Violated at the dermatologist

jackjohnson312jackjohnson312 Registered User new member
I went to the dermatologist a little less than a week ago and the woman that checked me out seemed to touch me very unnecessarily. I have a birthmark on my butt that I needed to get looked at and I've had a sore that reoccurs and disappears on my anus. She started looking for the sore and said that she couldn't see one. I explained how it comes and goes and she said that made sense but she seemed hellbent on finding it because she spread me open and looked around for a long time, even inserting her finger up my butt even though I said that its always been on the outside. She then told me how she saw that I had jock itch on the inside of my legs and continued to handle my testicles for what seemed like a very long time. She also did not change gloves after she had her finger inside me and touched my testicles with the same glove. After looking she told me that she wanted a second opinion, and she had another doctor come in. She told her what she thought she saw, and she held my testicles and tugged them in different directions to try to get a good look. I didn't have an issue with that, but while she held my testicles her finger grazed against my penis multiple times, more than can be excused as mistakes. Then, she asked the other doctor to spread open my cheeks to try to look again for the sore, and she touched my anus even more trying to look for it. She then asked me to flip over without giving me anything to cover myself so my penis was in plain sight of both of them. Then she said that she thought she saw some bumps around the base of my penis and continued to touch it even though I never noticed any bumps before nor could I see any. She then pulled the skin down and looked around under the head. She told me that she saw I had some very small bumps around my penis but that they weren't an issue, even though I never saw what she was referring to. While I was still laying on my back she told me she wanted to check one last time for the sore on my anus and told me to bend my legs, and she reached down and touched me again inside my cheeks and on my hole to no avail, of course. I hated the position she had me in and it made me feel very vulnerable. I didn't like that we made eye contact while she had a finger in me, especially with another doctor watching.

This whole experience felt very unprofessional and it left me feeling embarrassed and violated. What I'm asking you is can I do anything about it? Are there any rules she has broken? I have a feeling that if the genders were reversed I wouldn't have an issue at all. Every other time I've been to a dermatologist and I've needed to show them something below the belt they let me leave my boxers on up until the area is being looked at and I've been given a sheet to cover up. This was not the case, she had me strip completely naked from the beginning and I laid there exposed while she was just talking to me and asking basic questions.

Is there anything I can do about this? Am I being too sensitive about my body or are my concerns justified?

Posts

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    I'm not going to tell you you're "wrong" for feeling uncomfortable. I would say (from my limited experience and I am not a doctor or nurse myself) that the doctor(s) had a terrible bedside manners and were insensitive. I don't think they did anything actionable that you can report to anyone, however, since you came in specifically asking for the doctor to look at that private area, and if the doctor genuinely thought they saw something on the surrounding areas it's part of their job to notice and investigate. I'm not saying that situation could never be skeevy - just that in this specific instance, they are there to doctor your skin, and you've asked specifically about the area of skin below your belt, so it seems kosher to me from the outside looking in.

    I would suggest not going to that specific dermatologist office again, and trying to find a new dermatologist who is male.

    Regina FongArbitraryDescriptorzepherinkimeWezoinMahnmutA Dabble Of TheloniusNitsua
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    You have three levels of recourse. The doctor has at least made some textbook patient interaction errors. Think about what would really give you peace of mind before committing to one of these paths.

    1) call or write your dermatologist to air these grievances. If you want to do it face to face, consider bringing a chaperone. A visit would have to be scheduled. If all you want is an explanation and/or apology, this is the way to go.

    2) file a complaint with the state medical board. Your claim will be investigated, and they have the power to change the physician's license to practice.

    3) contact a lawyer if you believe economic remuneration is necessary.

    The state medical board is the most common option to resolve these disputes. There is always the danger of breach of anonymity which may make it harder for you to get patient care from physicians, and the state medical board should help to minimize that. However, you should first think about what you really want and need. Keep documenting like you have been doing and document your future interactions with as much detail.

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    I think another option is open to you, depending on what you want to do - you could write to or file a complaint with the doctor's practice or hospital and let them know that they made you uncomfortable and why. Maybe this will change their behavior or you'll get an apology (unlikely due to fear of lawsuit) or nothing will happen. Either way, I think you should avoid a return visit if you have that option. The important thing is for you to do what makes you able to cope. Sexual harassment isn't something to take lightly and based on your post, that is what happened here, intended or not.

    flowerhoney
  • flowerhoneyflowerhoney Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    You have three levels of recourse. The doctor has at least made some textbook patient interaction errors. Think about what would really give you peace of mind before committing to one of these paths.

    1) call or write your dermatologist to air these grievances. If you want to do it face to face, consider bringing a chaperone. A visit would have to be scheduled. If all you want is an explanation and/or apology, this is the way to go.

    2) file a complaint with the state medical board. Your claim will be investigated, and they have the power to change the physician's license to practice.

    3) contact a lawyer if you believe economic remuneration is necessary.

    The state medical board is the most common option to resolve these disputes. There is always the danger of breach of anonymity which may make it harder for you to get patient care from physicians, and the state medical board should help to minimize that. However, you should first think about what you really want and need. Keep documenting like you have been doing and document your future interactions with as much detail.

    While I don't think any of these are bad ideas, none of it seems necessary. There should able be a formal complains procedure at every clinic and it's usually pretty easy to do. I would call up the clinic, say you want to make a complaint, and ask what the procedure is. There's nothing to feel ashamed of in being unhappy with the treatment you received.

    Either way, don't see that doctor again and it sucks you had such a terrible experience!

    CambiataMahnmutGnome-Interruptus
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Yeah, I was assuming the doctor owned her own practice, which was outdated of me

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • JavenJaven Registered User regular
    I don't think you're being too sensitive, you're entitled to feel uncomfortable if someone is touching you in a way you find unacceptable.

    If you feel the experience caused you substantial physical, mental or emotional distress, you can definitely speak to a malpractice lawyer and explore your options. Though not being a doctor OR a lawyer, I couldn't say what would come of it.

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud my moons are good moons Registered User regular
    Calling in a second doctor means the first doctor may have been in training (their residency). Ask the front desk if that was the case. If that is so, ask for the name of her attending (her boss and mentor). My worst medical experience was with a very aggressive resident and talking to the attending cleared it up, educated the attending, and made me feel a lot better.

    ShadowfireCambiataElvenshaeGnome-Interruptus
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    I'm not going to tell you you're "wrong" for feeling uncomfortable. I would say (from my limited experience and I am not a doctor or nurse myself) that the doctor(s) had a terrible bedside manners and were insensitive. I don't think they did anything actionable that you can report to anyone, however, since you came in specifically asking for the doctor to look at that private area, and if the doctor genuinely thought they saw something on the surrounding areas it's part of their job to notice and investigate. I'm not saying that situation could never be skeevy - just that in this specific instance, they are there to doctor your skin, and you've asked specifically about the area of skin below your belt, so it seems kosher to me from the outside looking in.

    I would suggest not going to that specific dermatologist office again, and trying to find a new dermatologist who is male.

    I think your advice is meant well so won't put you on blast, but there are men who like other men as well. Obviously that should not come into play as a professional dealing with a patient.

    So I'd say yes, look for a new doctor but go on comfort with them and their skill, not their gender.

    "Never believe management about anything anywhere." -Aistan
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited August 2016
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    Cambiata wrote: »
    I'm not going to tell you you're "wrong" for feeling uncomfortable. I would say (from my limited experience and I am not a doctor or nurse myself) that the doctor(s) had a terrible bedside manners and were insensitive. I don't think they did anything actionable that you can report to anyone, however, since you came in specifically asking for the doctor to look at that private area, and if the doctor genuinely thought they saw something on the surrounding areas it's part of their job to notice and investigate. I'm not saying that situation could never be skeevy - just that in this specific instance, they are there to doctor your skin, and you've asked specifically about the area of skin below your belt, so it seems kosher to me from the outside looking in.

    I would suggest not going to that specific dermatologist office again, and trying to find a new dermatologist who is male.

    I think your advice is meant well so won't put you on blast, but there are men who like other men as well. Obviously that should not come into play as a professional dealing with a patient.

    So I'd say yes, look for a new doctor but go on comfort with them and their skill, not their gender.

    The gender alignment between patient and doctor is really way way way more about the patient's preference and comfort than the doctor's. All other things being equal, I wouldn't see an issue with a patient who prefers a specific gender of doctor, especially for stuff like dermatology.

    DevoutlyApathetic on
    kimeCambiataWezoinMagic PinkLostNinja
  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    The only thing that concerns me from what you described is that she apparently didn't change gloves.

    kimeCambiatafinralDevoutlyApatheticJuliusKruitezepherinArmorocSiskaGnizmo38thDoeam0nPanda4YouEtiowsaNitsuaKristmas Kthulhu
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    edited August 2016
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    Cambiata wrote: »
    I'm not going to tell you you're "wrong" for feeling uncomfortable. I would say (from my limited experience and I am not a doctor or nurse myself) that the doctor(s) had a terrible bedside manners and were insensitive. I don't think they did anything actionable that you can report to anyone, however, since you came in specifically asking for the doctor to look at that private area, and if the doctor genuinely thought they saw something on the surrounding areas it's part of their job to notice and investigate. I'm not saying that situation could never be skeevy - just that in this specific instance, they are there to doctor your skin, and you've asked specifically about the area of skin below your belt, so it seems kosher to me from the outside looking in.

    I would suggest not going to that specific dermatologist office again, and trying to find a new dermatologist who is male.

    I think your advice is meant well so won't put you on blast, but there are men who like other men as well. Obviously that should not come into play as a professional dealing with a patient.

    So I'd say yes, look for a new doctor but go on comfort with them and their skill, not their gender.

    Of course there are, but I just meant that in his original post he said that if the genders were reversed he didn't think he would have felt uncomfortable with the touching, so it seems like he would prefer a male doctor in this case.

    For me personally, I like having a doctor of the same gender as myself, and it makes me a lot more comfortable with invasive exams (like a pap smear). Whether the doctor is a lesbian or not doesn't really enter into it, unless, as mentioned in the OP's story, the doctor acts unprofessionally.

    Cambiata on
    NightDragonMagic PinkLostNinjaCalicaSiska
  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited August 2016
    I went to the dermatologist a little less than a week ago and the woman that checked me out seemed to touch me very unnecessarily. I have a birthmark on my butt that I needed to get looked at and I've had a sore that reoccurs and disappears on my anus. She started looking for the sore and said that she couldn't see one. I explained how it comes and goes and she said that made sense but she seemed hellbent on finding it because she spread me open and looked around for a long time, even inserting her finger up my butt even though I said that its always been on the outside. She then told me how she saw that I had jock itch on the inside of my legs and continued to handle my testicles for what seemed like a very long time. She also did not change gloves after she had her finger inside me and touched my testicles with the same glove. After looking she told me that she wanted a second opinion, and she had another doctor come in. She told her what she thought she saw, and she held my testicles and tugged them in different directions to try to get a good look. I didn't have an issue with that, but while she held my testicles her finger grazed against my penis multiple times, more than can be excused as mistakes. Then, she asked the other doctor to spread open my cheeks to try to look again for the sore, and she touched my anus even more trying to look for it. She then asked me to flip over without giving me anything to cover myself so my penis was in plain sight of both of them. Then she said that she thought she saw some bumps around the base of my penis and continued to touch it even though I never noticed any bumps before nor could I see any. She then pulled the skin down and looked around under the head. She told me that she saw I had some very small bumps around my penis but that they weren't an issue, even though I never saw what she was referring to. While I was still laying on my back she told me she wanted to check one last time for the sore on my anus and told me to bend my legs, and she reached down and touched me again inside my cheeks and on my hole to no avail, of course. I hated the position she had me in and it made me feel very vulnerable. I didn't like that we made eye contact while she had a finger in me, especially with another doctor watching.

    This whole experience felt very unprofessional and it left me feeling embarrassed and violated. What I'm asking you is can I do anything about it? Are there any rules she has broken? I have a feeling that if the genders were reversed I wouldn't have an issue at all. Every other time I've been to a dermatologist and I've needed to show them something below the belt they let me leave my boxers on up until the area is being looked at and I've been given a sheet to cover up. This was not the case, she had me strip completely naked from the beginning and I laid there exposed while she was just talking to me and asking basic questions.

    Is there anything I can do about this? Am I being too sensitive about my body or are my concerns justified?

    Ok, I'm going to be honest with you here - there is the absolute slightest chance that this doctor was interested in your genitals in a sexual way, but it is extremely unlikely. Think about the fraction of the population who are turned on by the male anus, it's a small number of people. Sure a lot of women like men's butts, but generally not that interested in the hole. Now think about the fraction of the population who are sexually aroused by inserting a finger into a butthole to check for sores, again tiny. Now take the fraction of people who are qualified and practicing dermatologists, yet again tiny. Further to that take into account that medical professionals deal with genitals and anal regions on a semi-regular basis to the point that they've lost most of their sexual allure in the first place. When considering that the odds that you found a dermatologist that fits the description of qualified, experienced female with a sexual fetish of inspecting men's buttholes for sores are slim to none.

    For the penis side of things, if someone is handling your testicles for legitimate reasons, 'unlimited' is the reasonable number of times to brush against your penis. It's kind of unavoidable without going to great and awkward and probably uncomfortable lengths to prevent. If the doctor thought she saw bumps that may be of concern, she absolutely should be checking. She probably should have asked and ensured you were okay with it first, but as a medical professional it's her job to check out anything she thinks is wrong. If it turned out to be penile cancer or some other serious ailment she could lose her license for malpractice if she didn't pay attention to it.

    I understand you were uncomfortable and if you feel you would have been more comfortable with someone else doing the same procedures I would encourage you to find an alternate provider for your dermatological needs. That said, all of these things can be justified as normal given the original issue you asked her to investigate and I wouldn't put much thought into it as a case of sexual abuse or a 'violation.' She has poor bed manners and should definitely be warning/asking prior to inserting anything or touching a personal area of your body, but it really doesn't sound like she was touching you for her benefit.

    Wezoin on
    zepherinSiskaLostNinjaam0nGnome-InterruptusAegeriA Dabble Of TheloniusCommander Zoom
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    As a future cautionary tale. And I'm not blaming the OP in this, but it's something that everyone should know about.

    If a doctor is doing something or about to do something you don't want.
    Tell them "I don't want that done." "Stop what you are doing."
    I have never had a Doctor insist over an objection, and I object to my vision doctor about every year to him/her dilating my pupils (I hate that). They always stop write it down, perform an alternate exam and move forward.

    DevoutlyApatheticdispatch.oJebusUD
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    Cambiata wrote: »
    I'm not going to tell you you're "wrong" for feeling uncomfortable. I would say (from my limited experience and I am not a doctor or nurse myself) that the doctor(s) had a terrible bedside manners and were insensitive. I don't think they did anything actionable that you can report to anyone, however, since you came in specifically asking for the doctor to look at that private area, and if the doctor genuinely thought they saw something on the surrounding areas it's part of their job to notice and investigate. I'm not saying that situation could never be skeevy - just that in this specific instance, they are there to doctor your skin, and you've asked specifically about the area of skin below your belt, so it seems kosher to me from the outside looking in.

    I would suggest not going to that specific dermatologist office again, and trying to find a new dermatologist who is male.

    I think your advice is meant well so won't put you on blast, but there are men who like other men as well. Obviously that should not come into play as a professional dealing with a patient.

    So I'd say yes, look for a new doctor but go on comfort with them and their skill, not their gender.

    Of course there are, but I just meant that in his original post he said that if the genders were reversed he didn't think he would have felt uncomfortable with the touching, so it seems like he would prefer a male doctor in this case.

    For me personally, I like having a doctor of the same gender as myself, and it makes me a lot more comfortable with invasive exams (like a pap smear). Whether the doctor is a lesbian or not doesn't really enter into it, unless, as mentioned in the OP's story, the doctor acts unprofessionally.

    Apologies. By not wanting others to misinterpret your post, I may have done exactly that.

    Agreed OP should see a doc they are comfortable with, which this doc is definitely not.

    "Never believe management about anything anywhere." -Aistan
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    zepherin wrote: »
    As a future cautionary tale. And I'm not blaming the OP in this, but it's something that everyone should know about.

    If a doctor is doing something or about to do something you don't want.
    Tell them "I don't want that done." "Stop what you are doing."
    I have never had a Doctor insist over an objection, and I object to my vision doctor about every year to him/her dilating my pupils (I hate that). They always stop write it down, perform an alternate exam and move forward.

    Side note, @zepherin the only reason I found out I had a retinal detachment before going blind was the test with the dilated pupils. So. There's a good reason to do it!

    What is this I don't even.
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    edited August 2016
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    zepherin wrote: »
    As a future cautionary tale. And I'm not blaming the OP in this, but it's something that everyone should know about.

    If a doctor is doing something or about to do something you don't want.
    Tell them "I don't want that done." "Stop what you are doing."
    I have never had a Doctor insist over an objection, and I object to my vision doctor about every year to him/her dilating my pupils (I hate that). They always stop write it down, perform an alternate exam and move forward.

    Side note, zepherin the only reason I found out I had a retinal detachment before going blind was the test with the dilated pupils. So. There's a good reason to do it!
    I'm not saying there isn't good reason to do it. I just greatly dislike it, so I avoid it. After i turn 40 I'll probably say no to certain doctors..

    zepherin on
  • dawggonedawggone Registered User new member
    You were being checked for what you went in for. At anytime you could've stop the appointment. Most dermotologist just give the once over and then done. Yours obviously saw something that needed to check out so they didnt miss.

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