St. Petersburg, Florida -- It should come as no surprise the Florida Board of Medicine ranks as one of the worst in the country for disciplining doctors. Last year, 10 Investigates looked at the Board's record and found it to be abysmal.

Related Story: Despite malpractice settlements, few docs lose licenses

During our investigation, 10 Investigates looked at how the Florida Board of Medicine appeared to be reluctant to discipline or pull a physician's license even in the most egregious cases.

A prime example is Dr. Gunwant Dhaliwal who we first reported fondling patients' breasts in 2007. Dhaliwal was first accused in 1999 of doing the same thing. Despite the fact several victims came forth and Dhaliwal was arrested, convicted, served time in jail, and was ordered to pay $800,000 in a civil lawsuit, the Board didn't hear his case until last year. At that time, only one member of the Board, Dr. Jason Rosenberg argued that Dhaliwal should never be allowed to practice medicine in Florida again.

Rosenberg said at Dhaliwal's hearing "He [Dhaliwal] was convicted of a crime we consider heinous we should revoke his license. Nothing else is acceptable."

When he saw his fellow board members were reluctant, Rosenberg said, "What are we telling the citizens of Florida. Your doctor fondles your breasts, gets deprived of his liberty after his day in court and now we're going to go back and let him practice. Wrong message!"

However, instead of stripping Dhaliwal of his license, the Board suspended him for six months, gave him a $10,000 fine and he is practicing once again in Pasco County under probation. The only restriction is that Dhaliwal must have a licensed female health practitioner chaperone him when he examines a female patient, and the female practitioner has to document she was there in the patient's records. Otherwise, it's business as usual for Dr. Dhaliwal and that's fine with the Board.

ID=15538533

Related Stories...