Tuesday, February 28, 2006


The good Dr. Reading emphasized to his patient, Ms. Blanco, that she "shouldn't tell anybody" about his conduct, according to testimony in a Florida case that stripped him of his right to practice medicine. But she told someone anyway.

The word "medicine" should probably be in quotes, because he wasn't really practicing medicine. He was really a psychiatrist. It is always jarring to recall that psychiatrists have medical degrees. The only part of a medical degree a psychiatrist needs is the right to prescribe drugs. In medical schools they are famous as the ones who couldn't cut it in real medicine. Doctors know the type. They can't hack the surgery and they go crazy trying to help someone with an actual medical problem so they retreat to the theoretical and imaginary world of psychiatry where no patient ever really improves until they stop coming to therapy and get off their drugs.

Reading chaired the psychiatry department at the University of South Florida. The first official complaint came in 2003 when a female patient complained to police that she had been molested. Although she passed her lie detector test and he failed his, the case was dropped. Then other victims began to come forward.

Still it is remarkable what it takes to pierce the veil of medical authority. An allegation of rape or sexual harassment from any reputable young woman is taken seriously in most of the world, unless the accused is a psychiatrist. To overcome the altitude of that position in the legal arena, it usually takes a series of allegations. And in the end, the penalty is usually remarkably light. In this case, Reading lost his license, and was not convicted of any crime – allowing him to keep his pension.

But it’s not over. He now faces a series of civil suits re his psychiatric abuse.

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