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 Alaska did on each category — and how we calculated the score for the categories.
Dr. Clifford Merchant
In 2008, in an anonymous post on a consumer watchdog website, a person indicating she was the mother of a child sexually abused by Merchant wrote that the doctor had been reported to the Office of Children's Services.
Six years later, Merchant was arrested and charged with 33 counts related to alleged sexual abuse of four girls, ages 5 to 12, and possession of child pornography. It was alleged that the abuse took place in Merchant's home, plane and cabin. He surrendered his medical license that year.
He was jailed in 2015 in lieu of $10 million bail after an FBI informant recorded him attempting to arrange the murder of one of his victims, the Alaska Dispatch News reported. In May 2016, Merchant entered a plea agreement and will be sentenced on charges of first-degree sexual abuse, child pornography possession and for violating his conditions of release, according to the Dispatch News. As part of the plea deal he admitted to planning to hire a hit man, but no other additional charges were brought. The newspaper noted that Merchant faces up to life in prison at sentencing, which is set for August.
Merchant contacted the Journal-Constitution but declined to comment.
“You know what I want, I know what you want, and I can’t be giving you these pills for nothing.”
— Dr. Stephen W. Grandstaff, as quoted by the Court of Appeals in 2007. The court rejected his appeal of a conviction for exchanging drugs for sex with several patients. A news report says he was sentenced to 20 years in prison after a jury convicted him of 73 counts.
By state law, if civil or criminal charges are dropped when a physician voluntarily surrenders his or her license, the license cannot be reinstated.
Click here to find your state!