Richard Keller, a pediatrician at Boston Children's Hospital, was arrested this morning for allegedly keeping a stash of photos and videos of child pornography. There are three words we hate seeing together in the same sentence: Pediatrician and child pornography! Oh, I feel for every one of the parents whose children he ever treated.
It's a big relief to know that the 500 or so photos and up to 100 videos depicting nude underage boys aren't of any of his patients -- that we know of so far. And no incidents have been reported between him and any of his patients. So at least he's not the Sandusky of pediatrics. Not completely, anyway.
Going by what the police have found so far, it looks like Keller's perverse interest in boys goes back decades. So what was he doing in pediatrics?
Until just a year ago, Keller was the medical director at the prominent boarding school Phillips Academy (in fact, he allegedly had some of the photos and videos delivered to him there!). This had one Gawker reader debating whether Keller chose pediatrics because he had an unhealthy attraction to young boys -- or if his longtime exposure to boys created an unhealthy attraction to young boys. Which came first? (Phillips Academy is known as a boys' school, but actually it went co-ed in 1973.)
Really -- working with young boys is going to turn you into a pervert? I know we're all feeling a little skittish after Sandusky, but let's get off the crazy train here. If working with kids turned people into pedophiles, we'd have to give up on teaching and all the other kid-related services. Of course it doesn't!
And of course, most people who decide to become pediatricians aren't in it because they're creeps. I think it's important to remind ourselves of this. No one can explain Richard Keller. If the allegations are true, that means he's all sorts of sick in the head. But I really think he's the exception.
And as much as we wonder about gynecologists and urologists, same goes for them, too. (Although, there is also this week's story about a gynecologist who sexually assaulted his patient.) The vast majority of people who decide to become ladyparts and manparts doctors aren't in it for the cheap thrills. They're respectable professionals who chose their professions for a wide variety of diverse reasons. So no second-guessing the next time you take your child to the doctor.
Does this story make you nervous about your pediatrician?
Image via NECN