Health Care

Pediatric surgeon arrested for child porn. Missouri revokes license two years later

Child sexual abuse statistics in the United States

One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
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One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

The Missouri medical board revoked the license of pediatric surgeon Guy Rosenschein last week — more than two years after he was arrested in New Mexico on child pornography charges.

Rosenschein had been licensed in Missouri since 2000 and worked in Joplin and at the University of Missouri Health Care in Columbia until 2013.

Federal agents arrested him in November 2016 after they served a search warrant at his house and found a cache of hundreds of pornographic images and videos on a USB flash drive. They also discovered a 16-year-old boy, wearing only his underwear, in Rosenschein’s bed. Rosenschein and the boy, a former patient, both said nothing sexual occurred between them.

Rosenschein’s attorneys did not return a message seeking comment.

Rosenschein is facing at least 16 lawsuits from the families of former patients who allege that he inappropriately touched or photographed their children during exams or surgeries.

Adam Funk, an attorney from the Potts Law Firm representing many of the plaintiffs, said none so far are from Missouri, but he believes there may be more people harmed by Rosenschein who have not come forward.

“We are open to discussing (it) with anybody who has been affected by him,” Funk said.

Rosenschein is still awaiting trial on felony counts of possession and distribution of child pornography. According to court records he has remained in a New Mexico federal prison since his arrest, with the judge denying motions for pre-trial release.

The New Mexico medical board revoked his license within four months of his arrest. The New York medical board revoked his license in December. A license he previously held in Arkansas had expired in 2013.

Missouri was the last state where he remained active, although his license had lapsed in 2017 because he failed to renew it.

The Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts had no comment on why the revocation took more than two years, said spokeswoman Lori Croy.

With the nation’s patchwork of state medical boards, there’s often a lag time between when doctors lose their licenses in one state and when they lose them in others, if they lose them at all.

A Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel/MedPage Today investigation last year found at least 500 physicians nationwide who had been disciplined in one state but were practicing with a clean record in another for a variety of reasons. State medical boards aren’t always aware of allegations elsewhere, and even when they are, they can still take months or even years to act.

That’s particularly a problem in metro areas that straddle two states, like Kansas City.

The Kansas medical board issued a temporary emergency suspension of Overland Park psychiatrist Brian Lahey’s license almost a year ago as it investigated several allegations against him, including that he had sex with patients. Earlier this month Lahey agreed to make that suspension indefinite rather than contest the allegations. But as of Tuesday he remained fully licensed to practice in Missouri.

Chester Stone, an Emporia doctor whose Kansas license was revoked in July for having sex with a patient, still had a license to practice in Missouri until January, when he voluntarily surrendered it.

The Federation of State Medical Boards maintains a website, DocInfo.org, allowing patients to search every state where their doctors are licensed and find out if they’ve been disciplined.

The National Practitioner Data Bank has a “continuous query” feature that allows state medical boards to automatically check for new disciplinary actions against their doctors in other states every 24 hours. But the Journal-Sentinel/MedPage Today investigation found that few states use it.

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Kansas City Star health reporter Andy Marso was part of a Pulitzer Prize-finalist team at The Star and previously won state and regional awards at the Topeka Capital-Journal and Kansas Health Institute News Service. He has written two books, including one about his near-fatal bout with meningitis.


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