51 Doctors Convicted of Felonies This Week Alone. Here’s Just One

Dr Arturo Vargas

A city of Montebello California physician has been found guilty of Sexual Assault of two patients, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office today.

Doctor Arturo Vargas, age 44, who has been out on bail, had been arrested on 23 charges of molesting eight different female patients over a five-year span that started in 2007.

Vargas, who was arrested on January 2, 2012, was charged with multiple counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object; sexual battery by fraud and sexual exploitation by a physician.

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“THE SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, ISSUED AN ORDER IN THE PEOPLE OF CALIFORNIA VS. ARTURO VARGAS. DR. VARGAS CANNOT SEE FEMALE PATIENTS WHILE THIS CASE IS PENDING.”

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Montebello detectives began investigating Vargas after a female patient he treated at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Offices, 1550 Town Center Drive in Montebello, reported being molested by him during a medical exam in July, 2011.

When word of Vargas’ arrest became public, seven other women came forward to report similar assaults by Vargas, according to Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Martha Carrillo.

Vargas, who was employed by Kaiser Permanente, was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Curtis Rappe to a five-year state prison term and must register as a sex offender.

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Our Observations:

One of the more exasperating aspects of physician misbehavior is the shoulder-shrug posture in which the state medical boards handle – or, more accurately, refuse to handle – what the public needs to know.

Here’s a jaw-dropping example, in just this case alone. Evidence of this character’s predator tendencies has been known for more than 3 years. So what would potential patients see if they checked up on him on one of the most respected physician-check websites? Take a look:

http://www.healthgrades.com/physician/dr-arturo-vargas-yp38q

Potential Vargas’ patients will find:

  • No sanctions history found for the years that Healthgrades collects data
  • No state medical board actions found for the years that Healthgrades collects data
  • No malpractice history found for California

Then there is the inane California State Medical Board members, who have the unmitigated nerve to yammer this Mission Statement front & center on their website:

“The mission of the Medical Board of California is to protect health care consumers through the proper licensing and regulation of physicians and surgeons . . . .”

Riiiiiiiight. That’s their “mission.”

The reality is, NO profession in America commits more crime; steals more money; injures and kills more citizens; and the subsequently evades more appropriate discipline, than physicians.

But for God sakes, watch out for the measles ghost.

Boo!

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5 thoughts on “51 Doctors Convicted of Felonies This Week Alone. Here’s Just One

  1. Charles says:

    Why is it that doctors sexually assault women at a way higher rate than the general male population?

    • Charles –

      Excellent observation. We can only guess at the reason, and our guesses are these:

      1. An outsized sense of entitlement. When a physician walks into the room, the typical non-doctor stops thinking. The typical person – in our estimation – simply assumes an MD is far smarter than they are. And doctors recognize this at a very young age – even when, as students, they happen to say, “I’m in med school,” they can see the awe on people’s faces. It doesn’t take long before they start believing they are indeed special, and they have the “right” to do pretty much anything they want.

      According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, 250,000 physicians have stepped into deep doo-doo over the last 30 years. And a jaw-dropping number of that total are for felony sexual assault.

      2. Opportunity. Doctors undress people for a living. Although you will never hear it mentioned, the fact is, there is a very high “voyeur impulse” in medicine, especially among males. It is a significant reason why some get into the business in the first place. We discuss just this subject in “The Paramedic Heretic.”

      Thank you so much for being a reader.

      • Ron Slade Sr. says:

        As an old friend and anesthesiologist once told me. “If you place people in a position where they can take advantage of others, they will.”

  2. Charles says:

    Here’s some rough “back of the envelope” figuring I did a few years ago that puts it in perspective:

    Various reliable studies indicate that about 1 in 10 doctors own up to committing sexual misconduct.

    At any given moment, according the the U.S. Dept. of Justice, some 200,000 men are incarcerated, or on parole or probation for offenses that fall under the broad category of “sex crimes”. Bear in mind this includes everything from violent rape to exposing oneself, to hiring a prostitute. Now let us suppose (and this is just a guess on my part) that there are an additional 200,000 men who are guilty of a sex crime but have never been caught, or have been released from prison, etc. The adult male populaton of the U.S. is about 100,000,000. So, there is only a .004 chance (1 in 250) that an average man is a sex offender. Why does physician sex offense occur at a rate (1 in 10) 25 times greater than the average male population, and more importantly, why is it tolerated?

    Here’s another way to look at it: the largest school in the large city where I live employs just over 7,000 teachers. Do you think there would be any outrage if 700 of those teachers admitted to sexual misconduct with their students>

    • Great point. And one of the more exasperating aspects of physician misbehavior is the shoulder-shrug way in which the state medical boards handle – or, more accurate refuse to handle – what the public needs to know. Here’s a jaw-dropping example, in the Arturo Vargas case. Evidence of this character’s predator tendencies has been known for more than 3 years. So what would potential patients see if they checked up on him on the California State medical Board website?
      Take a look: https://www.breeze.ca.gov/datamart/detailsCADCA.do?anchor=restore

      Fascinating, when they have the nerve to have this Mission Statement front & center on their website:

      “The mission of the Medical Board of California is to protect health care consumers through the proper licensing and regulation of physicians and surgeons . . . .”

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