When abuse of power happens with doctors you trust, you may worry where to turn. 

This phenomenon can cause you to feel hesitant about reporting any incidents that do occur. 

Breach of trust

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, sexual abuse and unwanted advances often paralyze patients. When someone goes in for a medical exam, he or she is often talking about or getting advice for personal, sensitive issues. When a doctor takes advantage of that situation, you may initially feel confused. 

It may be tough to know what to do in the moment, since it can be unclear whether the action was a necessity for medical help or an invasion of privacy. Issues can also arise from the power imbalance between a medical professional and someone who needs advice. Since you are reliant on them for knowledge, you may feel the need to trust them even if you do not wish to continue with a procedure. 

Reporting and resources

Some states allow doctors to petition for reinstatement after a certain number of years even if they do lose their licenses. Smaller problems may go unnoticed, due to the prestigious title of the job and any hesitancy from patients to speak out. If people assume sexual abuse from doctors is rare, it leads them to not report cases out of worry they are overreacting. 

The lack of available medical professionals in a certain area may also mean you continue to see a doctor who abused you. In cases where medical professionals are scarce in a certain area, many keep quiet out of fear of depriving others or themselves of a doctor. Legal intervention may help to prevent further issues. 

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