California Medical Board Suspends Medical License of Former PACHA Chair Scott Hitt
The Medical Board of California has suspended for 60 days the license of Dr. R. Scott Hitt, former chair of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS, who in 2002 was accused of sexually molesting two of his patients, the Los Angeles Times reports (Richardson, Los Angeles Times, 2/21). According to the state medical board's formal accusation, after a complaint was filed in August 2000, Hitt admitted to touching the genitals of one patient and "crossing a boundary" with another patient, saying that his health problems, including a colon cancer diagnosis, impaired his judgment. The medical board charged Hitt with "grossly negligent" behavior, "incompetent" medical care of the two patients and committing "dishonest and corrupt acts" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/19/02). In addition to the license suspension, which will be in effect April 7 through June 5, the state medical board also has placed Hitt on seven years of probation, during which a chaperone must be present when he consults, examines, or treats patients, according to Times. Patric Hooper, Hitt's attorney, said, "I do think the penalty was excessive in this case, but we could not convince the board to impose a lesser one." He added that Hitt is "ready to comply and put the matter behind him," the Times reports (Los Angeles Times, 2/21). Hitt, who is in remission from colon cancer, resigned in 2000 as a partner at the Pacific Oaks Medical Group in Beverly Hills and has attended a "rehabilitation and recovery program" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/19/02).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.