Betrayed by a PediatricianBy LISA BELKIN
I read today’s news that the pediatrician Melvin Levine had agreed not to practice medicine ever again.
As a reporter who has covered his work on learning differences, I was saddened that such important books were written by such a seemingly flawed messenger.
As a parent I shuddered in the way that parents do when those we trust with our children are shown to be capable of hurting them instead.
Mostly though, I read about Dr. Levine and thought about another doctor — the pediatrician who cared for me through my entire childhood. His medical license was revoked nearly 10 years ago because patients — many of them girls I had grown up with — accused him of molesting them.
A few readers defend Levine, but most do not.
Here are a few of our favorite comments
I take as credible those who acknowledge the importance of prepubescent exams. However the reason for doing them and then not noting them on medical records makes them suspect!— Diane in PA
A couple of people defend Levine, but the majority of readers do not. Here are a few of our favorite comments from the story.
Some readers defend Levine but most do not.
Here are a few of our favorite comments:
As a resident in pediatrics at Columbia Presbyterian 1984-87, I was trained to ALWAYS have a stand-by in the room with me when examing an adolescent, male or female. Accusations can be devastating, true or not; having that extra person, parent or nurse, in the room may be a problem for privacy but protects both the vulnerable teen and provider.— SmeisterIt is irresponsible for a medical professional to perform genital exams on minors without a nurse or parent present.— FBF
I take as credible those who acknowledge the importance of prepubescent exams. However the reason for doing them and then not noting them on medical records makes them suspect!— Diane in PAMy son saw Dr. Levine at UNC during the time he was there. On his first visit Dr. Levine took him into a small room adjoining the primary office to examine him. When my son returned he had a horrified and embarrassed look on his face. I had never seen this look on his face from pediatric exams in the past. I asked him what was wrong. He said he did not like what Dr. Levine had done. I made it clear to Dr. Levine that from that time on I would be present when he saw my son. That was my son’s last exam with Dr. Levine.— Pat Bock