Doctor suspended for asking job applicant to disrobe

Dr. Craig Whitaker Johnson, a Miami Valley pediatrician whose license was suspended in 2014 for sexual misconduct, can reapply for an Ohio medical license this fall after completing courses on personal and professional ethics approved by the State Medical Board of Ohio.

Johnson’s suspension resulted from a January 2012 incident in which he asked a then 23-year-old female patient during a job interview to disrobe for a physical exam as part of her screening for a clerical position at his now closed Middletown office, where he had practiced since 1985.

The doctor is one of several the Dayton Daily News will profile Sunday in its investigation of sexual misconduct by physicians.

>>>SEXUAL ADVANCES: Huber Heights doctor accused of sexual advances toward 13 patients

In his testimony with a State Medical Board of Ohio investigator , Johnson said his suspension was the result of a misunderstanding. He said the woman misinterpreted his directions, and that he only wanted her to remove a heavy sweater so he could take her blood pressure.

But the woman, who is not identified in the transcript, testified that the doctor’s instructions were clear. She said she asked him if he wanted her to “take everything off,” and he replied, “Yes, everything” as he walked out of the exam room without offering her a gown.

The Dayton Daily News found Johnson and other doctors are sometimes referred for treatment by the state medical board as part of a sanction for sexual misconduct.

>>>EXCLUSIVE: Ohio doctors kept practicing after sexual misconduct

Between 1999 and 2015 the Ohio board received 75,584 complaints about doctors, including 1,360 that involved sexual misconduct allegations, the newspaper’s investigation found. About 17 percent of the sexual misconduct complaints resulted in disciplinary action, according to the board.

>>> COMPLETE SERIES: Find the entire AJC investigation

Ohio Medical Board officials say they refer all criminal cases to law enforcement. But when a physician’s actions “do not violate the law but are not just not appropriate,” they are referred instead to mandatory therapy or “a personal/professional boundaries and ethics course,” said Tessie Pollock, a spokeswoman for the state medical board.

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