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


State rating (out of 100)

  • Board composition: 75
    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.
  • Discipline laws: 65
    Do state laws strengthen oversight and discipline of problem physicians? More...
    Abusive physicians can be protected by laws that limit regulators’ ability to investigate cases and don’t require permanent revocation of doctor licenses for egregious offenses. To assess the legal environment for doctor discipline, the AJC examined four key laws. Top grades went to states that require permanent revocation of doctor licenses for some violations; where physicians who have been convicted of felonies or who have lost their licenses in other states cannot be licensed; where medical regulators are entitled to records and other proceedings of hospital peer review committees that examine doctor misconduct; and where there is a reasonable standard of proof required for disciplinary action against physicians, especially in sexual misconduct cases where there may be no independent witnesses.

More from Illinois

Highlighted case

Dr. Charles S. DeHaan

DeHaan was charged in 2014 with sexually assaulting a bedridden patient for years, and prosecutors say he assaulted more than a dozen other elderly or disabled patients of his home-visit business.

According to a news report, a woman he was treating for anxiety disorder alleged that he assaulted her and that she cried during his assaults and pleaded for him to stop, but he told her that no one would believe her because he was a reputable doctor and she had psychiatric issues.

Another patient alleges in a lawsuit that DeHaan manipulated her by threatening to withhold her prescription medicines and have her Social Security revoked.

Complaints and police reports were made as early as 2009, but the state regulatory board didn’t act until January 2014, temporarily suspending his license.

In 2015, more criminal charges were filed involving criminal sexual abuse of patients. DeHaan pleaded guilty in March to federal charges of health care fraud. The sexual assault case is still pending.

Efforts to reach DeHaan for comment have been unsuccessful.

Researching a doctor

  • Accurate records of sexual abuse accusations against doctors are not always easily accessible. In Illinois, the best chance of finding problems is to search the records offered by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. 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

Anonymous complaints are investigated. No information about the investigation process is readily available on the website of the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation.

Where to file a complaint


“The sexual assault, itself, was not medical care…”

—The Illinois Supreme Court in a 2011 ruling dismissing a lawsuit against a hospital. A patient said the hospital negligently supervised a doctor who she said committed a deviant act against her while she was hospitalized. The court ruled that she sued too late, rejecting her argument that her case arose out of patient care, which allows for more time to sue.

Key fact

Illinois doesn’t post board orders online. Instead, the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation provides only short descriptions for actions of the past 10 years. Older information is removed from the website.

  1. Click here to find your state!