July 8, 2010 in City

Spokane doctor accused of misconduct

Female patients say physician inappropriately touched them
By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Washington state medical investigators accused a former Spokane doctor of sexual misconduct after three female patients complained.

Dr. Chandra Reddy, who had practiced at the Community Health Association of Spokane clinic in Spokane Valley, left last year. He has moved to Wisconsin.

One patient told investigators that Reddy didn’t refer her to appropriate treatment for drug addiction after she became pregnant, and also alleged Reddy had often fondled her breasts and touched her buttocks in a sexual way.

A second patient complained that during an appointment to discuss entering the Suboxone program for treating drug addiction, Reddy inappropriately touched her breast.

And a third patient made similar accusations after going to Reddy seeking treatment for abnormal calcium levels in her blood.

The charges of sexual misconduct have been filed administratively with the commission. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for next year.

Mike Farrell, a supervising attorney with the state Medical Quality Assurance Commission, said the investigation remains open in case other misconduct claims are made. The accusations were made independently, he said.

Reddy received his license to practice medicine in Washington in December 2003. It remains active and investigators have not recommended it be revoked or suspended.

Such complaints against doctors are not unusual, however the accusations can be difficult to prove.

The Medical Quality Assurance Commission’s staff routinely reviews complaints to ascertain whether a violation has occurred.

“There have been many fine doctors who have been wrongly accused of sexual misconduct,” Farrell said.

Doctors are trained to tell patients what they are doing during an examination and why – especially when patients are disrobed and vulnerable.

“Unfortunately some don’t and problems arise,” he said.

It is rare, he said, for doctors to have charges filed against them.

The commission has a duty to protect the public and patients, but it remains mindful of the consequences such allegations can have on a doctor’s reputation and career, he said.

CHAS administrators said they could not comment on Reddy’s departure and did not know of his whereabouts.

Spokeswoman Paola Cherzad said the clinic was cooperating with the state’s investigation.

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