn. hhttps://alyssaburgart.substack.com/p/lax-medical-regulations-harm-patients
Medical boards seem a lot like high level security clearances in a certain way. On paper they demand very high standards (as is appropriate), can be a little vague and unsettling about mental health/substance abuse issues that reflect outdated stigma, cause people with high levels of personal integrity a bit of angst around things normal people don’t see as an issue, but at the same probably aren’t actually that great at protecting the public from harm by people with lower levels of personal integrity.
I am a retired physician and reviewed several cases for the Iowa Board of Medical Examiners. While I am in complete agreement with what is outlined in this essay, I would offer a word of hope. Another physician and myself reviewed a case of sexual impropriety, I would label it as assault, and the physician lost his license to practice because of our findings. I do not know if the victim pursued further charges, but at least in this case it was dealt with in a timely manner and the victim was the one whose words were believed. As someone who valued the integrity and trust that should exist between a physician and a patient, all of these cases make my blood boil. The system needs to change radically to prevent abusers from ever gaining entrance to the system.
Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention.