Former UC Health doctor accused of luring patients to home for unlicensed genital exams

The doctor faces permanent loss of his medical license as well as possible criminal charges.
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 9:55 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 17, 2023 at 7:48 AM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The Ohio Medical Board has suspended the license of a University of Cincinnati physician who allegedly conducted unlicensed examinations of patients in the bedroom of his apartment.

Dr. Rudel Saunders is a clinical instructor in internal medicine at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, the College of Medicine’s website says. He has been a licensed physician in Ohio since April 2020, according to state medical board records.

The board says it found several instances over the last year where he allegedly invited patients to his home, failed to “employ proper disrobing and draping procedures to ensure the patient’s privacy,” performed ultrasounds on their testicles and recorded the examinations without the patient’s knowledge or consent.

The board voted to suspend his medical license on Feb. 8.

Written notice to Saunders of the suspension claims the board found “clear and convincing evidence” of Ohio Revised Code violations. It says Saunders’ continued practice “presents a danger of immediate and serious harm to the public[...]”

Saunders falsely told at least five patients he had to complete “a certain number of ultrasounds” for his training program, the board said.

According to the board, one of the patients allegedly went to the apartment but ended the exam before the ultrasound could take place.

Saunders allegedly examined four patients’ testicles with his bare hands before performing the ultrasounds without the patients’ consent and “for no legitimate healthcare purpose,” the board said.

He also allegedly video-recorded three of the exams without the patients’ consent, “thereby surreptitiously invading the privacy of the patient by recording him in a state of nudity.”

Ohio Revised Code provides that licensed doctors can only practice in board-certified clinical settings, such as a medical office. Doctors are also required to practice under proper supervision and practice to a minimum standard of care, as laid out in their board-issued training certification. Saunders’ alleged exams violated all of those stipulations, the board said.

Each of the five alleged incidents constitutes a felony count of practicing medicine without a license, and the four alleged exams constitute misdemeanor voyeurism, according to the Board.

Saunders has until March 10 to request a hearing with the board where he is allowed to defend himself against the allegations with evidence and witnesses. The hearing is open to the public.

If he does not request a hearing, or upon the board’s decision following such a hearing, the board can then decide about further punishment, including a permanent suspension of Saunders’ medical license and probation. The board can also impose a civil penalty of up to $20,000 for each violation.

Saunders has not been arrested or formally charged in Hamilton County.

A UC Health spokesperson says UC Health is looking into the allegations.

Saunders declined to comment on the record when reached Wednesday night.

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