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 Rhode Island did on each category — and how we calculated the score for the categories.
Nineteen women and girls accused Shetty of sexual assault, according to a news report, but the pediatric neurologist was convicted of only three misdemeanors and acquitted of 15 felony charges. He received a two-year suspended sentence.
In one case it was alleged that Shetty had sexually abused a patient for 10 years, beginning when she was 13. She committed suicide in 1999, at age 23. He was not charged in that case because the statute of limitations had expired.
As police were investigating that case, they found more patients who said they had been molested. The misdemeanor convictions involved two former patients who testified Shetty had inappropriately touched their breasts.
During the trial, the judge shielded jurors from hearing testimony that Shetty had allegedly sexually assaulted two former patients he had taken to his home, according to a news report.
Shetty, who also was licensed in Massachusetts, had his Rhode Island license suspended in 2000.
Shetty has not yet responded to a request for comment.
“We have an entire community of professionals who have gone through a decade and a half of education and training," and yet they "are really being treated with a heavy hand by the [board] and almost – this word is not mine – a sort of ‘witch hunt.'”
— Rhode Island state Rep. Michael Chippendale, who called for creation of a commission to study doctor discipline, as quoted in the Providence Journal.
After doctors complained that the state board is too zealous, a special state House commission was created in 2015 to study its practices. A report released this year recommends, among other things: limiting the board’s subpoena powers; placing deadlines on complaint proceedings; taking license revocation off the table in negotiations with doctors; and ensuring that doctors are reviewed by at least one peer within their specialty.
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