Here is an interesting letter posted to the Oakland Tribune in May 3, 2006 by (presumably) Dr. Etta Bryant, defending William Ayres. This was posted AFTER a cival lawsuit against Ayres, which was settled and sealed, but BEFORE his criminal arrest.
I've copied it below in case they delete it:
I AM APPALLED at the harsh and damaging tone of your front-page article (Wednesday, April 26) regarding one of this county's most prominent physicians and citizens, Dr. William Ayres.
As a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist in the San Mateo County community for 32 years, I feel compelled to respond. I have known Dr. Ayres personally for over 40 years. His moral substance is impeccable.
I have had the privilege of being taught by him in my child psychiatric residency training, as have many generations of child and adolescent psychiatrists in the Bay Area and across the country.
Related Results As a colleague for over 30 years, I know his superb clinical work with disturbed and troubled adolescents. He has been a relentless advocate for excellence in all psychiatric services for children and youth, nationwide. He holds himself to those highest standards.
Dr. Ayres cannot respond to your article, but I can. Not only is he unable to respond for legal reasons, but basic tenets of psychiatric medical practice prohibit the violation of confidentiality between doctor and patient (i.e., disclosing the content of an office visit, examination, or therapy session).
So while each of the men quoted in your article reported that Dr. Ayres examined their genitalia, only one of them mentioned that it was one part of a physical examination, and a portion of the initial psychiatric and neurologic evaluation. Dr. Ayres taught and practiced in those years with the precept "You are a physician first, and a psychiatrist second."
Many child psychiatrists did perform, at that time, complete physical exams as part of the initial evaluation of their patients In fact, some child psychiatrists had their initial training in pediatrics, as did Dr. Ayres.
There are many, many adults in our community who were helped in their adolescent years by Dr. William Ayres.
These individuals may not speak up because of the stigma associated (still) with receiving psychiatric care.
I deeply regret that a more balanced account of this tragic story was not presented in your article.
Etta C. Bryant, M.D.