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Georgia House wants sexual misconduct training for doctors

February 26, 2021 GMT

ATLANTA (AP) — Doctors in Georgia could soon be required to undergo sexual misconduct training under a bill that passed the state House on Friday.

House Bill 458 would require that physicians and dentists undergo a one-time training on sexual misconduct that lasts at least three hours. The bill would also require that medical schools build sexual misconduct training into their curriculum.

It passed 131-27 and heads to the Senate for more work.

Rep. Sharon Cooper, a Republican from Marietta, said that the bill was brought to her by the Georgia Composite Medical Board, which licenses physicians in the state.

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“This bill was brought to me by the medical board because they realize that times have changed and that members really need to be updated about sexual boundaries and sexual misconduct and sexual exploitation of patients,” Cooper said.

The proposal would also put into law that the board can suspend the medical license of someone under investigation when their behavior puts patients at risk. Cooper said that had already been the practice but that it was not spelled out in law.

The medical board would also be required to submit a report to the governor and General Assembly showing any actions or investigations taken against doctors accused of sexual misconduct.