New Hampshire

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


State rating (out of 100)

  • Board composition: 70
    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: 68
    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?: 40 of 40
      Under state law, any sexual penetration by a doctor with a patient, even so-called consensual relationships, is a felony. Sexual penetration while providing therapy or medical care, or within a year after the doctor-patient relationship ends, when doctor acts in manner not professionally recognized as ethical or uses his positon to coerce the victim to submit, is aggravated felonious sexual assault.

More from New Hampshire

Highlighted case

Dr. John B. Welch

Welch was working as a doctor at a state psychiatric hospital when he was accused of sexually assaulting a 21-year-old patient while she was on a sedative, then asking her to lie to investigators.

He was sentenced to six months in jail under a 1999 expansion of sexual assault laws that prohibit any sexual contact between doctors and patients.

The medical board had suspended him in 2001 as the criminal investigation was pending. In 2004, after his conviction for felonies involving sexual misconduct and his admission to sexual intercourse with a second patient, his license was permanently revoked. He died in 2010.

Researching a doctor

Complaint process

The board can investigate anonymous complaints. State law says that complaints are forwarded to the doctors in question. If an investigation results in an offer of settlement by the doctor, the board may settle without consent of the person filing the complaint, if that person is given an opportunity to comment on the terms of the proposed settlement.

Where to file a complaint


“We have confidential letters of concern, but we don’t have the authority to require that licensee to do anything as a result of that. We can’t order a licensee to do anything without taking public action.”

—Sarah Blodgett, executive director, New Hampshire Board of Medicine.

Key fact

Any sexual intercourse by a doctor with a patient, even so-called consensual relationships, is a felony under state law. Sexual penetration while providing therapy or medical care, or within a year after the doctor-patient relationship ends, is aggravated felonious sexual assault, the law states. Also, as of 2015, the statute of limitations for most board investigations is five years from the date of the alleged violation.

  1. Click here to find your state!