NEWARK – A Passaic County internist has agreed to a temporary suspension of his medical license in connection with allegations made by the Attorney General that he subjected female staff and patients to unwanted groping and sexual comments.
Dr. Alex Sarkodie, who owns a private practice in Paterson, agreed to the temporary license suspension shortly after the Attorney General filed a Complaint with the Board of Medical Examiners (“BME”), alleging the doctor had engaged in gross or repeated malpractice and professional misconduct that turned his patients and staff into “victims of sexual abuse.”
“Patients who turn to their doctors for medical care deserve to be treated with respect and professionalism, not subjected to degrading assaults by sexual predators hiding behind their medical degrees,” said Acting Attorney General Robert Lougy. “We will continue to utilize the full scope of our powers to combat doctors who abuse their privileges by preying on patients.”
According to the Complaint filed with the BME, from May 2013 to March 2016, Sarkodie engaged in an escalating pattern of sexual misconduct that included removing a 29-year-old patient’s breast from her clothing and licking it during an physical examination, inappropriately touching a medical assistant’s breast under her bra during a physical examination, slapping another female employee on the buttocks and otherwise inappropriately touching her, and making lewd and inappropriate sexual comments to two female patients and several staff members.
“Dr. Sarkodie’s alleged actions not only show a blatant disregard for the rules of medical practice, they represent a clear and imminent threat to the public,” said Steve Lee, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. “By acting quickly to temporarily suspend his license, the Board of Medical Examiners has ensured the public is protected from Dr. Sarkodie while these very serious accusations are pending.”
Under the terms of an Interim Consent Order, Sarkodie is barred from engaging in the practice of medicine and is to surrender his original license and current biennial registration to the State until further order of the BME. He is scheduled to appear before the BME on July 13 to answer the charges against him.
This investigation was conducted by the Enforcement Bureau of the Division of Consumer Affairs.
Bindi Merchant from the Division of Law is representing the State in this matter.
Patients who believe that they have been treated by a licensed health care professional in an inappropriate manner can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504- 6200.