Connecticut

State report card

The report card for each state contains the scores it received when we evaluated it for how well it protects patients against sexually abusive doctors. The overall rating is the average of the score the state received in each category. In states with two medical boards, one for osteopathic physicians and the other for medical doctors, the overall rating is based on an average of each board’s scores.

Click on the boxes below to read how Connecticut did on each category — and how we calculated the score for the categories.

67

State rating (out of 100)

  • Board composition: 78
    Are consumer members included to balance physicians’ tendency to identify with their colleagues? More...
    A blueprint developed by The Federation of State Medical Boards recognized the importance of having independent public members on physician-dominated medical regulatory agencies. To assess the composition of disciplinary agencies, the AJC used three measures, with the most weight given to consumer representation. Top grades went to states where public members make up at least 40 percent of the board; where those members represent consumers and where neither they nor their family members have professional or financial ties to health care; and where women hold at least 40 percent of the board seats.
  • Criminal acts: 44
    Are medical regulators and law enforcement made aware of doctors’ criminal conduct? More...
    The medical profession has long recognized the power imbalance between doctors and patients. But only in recent years have states enacted three key laws to try to protect vulnerable patients from dangerous doctors. The AJC considered two of these laws the most important. Top grades went to states where physicians must undergo criminal background checks, with fingerprints, at initial license application and periodically; and where doctor-patient sexual contact has been made a criminal offense in recognition that patients cannot give meaningful consent. In addition, the AJC also rated states on whether medical boards that learn of allegations of criminal conduct must alert law enforcement.

More from Connecticut

Highlighted case

Dr. Tory Westbrook

The family physician was accused of sexually assaulting patients during exams. A prosecutor said 50 women were victims.

In court, the doctor claimed that patients had financial motives for testifying against him and that some of what he did was medically appropriate.

Westbrook was convicted in cases involving five female patients and pleaded no contest in 2014 to other charges.

He was sentenced to 14 years in prison for assaulting women from 2010 to 2012 and for Medicaid fraud, and he surrendered his medical license.

Researching a doctor

  • Accurate records of sexual abuse accusations against doctors are not always easily accessible. In Connecticut, the best chance of finding problems is to search the records offered by the Connecticut Medical Examining Board. Please note that license search results typically include all public disciplinary actions, not just those involving sexual misconduct, and can sometimes include vague language. Also, some states deal with some disciplinary issues privately; private board orders are not included.

Complaint process

Connecticut is among only a few states that require complaints to be sworn before a notary. The Department of Public Health's consumer guide to the investigation and hearing process also warns that it cannot assure full confidentiality because information a complainant provides may be disclosed under state Freedom of Information laws.

Where to file a complaint

Quoted

”[A]ll human beings make mistakes and... while talking, we could resolve problems.”

Dr. Edwin Njoku, in a phone call to the father of a patient he was accused of raping, according to court documents. Police said Njoku had sexually assaulted other patients, as well. Cleared of a rape charge, he was convicted in 2013 of sexually touching a patient and tampering with a witness and sentenced to five years in prison His license was revoked in 2012.

Key fact

When a doctor surrenders his license or agrees not to renew it in the face of a board investigation, the allegations against him are not included in board orders.

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