Utah

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

47

State rating (out of 100)

  • Board composition: 50
    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: 36
    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
      Therapeutic deception is a crime. This applies to any licensed health professional who provides professional physical or mental health services, diagnosis, treatment or counseling and who under the guise of providing services commits sexual contact and the victim reasonably believed the act was for medically or professionally appropriate diagnosis, counseling or treatment. This law applies to those under age 18.

More from Utah

Highlighted case

Dr. Larry Glen Andrew

In August 2007, the fertility specialist pleaded no contest to eight misdemeanor charges of sexual battery for “intentionally touching the genitals of other people, patients and staff” between 2002 and 2005, “knowing or having should [have] known that the conduct would likely cause affront or alarm to the persons touched.”

According to news reports, he originally faced 21 felony counts of sexual abuse after being accused of performing lewd acts or performing lewd acts in the presence of patients or staff.

Following Andrew’s plea, the board in September 2007 stayed revocation of his license and ordered him to undergo a psychological evaluation. Then in October 2007, it issued an order allowing him to return to practice if he took a sexual boundaries course, used a chaperone and met other conditions.

In 2009, with his criminal probation completed, he was allowed to return to the practice of infertility medicine under new conditions set by the board.

In 2012, the board lifted probation. Andrew, who still is actively licensed, has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Researching a doctor

  • Accurate records of sexual abuse accusations against doctors are not always easily accessible. In Utah, the Utah Physicians Licensing Board and the Utah Osteopathic Physician and Surgeon's Licensing Board regulate medical professionals. Actions issued by both boards can be found on the same website, and offers the best chance at finding problems. 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

The website page about filing a complaint warns that misrepresenting, misstating or omitting information in a complaint can result in a penalty of up to a year in jail. The complaint form also asks if the person filing it has first spoken to the doctor in question and whether a lawsuit has been filed. However, anonymous complaints are accepted. They are filed with the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.

Where to file a complaint

Quoted

“He was one of the smartest doctors I have ever known. He knew he was innocent, and he and I spent hundreds of hours together. He was in constant turmoil over the whole thing.”

–Kenneth Lyon, attorney for Dr. Raymond L. Bedell -- who died in 2014 amid an appeal over a 2007 sexual battery conviction – as quoted by the Herald Journal of Logan, Utah. A former patient accused Bedell of groping her in 2003. Bedell was allowed to continue practicing, so long as he had a chaperone with female patients and they were properly gowned. In 2010 an administrative law judge suspended his license, but a few months later, he was allowed to practice under restrictions. Those were lifted in 2012. Bedell told the Herald Journal in 2008: “I’ll never be able to undo this ... my career is destroyed.”

Key fact

State law doesn’t prohibit registered sex offenders from having doctor licenses. Utah in 2016 re-licensed a doctor who is a registered sex offender, having been convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor in 2012.

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