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 Maine did on each category — and how we calculated the score for the categories.


State rating (out of 100)

  • Board composition: 65
    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: 28
    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.
    • Has the state criminalized sexual misconduct involving doctors and patients?: 16 of 40
      Psychiatrists are guilty of gross sexual assault, a Class C crime, if they engage in a sexual act or sexual contact with a person who suffers from a mental disability reasonably apparent or known. This is for current clients. Class C crimes are felonies. A psychiatrist also may be charged with unlawful sexual contact by intentionally subjecting a current patient to any sexual contact; or with unlawful sexual touching, for intentionally subjecting a current patient to sexual touching.

More from Maine

Highlighted case

Dr. Juan C. Lazaro

After the doctor’s license was revoked in Florida for inappropriate prescribing practices, he began practicing in Maine, specializing in treatment of chronic pain and substance abuse. Shortly after he began that practice, board orders show Lazaro engaged in sexual misconduct with three female patients: He told each to come to his office late in the evening with $100 cash. He then asked each to remove part or all of her clothing, asked inappropriate questions about their sexual experiences, and under the guise of practicing medicine fondled their breasts or rubbed up against or touched their genitals.

In 2005, he pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual contact with patients.

“In light of the nature of his criminal convictions for unlawful sexual contact…the Board reasonably concludes that it was Dr. Lazaro’s conscious object to touch the genitals of three female patients in order to arouse or gratify his sexual desires or in order to offend them,” the board said in revoking his license.

Lazaro also pleaded guilty to theft by deception in a case that involved a state program for low-income patients.

Numerous efforts to contact Lazaro by phone were unsuccessful.

Researching a doctor

  • Accurate records of sexual abuse accusations against doctors are not always easily accessible. In Maine, the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine and the Maine Board of Osteopathic Licensure regulate medical professionals. Actions issued by both boards can be found on the same website. 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. Maine removes deceased physicians from its listing of adverse licensing actions.

Complaint process

Anonymous complaints are investigated if there is sufficient evidence. The Board of Osteopathic Licensure complaint form advises that a copy of the complaint will be sent to the physician in question.


''[The doctor] acknowledged that the sexual relationship with Patient A was wrong and stated that he immediately wanted to self-report his conduct to the Board but was advised not to do so by a prior attorney, two counselors, and another physician."

— Statement of facts in the state board’s 2015 order placing a doctor on probation.

Key fact

The board told the Portland Press Herald in March that its informal practice is to decide each complaint on its own merits, without considering past disciplinary actions against a doctor. Critics said that can allow dangerous doctors to continue to practice.

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