Great Neck oncologist faces sexual abuse charges

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Dr. Dwight De Risi faces charges of sexual abuse of a patient. (Photo from Long Island Breast Care)
Dr. Dwight De Risi faces charges of sexual abuse of a patient. (Photo from Long Island Breast Care)

A Great Neck surgical oncologist and professor was arraigned on two misdemeanor charges of sexual misconduct on Tuesday.

Dr. Dwight De Risi, 70, a breast surgeon in private practice at Long Island Breast Care in Great Neck and a clinical assistant professor at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, had been arrested on June 21.

He now faces charges of forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third degree, according to court records, which allegedly took place at his practice.

Miriam Sholder, a spokeswoman for Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, said no further information could be shared “due to the nature of the charges.”

Nassau District Court Judge William Hohouser released De Risi after he promised in writing to return to court for all proceedings and issued a stay-away order of protection, which was signed on behalf of the unnamed victim.

Joseph Conway, De Risi’s Mineola-based defense attorney, described his client as a “well-known and highly respected breast cancer surgeon” who has served over 30,000 patients for four decades facing “unfounded” and “completely frivolous” charges.

“Today’s charges, brought after zero investigation, are unfounded and completely frivolous,” Conway said in an emailed statement. “We will begin the process of bringing the true facts to Law Enforcement immediately, and vindicating Dr. De Risi’s impeccable reputation.”

“Among those facts will be an eye-witness to the events, who completely contradicts any allegations of wrong-doing by Dr. De Risi,” the statement concluded.

Terry Lynam, a spokesman for Northwell Health, said De Risi is not employed by the health network but that he has an academic appointment and admitting privileges in three of its hospitals: North Shore University Hospital, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, and Glen Cove Hospital.

When asked if De Risi could possibly lose these admitting privileges as a result of the charges, Lynam said “that’s always a possibility, yes,” but that the matter is under investigation and it’s too early to say.

De Risi is due back in court on Aug. 16.

25 COMMENTS

  1. I had malignant breast cancer when I was 33 years old. Dr. DeRisi was my surgeon. He was warm, compassionate, loved to give hugs. I was not threatened by him. His exams were professional and never inappropriate. As a nurse, I would know. He went to Roswell Park Cancer Center for his oncology training and was taught to the importance of treating cancer patients as potential survivors and instilled that hope into his patients. The power of love medicine and miracles – a great book by Bernie Siegal (….ergo the hello and goodbye hug and kiss). He came back from a party one night to visit me in the hospital after he had heard that I was extremely upset that the chemotherapy I was supposed to have would make me lose my hair. He would be in his office until 1AM so that he could give enough time to each of his patients. That is how kind and caring he is. He adores his wife and family. He was never ever inappropriate. He is an amazing human being

  2. Maria Carbo NY
    I cannot believe what Dr. Derisi is being accused of. There is no way I believe this! On June 28 th 2017 this man saved my life. He was part of an eight hour surgery,he is a compassionate man who came so highly recommended to me by women who also used him . He has saved so many womens and mens life. Iam so upset that this lady Iam sure misunderstood him because he is so kind.Dr. Derisi never once came off to me in that of what she is accussing him of. Iam still under his care and I hope I will continue to be under his care because I have alot of respect and Most of all trust him with my life. Thank you Dr.Derisi for saving my life and and continuing to Watch Over Me.

  3. Patients and friends of Dwight unite!! Anyone who knows him knows he is incapable of doing what he is accused of. He needs the support of everyone now! What ever happened to due process before publicly ruining a person’s career and reputation???

  4. There is no way he did this! He is the most loving, compassionate doctor you will ever meet! He greets you warmly and makes you feel at ease. That’s the problem today, I guess. If you’re a compassionate doctor, you are “harassing “ patients. I hope he is fully cleared of all these charges.

  5. I am totally in shock about these false allegations towards Dr.DiRisi. He has the most impeccable reputation. He is the most outstanding physician I have ever met. I have been a patient of his for well over a decade, he has been my light when I was in darkness, he gave me hope and guidance. He is the most gifted surgeon when he does surgery on you it’s as if a plastic surgeon operated on you. His bedside manner is beyond words comforting and intelligent informs his patient of all aspects of your issues. Through the years I have sent many friends and family members to him all with the same opinion of him. God bless Dr DeRisi and I have all the faith that this was all bogus and just some person who was looking to damage someone for whatever reason.

  6. This man is one of the most compassionate, sweetest, classiest people I have ever met in my life.
    He is my Dr and I trust him and will stand behind him.

  7. Dr.DiRisi has been my doctor for over 2 years. He was recommended highly by my health plan & many other friends He is the most polite, caring & compassionate human being that one could come across. He is a unique individual & God Bless him for the work that he performs. I have faith that these accusations will prove false & will be erased from the record.

  8. I am also a patient under his care as I had two surgeries performed by Dr. DeRisi and I am shocked and appauled how this could even happen without any investigation and there was an eye witness in the room. The media blew this lie so out of proportion. How one person could attempt to ruin a doctor’s impeccable reputation is beyond comprehension. I travel 4 hours to see him yearly and am so upset that someone is trying to take this doctor away from his patients. This doctor is so amazing — one in a million. I pray for him and all the women who currently have surgeries scheduled and hope that it all works out for them.

  9. I am in utter shock over these acquisitions. I have known Dr. DeRisi for years- he is an absolutely amazing doctor and human being. He has never been anything less than compassionate, professional, respectful, and a man of very high moral character. He is exactly who you want in your corner while battling cancer. I cannot believe these acquisitions and that someone is trying to ruin his reputation after he patted her leg and said “You did good.” He was trying to provide comfort during a tough time! Terrible. I hope the trial will bring this to light and the media will begin to favorably cover Dr. DeRisi.

  10. DR. DERISI WAS AND IS MY BREAST SURGEON. I FOUND A LUMP IN AUGUST HE WAS RECOMMENDED TO ME BY MY BOSS WHO WENT TO SCHOOL WITH HIM. HE REMOVED BOTH MY BREAST’S AFTER GIVING ME AN HOUR OF EXPLANATIONS OF ALL THE OPTIONS I HAD TO CHOOSE FROM. HE WAS VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE AND PATIENT WITH ME AND VERY SUPPORTIVE HE ALSO RECOMMENDED MY BREAST SURGEON AND ONCOLOGIST. OBVIOUSLY WITH HIS JOB HE NEEDS TO TOUCH AND FEEL YOUR BREAST’S. I HAVE TO, SAY HE TREATED MY WITH RESPECT THE TWO TIMES I HAVE SEEN HM AND I WILL CONTINUE TO SEE HIM AND I WOULD RECOMMEND HIM TO OTHERS. I AM HEARTBROKEN BY WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THIS GREAT PERSON WHO HAS DEDICATED HIS LIFE TO HELPING OTHERS.

  11. Providence Patricia
    I have been a patient of Dr. DeRisi for almost 20 years. He was the most compassionate caring doctor I ever met. He made me feel I would be alright with my diagnosis of breast cancer. I was heartbroken when I heard the news and actually called the news media to say this woman was definitely mistaken in her allegations about Dr. DeRisi. I want Dr. Derisi to know how much I love and appreciate him.

  12. Dr.DeRisi has been my doctor since 2009. He performed a lumpectomy and his compassion is something that makes him a wonderful doctor and caring person. He held my hand in the operating room as I was prepared for surgery. His comforting manner was and still is what makes him the great surgeon that he is. I don’t care how long I have to wait in his waiting room. He takes the time to go thru everything with each patient whether you are his first or last appointment. The man is truly a great doctor. I hope all this nonsense has a favorable ending for Dr. DeRisi. It would be a very sad day if his caring, comforting and heartfelt bedside manner is misconstrued by any patient.

  13. Dr. Derisi saved my life 18 years ago from Triple Negative stage 3 breast Cancer. He is the most competent, skilled, knowledgeable, intellectual breast Surgeons in the U.S. Dr. Derisi is the only doctor I have encountered that answered all my questions and detailed what to expect. He is not afraid to discuss your situation, because he is skilled and confidant. His surgical outcomes are meticulous and without scars. I have continued as his patient and his conduct was always professional. Dr. Derisi DOES NOT have a bedside manner. Dr. Derisi has a friendly, intelligent wit and is charismatic because he knows how to communicate. The best doctor I have ever met.

  14. Dr. Derisi is a wonderful, caring, compassionate, competent and professional doctor at all times. I have known him and have been his patient for many years and have referred many patients to him who found him just as wonderful as I have stated. The facts are outlined by the many praises for Dr. Derisi and his strong following. How could everyone be wrong and this woman be right. To lose Dr. Deris’s expertise would be a true loss to our community. You just don’t find better than Dr. Derisi. As far as I am concerned, he sets the standands for excellence in providing health care.

  15. Talk about fake news! The papers were very fast to condemn Dr DiRisi of an absurd charge of molestation
    on the accusation of ONE woman. Regardless of its shock appeal it should not have been publicized without evidence that her claim was substantiated. I am grateful for, and support freedom of expression, but I find it unconscionable and shocking that the good doctor’s name and reputation was printed and besmirched, while the name of the accuser was protected. Innocent until proven guilty is not a ‘given’ in this case. Dr DiRisi has already been judged in the press and by those who do not know him. The love and devotion of his patients is legion and their confidence in his innocence will never be shaken. As one who has bee treated by this remarkable physician I am appalled by the ease with which he has been denounced. A retraction will never restore what this medical professional has lost. I am devastated by the injustice that has been displayed and grieve for the women who have been deprived of his surgical gifts since this charade has begun.

  16. Dr DeRisi is my surgeon and treated me for a malignancy last year. Breast cancer are the two most frightening words for any women. From our first meeting, Dr DeRisi’s quiet intelligence reassured me and his patience in answering my list of questions calmed my fears. He explained every step of the operation clearly and slowly. His physical exam was deft and professional. In such a vulnerable situation, I did not feel threatened, intimidated or victimized. He was at my side the morning of the operation with a smile while he held my hand. I knew that I had the best partner in the fight against this dreaded condition. Dr DeRisi is a rare and highly skilled surgeon and a truly dedicated, exceptional doctor. Words fail me to express my anger that he is accused of such vile behavior. And my heart goes out to him and his fine family that they must contend with these viscous lies. I pray Dr DeRisi will be sustained by the love and support of all the women he has helped and guided for so many years. The only just resolution of this tragic case is for Dr DeRisi to be completely cleared, have his good name restored and allow him to continue helping so many women who need his compassionate care.

  17. Am in shocked. Am a 14 years Survivor. I have known Dr Derisi who is caring and warming. He is a huggable person. He cares for us. He saves my life. Have been so blessed to have him as my Breast Surgeon. It’s ashamed how that person is suing him. She’s so blind of not knowing who he is. He’s a great Breasts surgeron!!!! Praying for him and his family. I usually go to Breast Cancer Awareness every year to see him and to learn more.

  18. Shocked. Please follow-up on this story, it has been months! What was the result?

    DeRisi was my doctor in my early 20s, he was so kind and professional. I cannot imagine this, he in no way seemed like a lecherous old man. “You did a good job” is what surgeons say after surgery! I’ve had multiple procedures, both male and female surgeons, and they’ve all said “Good job!” (something I never get because I am just lying there, they did all the work).

    Please do not ruin the reputation of a kind man who have saved countless lives because someone just says something. If he was found innocent, we should know, if he was guilty, we should also know. But this scandalous article left without any resolution is heartbreaking. Don’t leave things like this.

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