Bad medicine: Critics say powerful Florida pediatrician was too quick to diagnose child abuse, traumatizing families.

As the head of the Pinellas County, Florida, child protection team, Dr. Sally Smith examines virtually every child funneled to All Children's Hospital with suspicious injuries.

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Yet for years, defense attorneys, parents and even child welfare employees have complained about Smith's aggressive interrogation of parents, wondered why she often saw injuries invisible to other doctors and questioned the specificity of her claims.

The USA TODAY Network reviewed hundreds of Smith's cases in conjunction with a multi-part investigation into Florida's child welfare system to be published in coming months. It found more than a dozen instances where charges were dropped, parents were acquitted or caregivers had credible claims of innocence yet suffered irredeemable damage to their lives and reputations.

Torn apart: This story is the first of a multi-part investigation into Florida's child welfare system coming in January. Have an experience to share? Please reach out.