Lois Norder, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Documents concerning doctors in every state accused of sexual misconduct are now being made available to journalists and other researchers by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The newspaper has created a data portal to share the information, which it gathered in its recent investigation "Doctors & Sex Abuse." That includes public medical disciplinary orders from every state, as well as court records and other documents.
Most of the documents were obtained by scraping medical board websites, and the AJC notes that some websites didn’t include every document on a physician and that scraping may not have obtained every order posted. Those are important caveats to keep in mind.
But the catalog of cases could allow journalists to examine their state’s handling of sexual misconduct cases and identify doctors allowed to continue practice after findings that they abused patients. Documents can be searched by state, by doctor name, or by certain words in the text.
The portal is at http://ajc-data-share.herokuapp.com/
Journalists must agree to ground rules before being granted access. The AJC is requesting that those who use the information for stories also link from their coverage to the doctors.ajc.com website.
More information about individual states and their handling of abuse cases can be found at doctors.ajc.com/states/
That site includes each state’s rating on patient protection laws and other state highlights.