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Patient sues Brigham and Women’s, former doctor over allegations of repeated sexual assault

BOSTON — One of Boston’s leading hospitals and a doctor who recently resigned are being sued by a patient who said she was repeatedly sexually assaulted under the guise of medical procedures.

Dr. Derrick Todd was a rheumatologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Charles River Medical Associates in Framingham. 5 Investigates reported last week that he’s left those jobs and voluntarily surrendered his license.

According to a state Department of Public Health record, the allegations involve complaints that Todd gave patients inappropriate breast and pelvic exams. He is a rheumatologist — a doctor who treats musculoskeletal disease and autoimmune disorders.

Mimi DiTrani, one of Todd’s former patients, came forward with details of her allegations on Tuesday. She and her attorneys said Todd “performed medically unnecessary and inappropriate vaginal and breast examinations on DiTrani who was only seeing him for a joint and skin condition.”

“I was suffering in pain, but (he was) insisting on continual gynecological exams,” she said.

DiTrani alleges that the inappropriate behaviors began with her first visit in November 2022 and continued through January 2023. In addition to the unnecessary physical examinations, DiTrani said Todd frequently called and sent text messages not related to her medical care.

“The discussions during these calls and text exchanges were designed to groom DiTrani and lead her to believe that her medical conditions required frequent office visits,” DiTrani’s legal team wrote.

“He always had an answer. He’s very charming. He’s very personable, befriends you and makes you feel he cares,” DiTrani said.

They said Todd continued to “contact and harass” DiTrani by phone and through text messages since he left the hospital and agreed to stop practicing medicine.

DiTrani filed a lawsuit against the physician and his former employers.

“I have decided to come forward because someone must. Nature has taught us there is safety in numbers. I want anyone who was harmed in the way that I was to know they are not alone, and there is nothing to fear. I want to be the voice for the voiceless and encourage them to speak. In so doing, we can ensure this does not happen again, and that the healing process can begin,” DiTrani said in a statement provided by her legal team.

Brigham and Women’s told 5 Investigates that it launched an investigation in April, immediately after it received anonymous complaints about Todd.

According to a spokesperson, the hospital ultimately decided to terminate Todd’s employment, and as a result, he resigned.

In a statement, Brigham and Women’s Hospital said it has reached out to Todd’s current and former patients to offer information and support.

“We deeply regret the harm this has caused to our patients and their families. Right now, our focus is on our patients and caring for all of their needs, with the hope of ultimately restoring their trust in health care,” Dr. Charles A. Morris, chief medical officer, said in the statement.

5 Investigates reviewed records that show just last month, Todd voluntarily surrendered his license with the state Board of Registration in Medicine.

“Over the course of his career, he has been an outstanding rheumatologist and internist,” Ingrid Martin, attorney for Todd, said in a statement. “To the extent that anyone is making a claim against him, Dr. Todd believes that he has done nothing wrong and will defend against it vigorously.”

Charles River Medical Associates provided us with a statement saying no one complained to them while Todd was working there from 2010 until July of this year.

Source: WCVB October 10 2023

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