It was conducted for an appropriate clinical purpose. That's how Michael Pollock, a chiropractor, defended the breast examination that ultimately led to the suspension of his license.
Licensed to practice by the state in 1981, Pollock works as a doctor of chiropractic medicine at Advanced Alternatives in Spine and Health Care in Richmond.
According to an investigation conducted by the Virginia Board of Medicine, while treating a female patient in January 2009 Pollock began to examine her breasts, an act investigators described as “behavior that may reasonably be interpreted as intended for his sexual arousal or gratification.”
Pollock disagreed with that characterization, Virginia Department of Health Professions documents say. But he consented to terms that saw his license to practice suspended.
It wasn't the first time Pollock was accused of crossing appropriate boundaries with a patient.
In 1999, the Virginia Board of Medicine concluded an investigation into allegations that he conducted a rectal exam on a female patient that she later complained was sexual in nature. The patient also told of an incident where, during a treatment session, Pollock became sexually aroused, kissed her and began to fondle her breasts. According to Department of Health Professions documents, investigators cleared him after he presented evidence of mitigating circumstances.
Three years later, Pollock was called before the Board of Medicine again, this time to answer allegations that he had begun a consensual but “sexually intimate” relationship with a female patient, which is prohibited by state law.
Pollock admitted to starting the relationship, and the board ordered him to complete a course in professional boundaries. Pollock also agreed to comply with the board's order that a female chaperone be present whenever he examined a female patient.
Pollock's probation had been lifted by the time the latest accusations came to light, confirms the Virginia Board of Medicine's deputy director, Jennifer Deschenes. Pollock's license will remain suspended for 12 months, she says. According to state guidelines he can apply to have his license to practice reinstated as early as October.
Reached at the Advanced Alternatives offices on Old Jahnke Road, a woman who identifies herself as Pollock's wife says, “My husband is complying with the state's decision.”