Family dentist Stratford, who lives in Houston’s upscale area, is the first to lose a job after an altercation with a female patient.
Stratford was on his way to work with his patient, who had an unresponsive stroke and was transported to a nearby hospital.
The patient, a 40-year-old woman, was later transferred to the intensive care unit at Memorial Hermann Hospital, where she remains in a critical condition.
The incident was captured on video and circulated widely on social media.
It prompted Stratford to file a report with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and then to file another one with the city of Houston.
After a lengthy investigation, Stratford was fired from his position with the family dental practice on March 10.
“This is a situation where a patient was taken to a hospital by a doctor who did not know the difference between a patient and a patient-nurse interaction,” Stratford told the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for the city told the Chronicle that the office was “aware of the video and was working with the dental staff to ensure it is handled appropriately.”
The City of Houston declined to comment further on the matter.
As news of the incident spread, Stratfield and his family took to Facebook to defend him.
“We’ve been doing dental work for more than a decade.
We are all professional and have no problem being called upon to help people in need.
It was never our intention to hurt anybody or make them feel unsafe,” Stratfords post read.
The family dentist is now a staff member at a private practice, according to the Houston News.
Read more:Family dentist resigns after video surfaces of him hitting patient and assaulting patient-carer article Dr. Robert Lippert, a family dentist who was not involved in the incident, told the New York Times that Stratford’s actions are “extremely inappropriate” and “very concerning.”
“I think we’re all in shock and I think we are all saddened by it,” Lippitt said.
“The patient had just come in with a stroke, and I don’t think she should have been in the hospital in the first place.”
The incident comes amid a growing trend in the dental industry to address sexual harassment in the workplace.
Last month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that over 1,200 cases of sexual harassment have been reported to them in 2017.
Read more at the Houston Monitor.