By Sabriya Rice, CNN Medical Producer
Prosecutors announced Monday that a grand jury has indicted Delaware pediatrician, Dr. Earl Bradley on 471 felony counts in the alleged sexual abuse of his patients. Bradley has practiced in Lewes, Delaware, for more than 10 years, and is now facing charges which include, rape, sexual exploitation, endangering child welfare and assault.
How could this happen? Most physicians don't get involved in criminal activities, however sometimes a bad apple can fall through. According to the Federation of State Medical Boards, approximately 200 hundred of the 735,000 actively licensed doctors in the United States have been found guilty of criminal acts.
In many cases they continue to practice; in some states a license can't be revoked until a witness has testified and the physician is found guilty of the charges. Patients have no way of knowing unless they do their own research.
Parents, here are some things you can do:
1) Find out if your pediatrician has a criminal past:
To find out whether your doctor has been disciplined by a state medical board, here's a state-by-state directory of medical boards.
2) Check your pediatrician's national profile:
Some states explain why a doctor has been disciplined while others don’t, so just searching in your state might not reveal a doctor's history of problems elsewhere. You can also get a national profile on your doctor for just under $10 by searching on the Federation of State Medical Boards website.
3) Get a good recommendation
You can view the American Academy of Pediatrics’ list of recommended pediatricians on their website.