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Issue Number 54

Summer 2012
Arkansas State Medical Board
1401 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 340
Little Rock, AR 72201-2936
Maintaining Appropriate Boundaries

The doctor-patient relationship is very special in our society. Crossing a boundary violates the trust of both the individual and society as a whole. The Arkansas Medical Practices Act consists of rules and regulations that physicians MUST know. Pleading ignorance at the time of a disciplinary hearing is an insufficient defense and will not save your license and/or medical career. The physician is always held responsible in situations related to sexual misconduct. As a physician, you are responsible for your behavior at all times. There are no consensual sexual relationships with patients or employees. In general, anyone “whose destiny is in your hands” cannot consent to a sexual relationship!

The consequences for crossing sexual boundaries in the practice of medicine can result in suspension or loss of your medical license, affecting your job/career and relationships. The Arkansas State Medical Board's mission is to help protect patients and the public at large. It is our duty to investigate any complaints of sexual misconduct. An investigation will be conducted in order to substantiate the complaint and then collect sufficient information concerning the complaint. If there is evidence to support the complaint, the Board can and will exercise its authority to act appropriately to protect the individual and the greater public.


Regulation 2.7 Prohibited Conduct:

A licensed physician engaging in sexual contact, sexual relations or a romantic relationship with a patient concurrent with the physician-patient relationship; or a licensed physician engaging in the same conduct with a former patient, if the physician uses or exploits trust, knowledge, emotions or influence derived from

the previous professional relationship, shows a lack of fidelity of professional duties and immoral conduct, thus exhibiting gross negligence and ignorant malpractice. A patient's consent to, initiation of, or participation in a sexual relationship or conduct with a physician does not change the nature of the conduct nor the prohibition.

Regulation 32 (In part)

Pursuant to Act 1178 of the 87th General Assembly, the Arkansas State Medical Board determines that the following conduct is an ethical violation:

A. A licensed physician engaging in sexual contact, sexual relations or a romantic relationship with a patient concurrent with the physician-patient relationship; or a

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Maintaining Appropriate Boundaries
New Board Member
Board Member Passes Away
Board Actions
Board Meeting Dates
Allied Healthcare Meetings
Committee Member Receives Honor
Hospital Reporting Requirements
Reporting Privilege Resignations ...