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Spokane physician suspended for lifting up patient's shirt, making jokes about her appearance

Thomas J. Osten reportedly raised a patient's shirt without her permission and made inappropriate jokes and comments about her marital status and appearance.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane physician Thomas J. Osten has been suspended indefinitely from practicing medicine in Washington state for alleged inappropriate conduct with a patient.

The Washington Medical Commission stated that Osten reportedly raised a patient's shirt without her permission and made inappropriate jokes and comments about her marital status and appearance. According to a statement from the commission, his license was suspended on Aug. 30, 2022.

Documents from the commission state the incident occurred in April 2021 when the patient arrived at Osten's exam room with cold and flu symptoms. During his exam, Osten raised the patient's shirt without her permission to listen to her heart and lungs. 

Later, the doctor reportedly made an inappropriate joke related to the patient's future travel plans abroad and her marital status with her partner. Documents went on to state that Osten made a comment that the patient was thin like his wife, which made the patient uncomfortable.

The commission said Osten was granted a hearing but refused to respond unless his hearing was in person. The doctor was informed that a default order could be issued if he did not participate. Osten then reportedly failed to appear at the pre-hearing conference. The presiding officer entered an order of default based on Osten's failure to appear.

Osten was subject to a prior hearing in March 2021 regarding similar allegations from three separate female patients. This was less than two months before the doctor's most recent allegation of unprofessional conduct that suspended his license.

Ultimately, the commission found that Osten committed unprofessional conduct involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, corruption, sexual misconduct and abuse.

   

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