Bioethics Discussion Blog: Patient Modesty: Volume 33





Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Patient Modesty: Volume 33

Here we go into Volume 33. From what is being written it seems that though the women have much greater access to the healthcare providers of the gender they desire than the men, there are still are many upsetting modesty issues that the women face. So, despite this inequality, both genders have unresolved patient modesty issues. There is the suggestion that the lives in the medical environment of both genders could be improved by both genders working on the problems..together! Perhaps we can read here more about this and how this joint advocacy can best be carried out. ..Maurice.

GRAPHIC: "Walking Together" from and modified by me with Picasa3.



At Wednesday, March 24, 2010 7:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps I didn't explain my self very well. I do not think for one moment that most women are afraid that they are going to be seriously sexually assaulted in a hospital setting. But ogled by a male orderly while unconscious and uncovered? Absolutely! I'm sorry, but many men give women a real once over even if they are not rapists.
I'm not sure how you come to the conclusion that men have their modesty violated more than women. My husband and I are both in our early 40's and healthy. But he has never been in any potentially embarrassing modesty violating circumstances in his life.
He just went for his first prostate check and he only had to have a blood test and no DRE.
I other other hand, as a woman who has had three children, has had to deal with the indignities of birth. And since about the age of 20, I've also had to submit to pap smears, pelvic exams, mammograms and other humiliating procedures of IVF. I couldn't tell you the number of times I've been naked in front of a health care provider. And no it wasn't always a female. After one egg retrieval procedure of IVF, not only was my normal female dr not performing the operation, but a male dr I'd never met.
There was a young male assisting who I doubt was even a nurse. And I might add the anesthetist was also a male.
I'm am quite happy to swap places with a man any day.

At Thursday, March 25, 2010 1:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You'd be quite happy to swap
places with a man any day,really.
Are you suggesting that men as
patients don't get the real once
over by female nurses. As young
boys everyone wants to check out
our package during sports physicals.One boy is not enough,oh
no.There has to be a line of them,
with the nurse and the teacher (female)watching.
Same thing during military induction physicals,only you get
to do a bunch of silly exercises
nude with female clerks watching.
Any moment I expected a rep from
Cirque du soleil to offer me a job.
Furthermore,I wish I had a dollar for every wierd way some nurse or ma wanted to give me an
injection in the gluteus maximas,
quite obvious they had a fetish
about it. Seems they always have
to pull your entire gown off just
for an injection in one hip.
I went to a female physical
therapist and boy was she odd. She
even had her own special short
shorts she wanted me to put on,and
do some ballet forms.
For male patients the real fun starts at the hospital. If you end
up in prison as a male,you have to
strip at any notice by a female guard. Even the justice department
knows that female guards have a high rate of sexual assault towards male prisioners than vice versa.
I beieve the biggest challenge
was to for some reason have an erection as a young boy in the hospital and have some crazy nurse
with a steel spoon want to strike
your erect penis with it.
Those poor young boys with
meaningless erections knew they were in big trouble. You could end
up with some faulty family shoe.


At Thursday, March 25, 2010 9:57:00 AM, Blogger Suzy Furno-Maricle said...

Perhaps anyone interested in working together can revisit the advocacy site where (with permission)ideas from Dr.'s Bernstein and Sherman has been consolidated.

Any new ideas or info updates would be appreciated.
You can check out past great ideas, or post in the general comments.

Renewing interest in the site would be a great step forward. Thanx to all who sent these great ideas flying our way.....

At Thursday, March 25, 2010 2:09:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

I'm all in favor of a patient modesty advocacy blog open to both men and women and their concerns and whose main goal is to educate and change the medical system! ..Maurice.

At Saturday, March 27, 2010 8:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am all in favor for a patient modesty blog myself on men's and women's patient modesty as well and keeping an open mind about the opposite sex and having a open and honest discussion about both genders views on patient modesty.
I believe the conversation are not honest from many of the women participates lately the entries are all signed different even sometimes using a males name but most of these entries are from the same small handful of female posters. The same goes for Dr. Sherman's blogs I wrote this same post on his blog after a (husband signed DON was bragging how fast the women's modesty # 4 blog was filling up so fast and he could not wait until women's modesty reached # 100). This also was written in group physicals which has little to do with females modesty because it has been proven that female modesty is much more protected in group physicals then a boy,teenage male, or a male. Dr. Sherman did not post my entry on this because I am sure he thought I was trouble making.
Someone here described these entries that I am speaking about on this blog and all the blogs on Dr. Sherman's page as being "HIJACKED" that poster was dead on with what I am saying. These post I am speaking about the women will go to any length to claim that women have it worst then men i.e.:(NP comparing compromised female patient modesty to rape). another was a post on Dr. Sherman's blog was (how the men standing naked in line for a long period of time with a huge present of clothed female military personnel just gawking, the poster was suggesting the naked male should feel sorry for the clothed female having to watch all of this). That is a classic example how the conversation are being hijacked and turned upside down and all the other post with the exact tone ironically all with different names signed to them.
I know there are legitimate female posters on both blogs and there voices and views must be respected equally as any male here on the two blogs but if both you Dr. Bernstein and Dr. Sherman are going to censor this kind of entry I feel you both need to take a look at what I am saying and other posters are saying. We are all not trying to cause trouble or attack other posters. some of us want the open and honest dialogue from both the male and female point of view and that is not what we are getting, we are told to play nice with these fake posters and are entries are being censored right off of the blog from the moderators for calling out this problem. In this day and age a poster can change there ISP address when ever they want and more and more households have more then one computer and many of the posters on blogs most likely could be sitting in front of a work computer for eight hrs. a day. Thanks JOHN

At Saturday, March 27, 2010 9:45:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You could end
up with some faulty family shoe."

What's a family shoe?

At Saturday, March 27, 2010 12:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Faulty family shoe is an old slang
for impotent,bad genes etc!!!


At Saturday, March 27, 2010 12:16:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You see the same behavior on the site womenagainstprostatecancer
/10 things you should know. Odd
how some posts were removed. They
don't like the truth about why men
don't go for medical care.
The truth is about these founders is this: the site is a jobs bill.Her husband recieved a
million dollars for this and now she wants more.


At Sunday, March 28, 2010 11:55:00 AM, Blogger Joel Sherman MD said...

As long as he posted, here's is John's post which I rejected:

I have to be honest pertaining to the Women's Privacy 4 all the post on Women's Privacy appear to be from the same small handful of posters using different names even using guy names. I am not trying to be mean but it is what I see when I read the post. Some posters noted that on Dr. Bernstein's blog a few months ago.JOHN

I don't usually post comments whose only purpose is to insult other posters. But beyond that, the post is way off base. I have a large number of women posters. There are some regulars like with the men, but there are many others who post their very heartfelt personal experiences. I don't usually check, but I could easily show that these posters come from different locations. The subtitle of this thread is on target. We need to help each other and not engage in what I term gender wars.
By the way, I post about 99% of the posts I get, excluding technical reasons for rejection such as duplicate posts.

At Sunday, March 28, 2010 2:24:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

I don't understand why all visitors who want to write anonymously and want to prevent their pseudonym or initials to be stolen and used by some unethical person can't simply log on to and register their pseudonym. It will also be much simpler for the moderator, since tacking on a pseudonym or initials at the end of the commentary cannot be recognized as stolen unless the moderator recognizes that the view or method of expression is greatly different than previous postings. Actually, I haven't noted that and I have had only one complaint of a stolen pseudonym on these threads.

Look at the above post. Doctor Sherman has registered with for my blog and I doubt someone can steal his name and write and mislead the moderator and readers. ..Maurice.

At Sunday, March 28, 2010 9:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With my last two pregnancies the nurses gave 4 steroid injections in my gluteus maximas too!

At Monday, March 29, 2010 2:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

New discussion on :

"Do you assess your patients penis daily ?"

At Monday, March 29, 2010 4:02:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

Let's not make "assess your patient's penis daily?" as a ongoing and common concern of patients. As noted in the responses in this is not any accepted routine and nurses would have no business to do this and don't do this inspection except in specific clinical situations such as patient discomfort associated with genital rash, genital lymphedema or Foley catheter management as some examples. ..Maurice.

At Monday, March 29, 2010 5:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Maurice. But if you read that thread carefully, you do find some disturbing comments. How about this sexist remark:
"There are enough old men bozos who take every opportunity to show off their "stuff" without me going around looking for it."
We also learn that "Usually a pcna (nurse assistant is present to help look at parts as well to be their "witness." So here we get two females hovering over a male penis check, one who is primarily a witness. Any concern for how the man may feel about that?
I love this one: "Penis swelling among men is a common issue, especially after ingesting Viagra, or sometimes during a romantic dinner."
Then, of course, there's the SCROTOMEGALY!! and the "Teste Resty" Real funny. A related comment: "Scrotomegaly. That's awesome. We get swollen testicles frequently on our vented patients when they're really overloaded with edema. I am totally using that term from now on. It sounds so much better than saying, "...and his balls are HUGE!"
This is an interesting one: "I advocate for my pts privacy and dignity at all times, even when the pt would rather I not." The assumption is that the patient isn't really interested in his/her dignity. The nurse is obviously not referring to an unconscious or uncommunicative patient, because "she" says she does this when the patient would "rather not" which assumes they are capable of making a decision.
Another really professional comment: "Yes, I always check everyday if the patient is young and handsome. If he is old and ugly then no I don't check." Can you imagine a male nurse saying or writing that, even in jest?
This story seems to represent a significant number of men. These must be the old men bozos. "We had a patient recently request his penis be looked at and complain no one had checked it "all day." Not my patient but the CN went in and asked if he had a problem with his penis that required checking. No, but he thought "Little X" would enjoy the attention." This is the stereotypical old man patient. Guess where all just exhibitionists.
Finally, the story about a man who had a swollen scrotum. This man "refused any assistance with bathing (although he could have used a hand), so we weren't checking his privates (no reason to)." Notice that, instead of asking why this man refused assistance with bathing, and possibly suggesting a male nurse or cna, they just don't wash him nor check his genitals. Real "critical thinking skills."
Now, if asked, some of these nurses would argue they're just "venting" or " can't you take a joke." But, you know, Maurice, I never see these kinds of jokes on allnurses about female patients. If they exist at all, they're rare.
There is some good medical advice in this thread, and some concern for dignity and respect, too. I'm not condemning the whole thread. But what we see here, too, is a pattern, a trend, the kind of group think that exists when a profession becomes dominated by one gender. Do you actually believe that some of these unprofessionals don't get overheard by patients in hospital? Of course they do.
Male nurses could never get away with some of the unprofessional "jokes" "just being funny" comments on this thread. Another good example of the double standard.

At Monday, March 29, 2010 8:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CORRECTION for my last post -- 5 lines from the bottom. Should read... "some of these unprofessional remarks..." I'm not implying the nurses are unprofessional, but I find some of these comments disturbing.

At Monday, March 29, 2010 10:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that a male nurse wouldn't get away with this "humor" but I do think that male doctors talk like that amongst themselves. On a male doctor's blog I read that they call the gynecological dept at their hospital the "tuna pit".

At Tuesday, March 30, 2010 12:14:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NP -- And I would think that discussions like the one you cite on a public blog would bother some females, too. How might reading that change some attitudes toward using a male doctor for private exams? So -- that's what they really think, might be an understandable response. My basic point is not relegated to female nurses alone. Some professional doctors and nurses, male and female, sometimes publicly blog as if they're in a secret locked room having a beer among their peers. They're not. They within a forum that's open to everyone. There's a book by James B. Twitchell called "For Shame: The Loss of Common Decency in American Culture." During the last few decades we've lost a sense of decorum. And then we wonder why the public has lost trust in so many formally trusted professions. With the web, that lost as become embarrassingly public, even among what used to be the more respected profession.
We all need to vent. High stress professions, like those in medicine, need to vent more than most. "Let it all hang out" is passe. Especially if you want to maintain the high ground and expect the kind of trust essential for most medical professionals.

At Tuesday, March 30, 2010 12:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I've overheard female physicians talk amongst themselves unprofessionally regarding male
patients,the problem is not just
a one gender issue. By the way,
in all the years I worked in
health care I've only seen one
physician assault a patient and
that physician was female.


What seems interesting about
penis comments on allnurses are
the " an old male patient trying to show all the nurses his penis."
Ever notice this common theme
in that the patient was old! Would
they complain if the patient were
young that did this.Odd you never
hear them complain about that. I
believe the instances are rare but
most just remark as if their complaints offer some redemption or
rite of ritual,"see what I go through" or is it to say,I'd rather the young ones flash me.
And finally,the comment about
they check only if the patient is young and handsome. The fact is most young male patients are assigned young female nurses and
young female patients are assigned
to female nurses.


At Tuesday, March 30, 2010 5:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes NP it is absolutely wrong for a male or a female doctor to refer to any dept. in a health care facility as the "tuna dept" it is wrong on almost every level.
Since you brought up the comparison that female patients go through the same let me explain this the way I see this. Comparing a remark about a dept. versus a actual patients is different and I am sure some male Urologist have lovely names for that dept. as well.
1. A doctor sees a patient tops for 30-45 minutes a appt. so the appt/exam/procedure is quick and I feel in this day and age we know the doctor the lease out of who actually takes care of us. We interact with the nurses,aides, and office staff and due to the times we live in and units becoming efficient for the doctor to see more patient throughout the day the doctor is shielded from the public.
2. The thread on AllNurses is talking about a female nurse who's responsibility is to care for that male patient for 10-12 hrs. a day With dignity and respect also with the utmost professional skills clinical and interpersonal they took a oath to become a nurse.
3. That same female nurses brings in a 19 year old female chaperone to do a check on a male patients genitals and the two females are walking out of the patients room 45 seconds later giggling to themselves about what they just saw.
4. Institutions say they have gender free care and both patients genders will always be treated with respect no matter what gender the health care workers are. Well that policy sounds great in theory but when 90% percent of nurses and aides are female gender there is something wrong with the statement "GENDER FREE".
5. A male nurse with a 19 year old male aide together walked in to check a female patients urinary tract catheter, (well actually that would NEVER I repeat NEVER happen in a hospital here and now in the United States). It could happen if the female patient requested it but good luck finding that combination of the male nurse and the 19 year old male aide to do the task. That is the classic example of THE DOUBLE STANDARD men ordeal in the healthcare system here.
6. Please stop comparing women to male patients every time a post is made about a male patient. On this blog and other blogs I do not see male posters always comparing what women say on this blog and others. You are always minimizing and take the stand that women have it worst then males and no one is holding a gun to you when you are writing this. My comment is not about a gender war but sometimes I believe it is just good to sit back and read what others are saying. and as you have said try to visualize what it could be like to wear someone else's shoes. In a recent post you have claimed your husband has never had a embarrassing/humiliating situation in his health care experiences but I HAVE AND YOU WILL NEVER MINIMIZE MY FEELINGS or THOUGHTS I have had dealing with my healthcare experiences. JOHN

At Tuesday, March 30, 2010 9:42:00 AM, Blogger Suzy Furno-Maricle said...

This is what NP said:
"I agree that a male nurse wouldn't get away with this "humor" but I do think that male doctors talk like that amongst themselves. On a male doctor's blog I read that they call the gynecological dept at their hospital the "tuna pit".

This is really not a case of minimizing an experience. It is just trying to be part of a valuable discussion. NP did preface it with agreeing with how men are treated.
It seems politically incorrect to be a female on this blog these days. You really can not agree or disagree without being treated like an outsider by some posters.
In the meantime, the title is still
"Patient Modesty" not "Male Modesty Only".

At Tuesday, March 30, 2010 10:52:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope I've been clear in my last few posts that my main issue is with the public nature of medical "break room" discussion, regardless of the gender. I was responding to a particular reference to allnurses. Now, allnurses has some good stuff on it. But, as I see it, it does have a gender bias, esp. in controversial gender issues -- as would a blog dominated by male nurses or doctors. The idea of "venting" frustrations seems to have taken control of many blogs, e.g. "I'm venting and I have a right to vent so butt out." That's supposed to excuse whatever is being said, sometimes in anger, frustration etc.
It's one thing to vent to your coworkers in private. That's understandable. One needs to get things out. But before publishing something on the web udner the guise of "venting," sometimes it's best to think twice, even three times. Sometimes it's best to shut up.
This whole issue of social networks, Facebook, etc, cell phones, blackberries at the work place in general and in hospitals in particulars -- this is an issue that is debated within the professions. Freedom of speech is wonderful. But there is a price. Just make sure you're willing to pay the price.
In summary -- I fully support this blog/thread as a forum for both genders and welcome female perspectives here. But I have too much respect for women to think they are any better than men. They have faults and fall into the traps just as men do. The faults and traps may be different based upon gender differences, but we're all humans.

At Tuesday, March 30, 2010 2:08:00 PM, Blogger Suzy Furno-Maricle said...

So MER, perhaps you can help me understand. I get venting: we all (most) have done it here. It is a subject that raises great passion. But I thought we all agreed that both genders deserve the same choices.
Yes, most sites are gender biased. Men are underserved and less respected. I have long maintained that it is much much (much) harder to advocate for men as opposed to women and expect many respectful results. As frustrating as it is for me, I can see where men may become angry, hateful, and/or give up.
But if a female says that that is not her personal experience, then is it not a truthful post? Are we not to respect all experiences as truthful in surface value before we decry them as a plot?
I am just not seeing the motive for them as opposed to other blogs. A place such as nursing blogs discourage honesty (I believe) so as not to threaten female jobs or supposed entitlements. "Let's call the guys liar's and get them to shut up or remove them". I see it. But I can't see it here.
Maybe I'm missing something. Are we really coming across as "better than men" ?

At Tuesday, March 30, 2010 7:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, swf, I just don't understand what it is you're asking me, esp. in the last two paragraphs. You write: "But if a female says that that is not her personal experience, then is it not a truthful post?" Yes, I accept that as her personal experience. But I'm not talking about respectful comments about a person's view of reality. The kind of comments I quoted in recent post -- I don't consider them respectful. I don't find them funny, from a patient's point of view, the one with the swollen scrotum, e.g. But that's my interpretation.
I don't see what I sometimes see on allnurses coming from the women on this blog. Note the difference between this blog and allnurses -- when I see what I consider as misogynist attitudes or disrespect I call it out. So does Dr. Bernstein and Dr. Sherman on his blog. So do some others here. This is a pretty civil blog. You don't see that on allnurses. On that thread referred to above, do you see the moderators coming in and reminding people to be respectful in their comments about men? The moderators consider it humor and they often value venting over respect. Let someone who id's him or herself as a non nurse enter the fray and vent and the thread is shut down.
When I say women are no better than men, I don't mean women think they are better than men. If some do, so do some men think they are better than women. I believe in real gender equity -- getting as many women into male occupations and men into female occupations as interest and talent allows. That creates not only better working conditions for both genders, but better caring conditions for clients/patients.

I think the women on this thread have been mostly very supportive. A few men here sound like misogynists, and I and others have pointed that out.
I don't know -- did I address what you asked of me?

At Wednesday, March 31, 2010 12:36:00 PM, Blogger Suzy Furno-Maricle said...

Yes MER, and thanx.
Well....sort of, because I think most of it was a misunderstanding on my part and I am sorry.
As "stand alone" posts I understand both of them now, but coming on the heels of another rather emotional poster left me baffled on a few comments.

At Thursday, April 01, 2010 3:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yea rational posting has begun again. would hate to see this blog go down in flames.

At Saturday, April 03, 2010 12:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad I found this website if for no other reason than to know that I am not the only one who has a deep concern about modesty in a medical setting. I only wish I had found this site before I had a recent colonoscopy (which I NEVER would have had if I hadn't been experiencing bothersome symptoms). I was unaware that I could request same gender assistants for the procedure. I did choose a woman doctor for the obvious modesty reason but she took little to no time explaining the procedure. Needless to say, then, I was quite dismayed to see the morning of the procedure that I was to have a male anesthesiologist as well as his assistant, also male. I asked the nurse about the level of exposure and felt a little better when she told me that only my buttocks would be exposed and only the doctor would see them. I was provieded with a gown that tied in the back at the neck and the waist and was given a blanket. I was sedated with propofol and remember nothing about the procedure once I turned on my left side. Once I recovered and whet to get dressed I was a little puzzled to find my gown completely untied. It seemed to me that the gown, which was open from the waist down anyways, would have allowed adequate access to the needed area without having to be untied. I did lodge a concern/complaint and was given an explanation and vague reassurance that the exposure was minimal. But I find myself still troubled by the whole thing. Has anyone else had this experience with a colonoscopy that could offer me more insight? I am 56 years old and have thankfully been very healthy and so avoided doctors mainly because of my modesty concerns. I find this latest episode only reinforces my fears. Oh, by the way, the symptoms I was experiencing turned out to be nothing serious.

At Saturday, April 03, 2010 4:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 12:15 – your colonoscopy experience sounds very similar to my first one. I chose a male doc (I’m male) and when I arrived at the surgi-center, I found out the entire staff there is female. Now if you think I’m going to start bashing the nurses, I’m not. They treated me respectfully and professionally the whole time I was awake, so based on that I have no reason that believe that would change once I’m unconscious. I too had on just a gown that tied in back at the neck and waist (side actually), but I was asked to undo the waist tie before getting into bed so the doc wouldn’t have to do it. Just before I was sedated the neck tie was undone so the EKG leads could be slipped under the gown thru the neck opening and placed on my chest. I too remember nothing of the procedure, one minute I’m lying on my left side, the next I’m in the recovery room. I realize that some amount is exposure is necessary and unavoidable with a procedure like this and I thought about it some before hand but I didn’t worry about it. I felt the stuff you have to drink the day before is a far worse experience. * Sean *

At Saturday, April 03, 2010 5:45:00 PM, Blogger BJTNT said...

To 4/3 12:15 anonymous, we empathize with you. Both my wife and I have had colonoscopies. When my wife had hers, one of the nurses said that she recently had one in this facility where she worked. There were male and females "nurses". She said that she made everyone of them promise that only her best friend working there "would see her bottom".
As the nurses like to say "It's no big deal". Right?

At Saturday, April 03, 2010 6:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An interesting post on allnurses from a female nursing student who says she received more respectful care from male nurses than from female nurses. The OP was a male nurse requesting advise on how to do EKGs on female patients.

“Very nice you sound like the guy who did my 2nd EKG and you sound like the other guy who did my echocardiogram. (who warmed up the gel) They were so kind and respectful and I wasn't shy......just cold hahaha which is also embarrasing for it's own reasons.

As for the female who did my first EKG ever I thought she was rather inconsiderate and had me fully exposed which surprised me seeing as we have the "same equipment" so to speak.

I'm a female and have been lucky I think. I have never had a negative medical experience with a male. Men also tend to have warmer hands then women (might be a fluke there but again my experience)

I now see a female for my yearlys and she is kind and sweet but it is like being touched by a corpse. She also has a bad habit of leaving me overly exposed no matter what the procedure is but oh well can't have it all.”

At Saturday, April 03, 2010 6:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

another interesting post on allnurses from a male EKG tech.

"I can only think of one time that I've ever had a female just outright protest about me doing the EKG. And when that happened, a female nurse happened to be in the room, and she explained why I was having to do the EKG and just talked her through the procedure. There have also been a few times when they have been seemingly a little too eager to take their gown off! But I always just try to be as utmostly polite and professional as I can, regardless of the circumstances.

I can tell you one thing: I've heard countless stories from my female EKG-tech coworkers about them having trouble with female patients not wanting to expose themselves, and/or even being rude, making little comments, etc. So if/when a female patient ever does act in this way, it may well be that it's more of her own issue with being exposed, and not necessarily just because of the fact that a male is in the room."

Same link as before

At Monday, April 05, 2010 7:15:00 AM, Blogger Jean said...

Hate to keep harping on this but back to the colonoscopy thing. I realized that my bottom would be exposed to some degree but I guess what my concern was about the gown being untied was that there may have also been some frontal exposure. One nurse did tell me that they pull the gown from the front to get it out from under the hip so I'm hoping this was done without pulling the whole gown off of me. It still just gives me a creepy feeling to know that someone was adjusting my gown, etc. after I was sedated. I think if adjustments to the gown have to be made it should be done BEFORE the patient is sedated so that they have some control in assisting and insuring that no unnecessary exposure occurs. J-art

At Tuesday, April 06, 2010 2:05:00 PM, Blogger BJTNT said...

The shift in this blog to improve patient modesty is commendable and justifiable, but it's long term. Let's try another tactic to help ourselves in the short term.
Can mind over matter help in patient modesty situations?
A little background first. About 30 years ago when I had kidney stone surgery, I researched the possible treatments to the point that I was prepared [psyched] for the surgery. On the day of surgery the nurses gave me a shot to relax me for the next shot, etc. After that first day I refused all attempts by the nurses to give me a pain shot because I had no pain what-so-ever. The old endorphins were really working. Was this mind over matter?
Fifteen years later when I needed a new PCP, I went to a new franchise and asked to interview an MD. After a discussion we agreed to be patient and MD. She was a young woman and this was her first job after training. Although I am a modest person, I accepted her because I prefer a young MD to an experienced one. Undoubtedly I'm in the minority in this opinion, but I prefer the recent education/knowledge and training of a new MD to the experienced MD with little or no continuing education except that provided by pill pushing pharma salesmen.
Anyway, since I was concerned about my modesty, including a possible erection, I willed [if that is the appropriate word]to have a shrunken penis and was successful. This helped protect my modesty. Was this an example of mind over matter? Over the years she did my annuals and I still managed a shrunken penis each time despite complete physicals. Again, I believe this was mind over matter. Am I fooling myself?
If not, does this portent any value to others?

At Tuesday, April 06, 2010 7:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A male nurse came into my room to put ekg leads on. I started to object and he promised no exposure at all.

First, he had me untie my gown at the neck and pulled it down to a respectable level placing the leads just below slipping his hand just under the top of the gown.

Next, he had me pull the gown up from the bottom exposing the crease under the breast and placed the leads there.

Now every time I need an ekg at different places, I instruct the nurses on this most dignified and acceptable way to do an ekg from both the nurses perspective and the patient perspective.

At Wednesday, April 07, 2010 6:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"having your modesty violated is sexual assault."

If having your modesty violated is sexual assault, almost every guy I know has been sexually assaulted by nurses, aides, etc. The problem is that nobody cares about men and boys being sexually assaulted. When it happens to women it means lawsuits, front page headlines, and men being fired from their professions and hated by the community, if not prison time. When it happens to men and boys they are told to shut up and to "suck it in" and "be a man". Nobody cares but the sexual assault victim.


At Wednesday, April 07, 2010 10:10:00 AM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

GR, do you think that was the reason for the silence over many years from the male children who were sexually abused by certain priests. ..Maurice.

At Wednesday, April 07, 2010 10:41:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"When it happens to men and boys they are told to shut up and to "suck it in" and "be a man". Nobody cares but the sexual assault victim."
Yes they do, but the people telling them to shut up are the abusers. Then when people find out they don't keep screaming about it! If men stood up for their gender like women do something would happen.

At Wednesday, April 07, 2010 5:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sexual abuse in the church and sexual abuse in a hospital are very much the same in that the victims are vulnerable.

Anytime anyone is stripped against their will it is sexual assault and battery no matter who the victim is.

The reason the abuses in the church are having trouble leaking into mainstream society are exactly the same as the medical industry hushing up victims. The victims think they are alone and that nobody will believe them. They are so traumatized that they cannot speak.

Institutional sexual abuse in this country is a human rights violation that comes under the heading of taboo. The powers do not want this to leak; nor does the medical industry. It is bleeding though and social upheaval is on the way; just look at this blog as a perfect example and thanks to everyone who comments to what I would consider atrocities. They earn that name when human beings suffer because of abuse.

At Thursday, April 08, 2010 1:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently,the nursing industry has
bestowed upon themselves the distinction as being the most trusted profession. Rather it was the hospitals who may have concocted the scheme.
Odd in that I've never seen a vote process as such or was never
asked to participate in one as a


At Thursday, April 08, 2010 3:51:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, John, John. Why are you so angry at me? I have never once diminished a man's experience on this blog. All I am doing is giving examples of the female equivalent of the male experience.
Sure you brought up that my husband has never had to expose himself in his entire life. But I didn't say that all men haven't had to. I was just pointing out that the nature of women's bodies means that we are more regularly put into these situations. I have been over a Dr Sherman's blog and I have been quite appalled at some of the women's experiences, in particular pap smears.
I will copy one woman's comment because it is a good example of how far women still have to go regarding modesty issues.
"I worked as a receptionist at a doctor's surgery for 5 years and thought this testing reduced our collective dignity. Many women felt "set upon" and few would have provided informed consent. I saw files with tabs reminding doctors "to get this smear done"...NO EXCUSES! I saw no information leaflets for women except the scary signs we put in the waiting room. The "resisters" were women who refused smears or kept making excuses. After a few attempts they were marked for "special treatment" which meant the senior doctor would enter the consult room at the end of the visit and the two doctors would pressure and frighten her. I always hated these sessions and overheard several over my time when there were raised voices - some women sobbed, others became angry, others were like scared rabbits and one actually bolted out of the surgery. I recall a young women who gave in and left very distressed; we didn't see her again even though she had been a regular patient receiving treatment for bronchitis, asthma and allergies.
I always thought this was wrong. I'm sure it still goes on today. One thing is behind this disgraceful treatment of women: the screening target payment system".
Of course now I'm just waiting for the male bloggers to pooh pooh this.

At Thursday, April 08, 2010 6:51:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course now I'm just waiting for the male bloggers to pooh pooh this.
(emphasis mine)

Sounds like somebody is spoiling for a fight.

That said, the above post by NP could best be categorized as the medical establishment enriching itself by pushing unnecessary intimate exams. What hasn't been demonstrated is how the women involved suffer modesty violations. For instance, teen boys suffer unnecessary hernia exams...regrettable. But the modesty violation is that the doctors performing these exams are accompanied by gawking female school nurses—sometimes even voyeuristic teachers.

Overtesting is a problem—probably even a uniquely American one—but I don't see how its germane to the discussion of patient modesty.

At Thursday, April 08, 2010 8:02:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a doctor's job to advise patient's of the consequence of refusing tests and it's the patient's job to assess if they are willing to go through the embarrassment or pass.

If a patient becomes frightened from what the doctor says, perhaps she ought to be or doesn't believe the research on why these tests don't seem to be necessary.

Collectively, patient's need to grow up, do their research, take or not take the advice of their physicians.

I will say this, if that woman was so upset about her decision, she will never allow anyone to pressure her into a decision. She will take her time, protect her mental health and her physical the best way she knows how.

At Thursday, April 08, 2010 7:16:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

GR You write "The problem is that nobody cares about men and boys being sexually assaulted. When it happens to women it means lawsuits, front page headlines, and men being fired from their professions and hated by the community, if not prison time. When it happens to men and boys they are told to shut up and to "suck it in" and "be a man".
I would like to beg to differ once again. A story broke here in Australia a couple of weeks ago about sexual abuse going on in a family sitcom. The accused was lead actor playing the father. The victims were several young girls in the show ranging from 6 to teenage years. One of the young male actors saw this abuse with his own eyes and reported it to the producer. The producer chose to do nothing about it and warned the male actor to shut and keep out of it. So the young girl actresses were treated just like the young boys you talk about. They were meant to suck it in. And the female actresses who have now come forward and gone public have now been receiving tons of hate mail.

At Thursday, April 08, 2010 9:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We all agree that both genders can
see whom we choose as our providers
,however,it is well documented that
female clerks etc always make a
point to attempt entry and presence
during private exams for male patients.
Once I was at a major airport in
Dallas in the early 70's and after
entering the mens bathroom stood
some woman selling towels right in
front of the urinals.
During military induction physicals your chances of going
through the ordeal without female
clerks watching were slim.
Think again if males are restricted to speaking to males
when calling one the those erectile
dysfunction places,as if they think we're OK with that. Even the
womenagainstprostatecancer don't
get it. Their comments "We need
the female nurses that we have".
The founders of this site are
not medical people which only
further implicates the depth of
cluelessness regarding this issue.
A female intensive care nurse
once expressed concern about her
appointment with a male ultrasound
technologist for a procedure in
which didn't even involve modesty
issues. I doubt she ever asks her
male patients what their concerns
regarding these issues might be.
Too bad I couldn't show her the
wallpaper from playgirl magazine
that graced the entire walls of
the female nurses bathroom at one
intensive care unit I had visited.


At Friday, April 09, 2010 10:20:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need to be very careful and quite specific about the term "sexually assault." That term has specific legal definitions.
A non intentional, careless, modesty violation that doesn't involve touching -- that's not an assault. But like, sexual harassment it can be defined as what the victim perceives. Whether it's intended or not, if the victim considered it harassment or even inappropriate, that could be the defining element. This could also be gender discrimination.
For an intentional modesty violation (this is our policy or this is just how we do this) -- to me that would be a clear example of harassment, but not necessarily assault.
PT -- You always make some good points but most often you take things to the extreme. This isn't to say you're not representing your experiences and that your experiences didn't happen or are not relevant. They are. But I don't believe they represent what it's like for every male all the time. For example, you write: "it is well documented that female clerks etc always make a point to attempt entry and presence during private exams for male patients." When you use the terms "always" you lose credibility. And if this "always" is "well-documented," supply us with the documentation.
NP -- You're just trying to convince some men on this blog that women have this modesty problem, too. And I agree with you. I know of situations, in areas (esp. rural areas) where women have no or little choice as to the gender of EMT's and female doctors. The available of gender choice varies -- but, and I'm sure you agree -- when it comes to nurses, med assts and many kinds of techs, men have a much more difficult time finding male care. But I find your position a reasonable one.
If men make this a gender war, within our current political and cultural climate -- we'll lose. We may win in court, but that could be a mere Pyrric victory. The issue is respect for patient modesty regardless of patient gender. Generally speaking, those who respect the concept of modesty respect both genders. Those who are ignorant or lacking respect for patient modesty, disrespect both genders.

At Friday, April 09, 2010 4:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I don't think I'll ever worry about losing credibility regarding this subject. There are enough bad
experiences posted here and elsewhere that will carry on this
subject long after I'm gone.
Speaking of issues in the
extreme perhaps I will at some point later share with you all some instances that certainly parallel this subject and then some. To respond to your comment
as to what I said regarding female
clerks always attempting to make
entry during private exams for
male patients.Specifically, I was
referring to military induction
exams which as you may know rules
regarding this matter were changed
in 2003 per US mepcom based on
complaints. What was interesting
though was that numerous attempts
were made by religous groups to
pass out Gideons bibles at mep
stations. Many attempts were made
to enter meps facilities and in
fact a number of lawsuits were
filed regading these matters.
In fact,that was one of the comments made in a courtroom exactly pertaining to this subject
in that it was brought up that if
non medical female clerks can watch
medical exams of young recruits,then why can we not pass
out our bibles after the swearing in process! The female clerks were
civilian union employees and yes
even after mepcom rules were announced many still attempted to
enter medical examinations.
I can recall many many a level
one trauma whereby female registration clerks would make every attempt to walk in on level
one trauma's when there was absolutely no reason for them to be there. At every medical facility
that is a dedicated level one there
are automatic identification packets that carry temporary id
packets untill the true identify is
known,an example is johndoe1 and
continues to johndoe1500. Pediatric
traumas are identified by temporary
packets such as donaldduck1 to say
It was a spectacle for crowds of
people to walk in on these exams and many places that haven't moved up with the times still exist. The
extremes is what gets peoples attention and yet what about many
exams elsewhere in that you might
have thought that no one made an
attempt to enter in to an exam at
least you wouldn't know if they attempted now would you.


At Friday, April 09, 2010 4:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MER said

"Generally speaking,those who respect the concept of modesty respect both genders.Those who are
ignorant or lacking respect for patient modesty,disrespect both

Is this to say that a medical
center that employs only female
mammographers in their mammography department and female nurses
in urology respect both genders.
This is essentially the case
at thousands of medical facilites
across the nation.


At Friday, April 09, 2010 8:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well -- I do agree with you in some respects, PT. Any facility that does intimate exams on both that doesn't employ both genders and try to accommodate gender preference -- does not respect the modesty of both genders.Whether they realize it or not, they live in a culture of disrespect.
But, I would say there is a difference between urology and mammography. Granted, some men may need a mammogram, but it's a small percentage. And the male breast does not equal the female breast in sexual or erotic symbolism. Now, facilities that do testicular sonograms that do not employ male techs -- they also do not acknowledge for both genders. We agree on that. By the way, these clinics don't employ only women because they respect women's modesty. They employ only women b because it's cheaper and easier -- takes little effort to find a female clerk or tech of med asst. Takes much more effort to find a male.
But I wish you would cite sources, esp. for cases like the Gideon bible case. I'd like to read that one. Besides our own experience, and anonymous accounts by men on other blogs, where can we find written testimony of female clerks intruding on military exams. I'm not claiming that didn't happen. I'd just like to see official written accounts. Where can we find records of these court cases?

At Saturday, April 10, 2010 12:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MER said

"But,I would say there is a difference between urology and

How are these two exams different?
Isn't it all about comfort for the
patient as well as concerns for
privacy and how the patient feels.

"Granted,some men may need a mammo,
but its a small percentage.And the
male breast does not equal the
female breast in sexual or erotic

According to whom? Whose perception,yours? We really should
not be making assumptions about
how men feel!

Specifically Mer,I am referring to
hospitals that have within their institution a mammography suite
employing only female mammographers
and a urology suite employing only
female nurses and female cna's.
And many of these institutions
employ only female sonographers
as well. Now mammography and ultrasound are modalities found
specifically as part of radiology
Urology is often associated within the surgery department.My
point is that this is consistent
with most medical hospitals across
the country. Your previous comment
was "those who respect the concept
of modesty respect both genders,
and those who are ignorant or
lacking respect for patient modesty
disrespect both genders.

If a medical center,institution
employs only female mammographers,
female urology nurses and cna's
as well as female ultrasonographers
explain to me how these institutions are ignorant or lacking respect for patient
modesty and disrespecting both
genders. They are only disrespecting male patients!


At Saturday, April 10, 2010 2:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


For the record I am not particularly a religous person.The
Gideons have now passed out 1.5
BILLION free bibles. They have
been doing so for the last 100
years. They are headquartered in
Nashville Tenn.

Take a look at caught-in-a-draft is here you
will look at posts of recruits
attesting to the presence of female
clerks during military induction
exams. By the way,I was one of those recruits and no I was not
drafted,I volunteered.

Female recruits were always given
a private room for their exam. Men
were not,look at the rules on
mepcom. In 2003 US mepcom commanded
by Col. Campos issued new rules at
all 65 mep sites involving observers,specifically female non
medical observers.
Why would the commander of meps
issue new requirements,complaints.

Apparently,it was ok to violate
your privacy as a recruit and access to freedom of religion.
It was ok to bring non-medical
female observers in but keep those
holy rollers out. Dosen't that
just scream ignornance.What does
it say across the top of the backside of a one dollar bill.

Here are some of the sites..
Rules set for religous access at
mep sites

An easier way is simple type
this into google(gideons bible and
mep sites)

Now the aclu got involved as well
as the ADF. ADF is a legal alliance
defense fund

After some legal wrangling

Military reverses bible distribution policy at induction centers.


At Saturday, April 10, 2010 10:19:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PT -- I don't doubt that this stuff happened. I've read what seem credible accounts by recruits on various blogs. I'm looking for official reports, newspaper articles, court documents, etc. I checked all your websites and could find nothing specific. It sounds like the Gideons were handing out bibles while the men were still dressed, perhaps as they got off the buses. No reference to them being allowed in while the actual exams were taking place. This is an interesting topic that needs to be explored. I'd like to see some military files where letters or emails are flying back and forth about this -- or complaint letters, or court documents. Anyone know where these might be found?

At Saturday, April 10, 2010 10:55:00 AM, Blogger BJTNT said...

When the MD knocks on the exam room door, is this a request for entry or an announcement of impending entry? I have always assumed an announcement which is fine with me for the MD, but not for others.
My previous dermatologist [MD#1] was highly recommended by someone that I respected. She allows her nurse to enter whenever and without knocking which I find unsatisfactory. MD#1 is the draw for the office and is overbooked because she is well known for her community service.
Over 4-5 years there were 3-4 office visits in which I was assigned to two other dermatologists in her office. Once, when MD#1 was supposedly on vacation I saw her seeing other patients, but I find this just another example of the lack of integrity in medical operations. With the second intraoffice referral, I asked this dermatologist [MD#2] if we should be patient and MD after a short discussion. She is probably 20 years younger than MD#1 [as stated in an earlier post I prefer younger MDs]. Her nurse never comes in when the MD is in the exam room and the nurse only enters after knocking and being acknowledged. Before I was convinced of MD#2's policy I asked her if anyone else was going to enter the exam room during the exam. She had this perplexed look on her face as she answered "no". I appreciate her policy. Is there hope that some younger MDs may actually consider patient modesty? I suspect that I just lucked out.

At Saturday, April 10, 2010 12:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"She allows her nurse to enter whenever and without knocking which I find unsatisfactory."

I just want to establish something. The odds are 99% that these are not nurses -- they're medical assistants. Big difference. I'm curious: does the receptionist or the doctor refer to them as nurses? Do they call themselves nurses? If so, that would be unethical, and in some states, illegal. From the point of view of privacy and modesty, I do realize that, for many, it doesn't matter what their title is. But, unfortunately, too often med assts and cna's are referred to as nurses and/or it's assumed by the patient that they are nurses, and no effort is made to clear up this important distinction.
To your main points: From my experience, a knock on the door by a doctor or nurses is most often meant as a warning that they're entering. Rarely, but sometimes, they ask permission and/or if you're ready. Second, yes, to some extent I believe that younger doctors and nurses are more savvy regarding patient modesty. Not all of them, but more than the older doctors. Just my observations.

At Saturday, April 10, 2010 1:27:00 PM, Blogger BJTNT said...

You're right, I don't know if they are nurses. I once had an assistant X-ray tech perform nurse duties.
I did ask the "nurse" to MD#1 if nurses could wear any color uniform they liked since she was wearing a bright yellow one. Although I implied that she was a nurse she probably felt no obligation to correct me if she wasn't a nurse.
I complimented MD#2 nurse [after a brief discussion with her]to MD#2. She told me the story how she selected her nurse. It was clear from the story that MD#2 called her a nurse.

At Saturday, April 10, 2010 3:15:00 PM, Blogger BJTNT said...

I suspect that MDs call their staff "nurses" in order to inflate their status. Probably everyone except the receptionist and janitor are called "nurses". We will probably have to call "real" nurses RNs in order to distinguish them from the rest of the staff. In that context, MD#2 nurse may not be an RN.

At Tuesday, April 13, 2010 3:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As of tomorrow

All mammographers will become male.
95% of all nurses will become male.
99.9% of all cna's will become male
as well as unit clerks,registration
clerks to include physician front
office help.
All males entering the military will have their medical exam done
in a private room.
All females entering the military
will have their medical exam done
nude in front of several male clerks,stupid exercises too!
Hippa violations of celebrities will occur as a result of males.
Cellphone pic violations of patients will occur exclusively by
All urology and surgical staff will
be "manned" by male staff.
Visiting your female gyn,no problem
as your exam will be interruped by
her male clerk.
Don't like what we have,go elsewhere. You don't have anything we haven't seen before.GET OVER IT.

On nursing websites you will read
our comments such as "Do you check
your patients breasts and clitoris

Female versions of "whoa innapropriate"will be found.

You will be asked to assume odd
positions when getting an im injection.

Wear these short shorts when visiting one of our male physical

L&D will now have male nurses and
remember,your birthing experience
is no more unique than our uro

You might read about a male physician wanting to put a finger
"in your butt."

New websites such as menagainst
cervicalcancer and why women
don't visit the doctor.

"We need all the male nurses we

Men sports reporters will be visiting the womens lockers soon.

Male nurses will start watching
nude young girls get a hernia exam
at your local high school.

And finally,to all you middle eastern women out their about
to pass through a whole body
scanner. Forget it! Your fatwa
will not be respected.


At Tuesday, April 13, 2010 4:50:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

Gosh! An immediate metamorphosis of the entire healthcare system and male and female modesty issues! Is a meteorite landing on Earth? I may get an immediate influx of female visitors to this thread. Are we all ready to accept them? ..Maurice.

At Thursday, April 15, 2010 7:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As of tomorrow

All mammographers will become male.
95% of all nurses will become male.
99.9% of all cna's will become male
as well as unit clerks,registration
clerks to include physician front
office help."
Would be interesting if this got posted on some dr.'s and hospitals windows! I'm willing to bet modesty issues would finally be flying in communities. Can you imagine the newspaper articles filled with angry women? We might finally have to be honest in public. Oh no!

At Thursday, April 15, 2010 6:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PT has made a very thought provoking post. Essentially one day women would wake up to find a world flipped upside down from what we have now. They would feel taken advantage of in sports and military physicals, receive no respect for modesty and privacy, get ignored for healthcare gender considerations. They would feel scared, angry and sick to their stomach every time they need to interact with the healthcare industry. Men of course live in this world right now. Maybe women can now understand how men feel. -Jean-

At Thursday, April 15, 2010 8:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally, a woman who really gets it.

At Thursday, April 15, 2010 10:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally, a woman who really gets it.

pretty offensive. thanks alot.

At Friday, April 16, 2010 8:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello all,
Been away from this blog for long but have been reading the posts regularly. Actually something that PT said was interesting. With reference to the female doctor who on her official website of "Why men don't want physicals" talks about sticking a finger up their butt. Has anyone thought of a commercial about male modesty issues? Lets spin it in another way. Like swf once said women don't like other women even if they are nurses touching their husbands. So how about a commercial like this:

A couple walks into a urology clinic with the wife accompanying her husband. The husband is called in while the wife waits in the hallway reading. While he sits in the examination room, in walks a gorgeous nurse in an extremely short tight outfit and asks the man to take off his clothes. The man looks at the door and begins to undress while the nurse puts on this seductive look on her face. The next shot is of the wife as she calmly reads in the hallway. The last caption could read - "This might happen to your man the next time you walk into a hospital. Do you still want to wait in the hallway?".

For all you know the commercial might get banned because it is demeaning to women and nurses. But, that might still do the job because a banned commercial will still get downloaded all over the net and might attract extra attention just because it was banned. Instead of writing protest letters to people who make derogatory advertisements, why not make offensive commercials in return. Getting something like this produced may not be too tough.

Any ideas PT?

At Friday, April 16, 2010 11:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

pretty offensive. thanks alot.

Not to imply that there haven't been other female posters who "got it," most notably swf, but Jean seems to have hit the nail on the head on her first(?) post:

They [women] would feel scared, angry and sick to their stomach every time they need to interact with the healthcare industry. Men of course live in this world right now. Maybe women can now understand how men feel.

Amid charges ranging from insensitivity to outright misogyny, this is all most of the male posters asked of the female posters. We know women have modesty problem, and they should be addressed; but they are, for the most part, anomalous not systemic. Once we take care of the systemic, we greatly reduce the anomalous.

We CAN work together.

At Friday, April 16, 2010 12:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It just occurred to me that Jean may be a male, the French equivalent of Gene. If that is the case, My bad.

At Friday, April 16, 2010 10:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I felt utterly panic stricken when the healthcare industry suddenly turned 95% male overnight. Then I made the connection that this is probably how men feel with 95% female staffing too. Yes, rsl, I’m female.

At Friday, April 16, 2010 11:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MER said it better than anyone

" a culture of disrespect "


That would make a great commercial and as you may know I'm
sure it has happened more than once,however,I list examples that
I've seen with my own eyes after
decades of healthcare experience.
In the very early part of the
1980's while working at a large
hospital in the midwest I went to
visit a patient in one of the
intensive care units. While in the
unit I asked to use the bathroom
which was located in the unit. This
bathroom was primarily the nurses
bathroom yet certainly it was used
by everyone else.
Every square inch of the bathroom
was covered by full length layouts
of nude men from playgirl magazine
and as such an excellent commercial
would have been for the camera to
pan the view of the bathroom,then
on to a patients room so the
viewers would see that it was a
hospital with the caption then
displayed "and these people call
themselves professionals".


At Friday, April 16, 2010 11:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Regarding the Gideons bibles,the
effort was as I said to distribute
the bibles after the swearing in
process. In other words Gideon
representatives made an effort to
enter the meps facilities and they
were denied entrance. After legal
wrangling between ADF attornies
and the ACLU the decision was made
to allow Gideon to pass out bibles
on the sidewalks.
This is a big difference from
bible carrying representatives
having respect for the privacy
of soldiers with the intent of
meeting soldiers after swearing in
versus female clerks having access
to the large rooms where men had
the medical exam.
Remember,this isn't something I
read about,I was there! Very very
important to keep in perspective
about time frames. My induction
physical was at Ft Knox in the
early 1970's. Gideon made attempts
to pass out bibles first at Ft Knox
in 2006!
Over 30 years elapsed and still
in the name of religion they were
not allowed entrance,yet female
clerks were,go figure!
In conclusion,usmepcom made
the decision in 2003 to limit
unnecessary female presence,typical
military response 30 years too late.


At Saturday, April 17, 2010 10:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PT -- Thanks for the clarification. I certainly don't doubt your experience. I've researched enough to know what you described happened all too often. A few points:
-- Those in charge were men. We can't neglect that. Men in power have had more to do with disrespect for male modesty than females -- although, once allowed power and access by the those men men, some females abused it.
-- Male nudity during military exams and inspections has been, in the past, a ritual, one mostly accepted and respected by most men. It was considered a male bonding experience. In the past, no women were involved. That was part of the ritual rules. That changed, I believe, in the 1960's for many sociological reasons -- including the rise of women in the workforce and the need for fresh troops and the rush and crowding. Most of these violations I read about happened during the Vietnam War. You don't read much from WW2 or Korea. Most veterans I've talked with from those wars recall the nudity with no women involved.
-- Men in power giving unauthorized females access to naked men can be a power play, designed to impress the females with how much power those males in charge have. We saw that clearly in Iraq with the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. It been used in war against both men and women throughout the ages -- although our attitudes toward nudity and embarrassment have changed, too. I don't claim power plays is the reason for nurse and med asst access to male bodies -- that's mostly efficiency in the name of profit, habit, routine, and in some cases, laziness. I'm certainly not claiming that most male doctors today play the power game in this way. No. I don't even think the power theory was in effect for most of the early draft physicals -- it was mostly get the job done. I believe only a few male officers abused their power.
-- From my research, it was female nurses, to a significant degree, that advocated for the men during these draft physicals. Many found how the men were treated to be unacceptable and complained. I'm sure some men complained, too, but not many. They had more to risk.

At Saturday, April 17, 2010 3:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I don't ever recall the presence or need of female nurses
at afees or meps.There were never
nurses at these facilities reason
being well after the physical
exam inductees went on for a chest
xray and a series of shots and
many of them.
There are a number of websites
strictly dedicated to many who
believe that the guns used to
deliver the numerous vaccines were
unsterile and as a result the cause of hep a and c that many
claim they later contracted.
On one particular website it
is said that one-third of all
people who later developed hep
a and c were in the military.
I've never read anywhere that
said there were female nurses
involved in these exams and I
certainly do not believe that
any advocated on the part of
male inductees. Those delivering
the shots I recall were medical
assistants and were all male.
On caught-in-a-draft@yahoo
groups one individual mentioned
that his grandmother I believe or
perhaps it was his aunt that later
she said she felt bad for the nude
men that looked so young who most
likly were going to vietnam. She
was a clerk and she never mentioned
anything about if she felt guilty
about her presence.
Fact is, I seriously discount any
thing heartfelt that it was claimed
mentioned by her grandson or nephew
or whomever he was. The problem
with the site is that it has become
somewhat overrun by those from the
voy forums,who now have a fetish
for this kind of thing.
In conclusion,there is a another
site called
that has questionaires you take a
poll and go back to see the results
of all who took the poll. Once you
reach the site simply type in what
polls you want to see. Never ever
have I seen or expect to see any
female nurses in any way or capacity be expected to advocate
in any way shape or form for
medical privacy for male patients.


At Saturday, April 17, 2010 7:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well,PT, you and I pretty much know where we agree and disagree. But I will claim I don't know all about this subject. I did have a group draft physical during the Vietnam War era, but it was nothing like those terrible one's described. What you demonstrate, however, is how those unethical exams affected those who went through them, how the memories and humiliation never disappeared. We've talked about the effect of some of these modesty violations upon patients and how they create a mistrust that can last a lifetime. Medical professionals must never forget that.

At Saturday, April 17, 2010 7:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That last comment by anonymous should have been signed MER.

At Sunday, April 18, 2010 2:38:00 PM, Blogger BJTNT said...

Through a number of circumstances, I experienced my pre-induction Army physical in Butte, MT in the 1950s. This was lucky for me since there was a small group of us with only male medical personnel. I was extremely modest in those days. That was fortunate because I worried ahead of time if there was a female MD I would bolt. With hindsight, i.e. now knowing myself better, I probably wouldn't have. It never occurred to me that there would be any non-MD females present. Had there been these females, there is a much better chance that I would have bolted. The odds of bolting would have increased significantly if I had today's hindsight, i.e. knowing the disrespect of one's humanity by medical operations.

At Sunday, April 18, 2010 8:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

does it matter if females are md or not????? they are all just women, same as secretarys and waitresses! gosh, women are just women and men are just men. why do we treat md as sacred?

At Monday, April 19, 2010 11:53:00 AM, Blogger BJTNT said...

Good point, anonymous 4/18,8:01 PM. Certainly my view has changed from what I experienced as a young man and what I have experienced as a mature adult.
Over time I have evolved in my acceptance of MDs, both male and female. My taxonomy is scientist, engineer, and technician. The MD who does research is a scientist, the MD who develops a new medical procedure or invents an instrument is an engineer, and the MD we encounter is a technician,
1.] Further support of this position is that blood and urine lab tests, rather than a physical exam by an MD, are becoming the methods for diagnosis. A tech draws the blood and a tech runs the lab tests. Does an MD need to be involved in this initial visit?
2.] In the mid 1980s knowledge-based software could diagnose QUOTE "equal to the better internist" UNQUOTE. I read this in a 1986 article , so I can't source it for you. Certainly this software would be more equivalent to a tech than a professional. Maybe MDs haven't embraced this technology because it does lower the need for an MD. A tech could help patients enter their symptoms in a PC in the waiting room with the resulting diagnosis being better than one by an average internist. [Remember that 50% of MDs graduated in the bottom half of their medical class]. It would also be beneficial for the MD since he could sit at his desk/PC and approve the diagnosis. He could see many more patients this way, i.e. make more money.
3.] Many/most MDs don't tell patients about the contra-indications and side effects of medicines. Medical operations tells the patient to get this information from the pharmacist. Does this make the MD seem more professional than a tech?
4.] Physicians Assistants and Nurse Practitioners could do much of the primary medical care that MDs now do. Are PAs and NPs technicians? With the current technical advancement in medical operations, maybe only PAs and NPs are necessary for the initial contact with patients. This would allow most MDs to be specialists which is their desire.
Having technicians do the initial contact with a patient could work to the patient's advantage. The PAs and NPs would probably be more willing to spend time with the patient. This in itself is therapeutic.
In any case, MDs are no longer even demi-gods. Attitude adjustment for MDs to follow.

At Monday, April 19, 2010 4:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Call a hospital,outpatient surgery
center or physicians office and
ask them what is the gender ratio
of their employees.

I'm not concerned about housekeeping or security,but,
rather the ratio of male to female
as far as caregivers within that

Be prepared for a somewhat long
pause. Medical facilities have
what are called core measures,
performance values.In other words
how well are they doing specific

Many facilities post these values
but what if they had to post the
gender ratio of their staff.

With reference to hospitals this
responsibility would fall on the
shoulders of human resource and
managers who have control over
hiring staff.

Each specific department of a
hospital should have to readily
make that apparent to patients.

We already know what most units
like L&D or mammography have as
their gender staff. Patients
should be told,up front.

A new core measure might be to
increase male nurses say in urology
or the emergency room and the
specific departments would have
to work to improve the ratios.

I honestly don't belive there are
a lack of males wanting to enter
nursing as a career,but rather I
see they are discouraged or
hindered,discriminated being a
better word.

I've seen medical labs in hospitals
that employ all women. You can't
tell me that there are no male
medical technologists desiring a
position at these places. There
certainly is more to this problem
than just nursing.


At Tuesday, April 20, 2010 4:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently underwent a steroidal injection into my spine due to sciatica. Prior to the procedure, the nurses described me as anxious and worried. The anaesthetist asked me if I was feeling unwell after seeing my vital signs, I said I would feel a hundred times better if no females were involved in my procedure. They readily agreed and i was almost instantly less anxious and my blood pressure returned to normal very quickly. They were astounded by my turn around.

Why do they not think about the pressures they are putting on patients and ASK if there is anything they can do to help alleviate them?

Just asking helps immensley.

At Tuesday, April 20, 2010 8:34:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

The following comment was anonymously but also erroneously sent to now inactive Volume 22. I am reproducing it here because I think this visitor has contributed a fresher view to the issue of patient modesty. ..Maurice.

I'm 50 and supervise a large hospital pharmacy; we are clinically involved in patient care, but lousy at following our own advice. Most of us shold have had colonoscopies (we recommend them and schedule them for patients that we follow in primary care) every day, but avoid them ourselves. When our secretary died of colon cancer, I decided to get a colonoscopy. It made me mad as hell that someone who we all loved cold have been saved by a simple test that is done 500 feet from out office door. I'm a 50 year old guy who is normally shy; I work with mostly women. When I expressed the slightest interest over getting a colonoscopy, the GI doc had me scheduled quickly. She also mentioned that you have several dozen people working for you who need, but who are ignoring this test. The day before my colonoscopy, we had a staff meeting and I announced that I was getting 'scoped the next day. I mentioned that if our friend had done this test, she would still be here. I also announced (to a hushed group) that anyone is invited to watch my procedure if they wished. And I made a few jokes about "seeing proof that your supervisor is a perfect a-hole)" .... Couldn't believe that 4 employees showed up the next day to watch. My doc was cool with that, but she pulled me aside and asked that I submit to sedation (I hate it and wanted to do the scope without it), but she said that my discomfort would probably scare the onlookers. O.K., the CRNA shot me up with propofol and it was an easy exam. The doc reassured me that everyone was looking at the scren, not my butt. I had a few polyps and one was pre-cancerous. A few guys in other departments kidded me about leting my employees watch my exam, funny. 2 weeks later, the GI doc told me that over a dozen prople from my department had scheduled colonoscopies after watching mine. Modesty? Sure, you deserve it. Don't die from embarassment.

At Wednesday, April 21, 2010 3:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry anonymous colonoscopy patient, you have TOTALLY missed the point. Because YOU are an exhibitionist does not make the concerns of others invalid.

How you feel is fine for you.

I WOULD die from embarrassment before I would consent to females present in embarrassing situations.

End of discussion.

You have your opinion, I have mine

At Wednesday, April 21, 2010 3:12:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

Yesterday a visitor to this thread wrote me her personal experience as
another example of doctor behavior leading to long lasting emotional distress. She indicated that she had repeated examination by the pediatrician during her early puberty while required to be nude. Her mother was present during the exams and once her father was present. This visitor was too embarrassed to post the experience here herself even anonymously but requested that I present the summary. ..Maurice.

At Wednesday, April 21, 2010 5:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anonymous colonoscopy patient.

You should be thankful the
colonoscopist didn't perf your
bowel. That is always a risk
with any endoscopy procedure.
There are many other more
safer ways to have the lower
bowel evaluated,without being


At Wednesday, April 21, 2010 8:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PT, I would be very interested in finding out how, please advise
Re: bowel exam Thanks

At Thursday, April 22, 2010 10:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yesterday a visitor to this thread wrote me her personal experience as
another example of doctor behavior leading to long lasting emotional distress."
The rest I will not quote.
After 5 attempts (and deleting) I find myself almost speachless.
Parents parents parents! Their job is protect their children, in any situation. I do not care if it was 60 or 6 years ago. I do not care if society did not speak up for themselves. I do not care if parents were silent sheep when it came to medical situations. Any time, any place, not asking "why is this necessary" in defending your child's body is just cowardice. Parents: open your mouths and ask ask ask! Do what you want with your own body, but defend your child's.
We could easily slam the profession that put the person in this situation, but the parents allowed it. Responcibility has to start somewhere, and if parents will not stand up for their own children, then how can we?


At Thursday, April 22, 2010 10:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gale Sheehy, who has written books about male and female life cycles (Passages…), has written a new book: “Passages in Caregiving: Turning Chaos Into Confidence. In an article in the May/June issue of AARP magazine, she shares her research into male caregivers. She writes:
“Many male caregivers keep this role a secret. In two years
of research and hundreds of interviews for my new book…I discovered that many male caregivers fear a sigma in the workplace. Among men and women who work full-time while taking care of adults, it’s the men who more frequently try to hide emergency phone calls, doctors’ visits, and other distractions that come with the role.
“And men tend to approach the job of caregiving differently from women, I found. Most men who help care for family members opt for executive tasks such as dealing with insurance companies. Women caregivers, by contrast, are more likely to do hands-on tasks. The AC/AARP study confirms this. Though male and female caregivers employ about the same amount of outside help – 35 percent used paid aides during one year – among caregivers of people over 50, men are more often the ones who arrange that help. But men are only half as likely to assist with the more personal task of bathing. Men who do shoulder the work of dressing and toileting a family member are particularly reluctant to talk about it. It isn’t seen as manly, many told me.
“Male caregivers opened up to me after learning I had cared for my late husband for years. Often, when they did confide in me, painfully buried emotions – embarrassment, inadequacy, despair – bubbled to the surface.”

Her research raises many questions regarding our topic here. Do the men who regard the intimate work of caregivers as “not manly,” then prefer female nurses? Or does their general embarrassment about the whole issue lean them toward having a male nurse? Are men who are unwilling to talk about this subject when it comes to them caring for family members, even more reluctant to talk about this subject to caregivers when it comes to care for themselves? Does this research just reinforce the fact that men don’t speak up? Sheehy’s book should be interesting.

At Thursday, April 22, 2010 10:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Years ago my daughter was involved in a serious car accident and had a serious concussion.

Some time after that she was hit in the head in exactly the same spot. Realizing this might be problematic I tried to make an appt with her regular doctor who was out of town.

We opted to see someone else in the practice who happened to be a male doctor.

The nurse handed my daughter a gown and was instructed to take everything off from the waist up.
The nurse left the room and my daughter wanted to know why she had to undress for a head injury.

She ignored the nurse, the doctor came in and didn't say a word. I suspect that's their protocol and they do it by rote. It's important to teach our children just because someone asks, unless you get a clear explanation, who says you have to listen?

At Friday, April 23, 2010 10:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found this comment on an old allnurses thread that's reopened. The thread is about the double standard that sometimes prevents male nurses from working with female patients but allows females to work with males.

"Every time I see this sort of thread open up, there is always opinion on what amounts to two different subjects.

Subject one: What the patient wants - yea, verily. If a patient is more comfortable with a nurse of the same sex, then by all means, accommodete the patient's needs. I don't think that I've seen too many responses that say that the patient doesn't get what they want in terms of the gender of the provider.

Subject two: Management's response to assignment of staff to patients based solely on gender. This is the area that is going to generate some issues. Unlike "subject one" this proclivity to single out men for perfroming (or not performing) a particular task in nursing based on their chromosomes would, in any other career field, would be grounds for a discrimination suit.

I think we can agree that the patient's desires come out on top regardless of how reasonable we (the nursing staff) might view that request. Even if it bucks the current zeit geist for gender relations, we are bound by "patient bill of rights" to respond accordingly to their request. Anyone disagree?"

My point in posting this: As I've consistently contended, I believe this is the standard in nursing today. It's not 100 percent, but the vast majority of nurses know these requests are tied into the patients bill of rights. Problem is, most patients, espeically males, don't realize this. And even if they did, many males just won't ask, even politely insist on same gender care. Men need to understand that in most cases, when dealing with nurses, especially in large hosptials, they will be accommodated. Especially if you insist and remind them of that patient bill of rights when it comes to your dignity and values.
Where's the problem, then? It's with doctors in private practice, especially in clinics -- dermatologists, urologists -- doctors who dont' hire nurses at all, but medical assistants, and don't hire any male medical assistants. This is where you need to do some research. Find out about their staffs before you make an appointment, and then insist on what you want.
Problems also exits for those who want all male operating teams. But I dont' think it's impossible.
Here's the URL for that thread:

At Friday, April 23, 2010 5:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mer said

"the vast majority of nurses know these requests are tied into
the patients bill of rights."

I don't think thats the case if
you consider that the vast majority
of nurses and physicians could not
recite one sentence let alone one
aspect of the core values or
mission statement of the facility
where they are employed.

I doubt seriously they could
recite the first aspect of the
patient bill of rights.

Show me one hospital,surgery
center or urology clinic that
will readily accomodate the male
patient without some sarcastic
comment made either to the patient
or other staff.


At Friday, April 23, 2010 8:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree with you profoundly, PT. Whether they can recite their institution's core values word for word is one thing. Whether they understand the basic concept of how one's control over one's body is directly connected to one's dignity -- that's another issue. And I say the understand that and as a general rule respect that. And if some neither understand it nor respect it, then they need to be educated, preferably by patients themselves.
When I say the following, PT, I'm not referring to you. But, frankly, I'm tired of men who won't speak up, who won't even try to get accommodated. Men who, when refused, won't stand up and fight. Men who just assume that no one will accommodate and thus won't battle it out. I still believe most of the time they'll win -- because hospitals and clinics don't want to make this an issue, especially a public issue. Modesty issues may not be talked about by caregivers, especially in public -- but they are well aware of how some patients feel. Caregivers may not offer same gender care, most probably won't for their own convenience -- but, as that quote I posted demonstrated, they don't want to go to the wall with a patient who knows his rights and insists that those rights be respected. Count on it.
"Show me one hospital,surgery
center or urology clinic that
will readily accomodate the male
patient without some sarcastic
comment made either to the patient or other staff.?"
Several volumes back I reported a survey I took of several urology clinics. I asked each if they had male medical assistants, and if men would who didn't want female staff would be accommodated. All but one said they had males staff and would accommodate males. Only one said no, and only because they had lost their male staff member and were looking for another. There was no sarcasm.
Why don't you, PT, call several urology clinics in your area, and report back to us what you find out. Maybe this problem is regional to some extent.

At Saturday, April 24, 2010 12:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


From the management side they should have no problems with discrimination. As a matter of fact, the Civil Rights Law left a privacy except for certain jobs. That's why hospitals in L & D and mammmography suites have no legal issues if it is a bona fide job qualification just as it would be to be hired as a restroom attendant in a large hotel.

The medical industry decided to ignore this aspect of the law to patient detriment. Whatever happened to "to do no harm".

At Saturday, April 24, 2010 4:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

gd -- There are two major criteria courts take into consideration when deciding bona fide cases.
1. The "essence of business." In other words, if you don't hire one specific gender, your business will seriously suffer, suffer, perhaps close. This is why you find mostly female cna's and nurses. They were able to document to the courts that so many female patients refused male nurse/cna care, that they would go out of business without all female staff. The point? Unless males start complaining officially, putting it in writing, creating a paper trail, sending copies -- they'll never be a slam dunk case for hiring more male staff.
2. Scheduling. The courts have asked nursing homes, hospials, etc. to demonstate that they can't solve their need to discriminate by creative scheduling. It seems to me that, if you can demonstrate number 1 ahove, number 2 becomes really unnecessary. If you need mostly female staff, perhaps zero or 1 male, then you can't possible schedule to accommodate males.
I'm not a lawyer. But I have read case law and this is how I have interpreted the findings.
But -- when I read the case law, and I read the arguments used for protection of modesty, I read nothing that distinguishes how the law may differ for each gender. That is, what's good for women's modesty is good for men's modesty. No where have I read anything about men's modesty not needing protection. My point? If pushed, the BFOQ law and other laws regarding equal gender rights, will protect men as well as women, in the same way. Problem is, men rarely ever push this law.

At Saturday, April 24, 2010 7:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MER-- very well said and I totally agree with you.

There should be no gender wars in this area. We should all be in agreement that both genders need protection and both genders deserve the right.

At Saturday, April 24, 2010 7:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next week in L.A., a massive free healthcare clinic will happen at the L.A. Sports Arena. One was held there last year where more than 6,300 people got free healthcare. The clinic is run by Remote Area Medical based in Knoxville, Tenn. They expect about 600 volunteers but need about 200 more.
Here we have a current example of mass exam, although it isn't "group" exam (I don't think) in the sense we've talked about on this blog. It would be interesting to see how it's done here. What are the protocols. What kinds of exams take place? Are there any intimate exams (hernia, breast, testicular, etc.), how are these done, what role do the volunteers play, what are the genders of the doctors and nurses, do patients have a choice of gender for certain exams, etc.
Anyone here from the L.A. area? Anyone willing to check into this to see how these kinds of exams happen in relation to modesty and privacy?

At Saturday, April 24, 2010 9:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


70% of all urology patients are
male. There are about 6 to 8
thousand urologists in the united
states.One in every 15 urologists
are female.Most urologists tend
to practice in major cities with
disbursements dropping over the last few years,therefore urologists
will always staff for their 30%
female patients.
I know of no males being accomodated at these speciality
clinics as its not in their interest. Virtually every urologist
utilizes a medical assistant,that's
someone with 6 months of medical
training. Its one thing for them
to tell you they do accomodate
over the phone,yet another story
when you actually show up.
Lets suppose the city of Los Angeles has 75 urologists as an
example. Would you say that 75%
of those clinics could accomodate
male patients.That would mean there
are 50 trained male medical assistants available for 50 of
those urology clinics. I've worked
in health care over 30 years and
I've never even seen 10 male medical assistants in that whole


At Saturday, April 24, 2010 11:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PT -- You seem to live in a world of statistics. Do they represent your reality? Stats have their use, but there's no arguing with you. If someone comes up with a survey they did, and it doesn't agree with your statistics, then the people surveyed are just lieing. How can one debate with you?
Consider this: A man calls a urology clinic. He's self assured, confident. Asks if they have any male assistants and whether they'll accommodate males. They say, yes -- but according to you, they're just lieing. So, that male makes an appointment, but when he gets there he's ambushed.
Do you really believe that? Any man who would have the guts to call and ask, probably has the guts to continue the fight if he's ambushed. Don't you think? You think a clinic will stake their reputation, their integrity on such a bald faced lie? I doubt it.
This topic is under the radar. But my research indicates to me that many of these clinics have gotten the message. Men have complained. But men don't even talk to other men about these issues. Note the post I did about Sheeny's research. Men don't talk. Men who complain don't tell their stories to other men. But the message is getting out.

At Sunday, April 25, 2010 11:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If a healthcare worker has the word "nurse" or "assistant" or "Tech" in their title they are NOT professionals. Only doctors are professionals. Nonprofessionals can take my BP or take me to a room and hand me a gown but nothing else.


At Sunday, April 25, 2010 8:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Not only do they lie to you, they will do everything they can to be clandestine such as having you sign consent forms while they're knocking you out. While this is illegal, it's happening all over the country.

They will tell you they forgot or nobody else is available hoping that the patient will surrender.

This happened to me while waiting for a colonoscopy and a male anesthesiologist came into my room and told me he would be taking care of me today. Then, after I told him I made arrangements for a same gender team ahead of time he tried to intimidate me by saying that they didn't know if they could get a female. I re-assured him I was prepared to go home and he was so angry!

At Monday, April 26, 2010 11:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

gd -- I just have to say -- I certainly don't doubt your account. I'm sure this happens all too much. On an earlier post I quoted a well-known doctor who in his book writes about the secrecy in modern American medicine. So I don't doubt this exists.
I have a hard time believing, though, that what you describe is the standard. If it is, we're in more trouble than I can imagine. I do know that I have had a difficult time extracting written policy statements from hospitals. I use the word "extracting" on purpose. It's like pulling teeth.
So -- I respect your opinion and your experiences. I'm very ambivalent about this issue. My experience has been different.
All I can recommend is that when caregivers respond as the one you describe did, the best strategy is to strongly challenge them and their professionalism right at that point. If they're decent and just having a bad day, they'll come around and may even apologize. If that's how they generally treat their patients, then let them have it, and follow up with written complaints. Don't back down. Stand up for patient dignity and respect and force it down their throats if necessary.

At Monday, April 26, 2010 3:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your insights and respecting that other people have different experiences. I do think we are in big trouble with countless reasons and experiences to document.

We need more like you in medicine, open minded, respectful, sensible and reasonably minded. Thank you

At Monday, April 26, 2010 6:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

gd -- Just to clarify -- I'm not in medicine. My field is communication -- which I believe is the key to much of what we're talking about on this blog.

At Tuesday, April 27, 2010 7:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read everything you guys have said and yes I get it. But you know what? The paper is filled with CNA positions and not a single guy has applied. That's going to be a problem when you say 'no personal care from women' then there has to be a guy to do it or you have no care. Easy to say safe and warm and painfree at home in front of your computor.
If you are going to take a stand there better be the option or you just look silly. When they say we have no men what then?
I would like to support you guys but I don't see you doing anything to get more men in care.
How are you going to do that????
Tell me and I'm there.

At Tuesday, April 27, 2010 9:43:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous write: "The paper is filled with CNA positions and not a single guy has applied." Clarify. How do you know no guys have applied -- are you doing the hiring? Or do you have contacts that tell you this? I do agree, that few men apply as cna's, but some do. How do you know none have applied?
To answer your question -- how to respond when you can't get same gender care:
1. Ideally, you can walk out and find another provider. That may not be possible. But if you do, make sure you write letters of complaint. To walk out without putting the story in writing, defeats the purpose.
2. If the procedure has to be done, and you can't walk out or find another provider, you make sure that their inability or unwillingness to meet your needs is recorded in your chart and in your file. Don't depend upon them doing it. Ask to see the chart and the file. Add a letter of your own. Make sure it's clear that you're allowing the procedure to be done under protest only because it's necessary for your health. But you feel your values, privacy and dignity has been compromised.
All this needs to be in writing. Until theere's a paper trail that demonstrates discrimination, men will have no case in court. Hospitals and clinics will be reluctant to include this information in files and on charts. Why? Because they will be building a case that can be used against them.
This kind of action is usually uncomfortable for patients. But patients can't have it both ways. If you're not willing to fight it out, then you'll get pushed through the system at the convenience of the system.
Yes, anonymous, it's "Easy to say safe and warm and painfree at home in front of your computor." That's a cowardly escape.
You also write: "I would like to support you guys but I don't see you doing anything to get more men in care."
Are you in a position to "support" the guys? Are you a nurse or a cna yourself? Blogs like this do help spread the word about this problem. But you are right. If men just hide behind their computers at home and don't engage in this battle on the frontlines of the hospitals and clinics, the nothing will change. That's what I'm trying to do -- get men and their spouses and significant others to fight this battle on the ground level.

At Tuesday, April 27, 2010 7:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello all readers. This is my very first time writing on a blog. A few months ago a physical therapy technician (a grown woman)violate my privacy. I am a male and reported this violation. My understanding is that she was "disiplined" and received "counceling". But I wanted to confront her face to face to tell her how I felt, but I was not allowed to do so. I am considering pressing the management to let me confront her face to face. But I would like to be able to converse with MER and any other intersted parties on how I should approach this. MER, is this forum the right place for this type of thing?

At Tuesday, April 27, 2010 8:29:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

As moderator, I have always felt that it was important on these threads beyond simply moaning and groaning about the issues that there should be constructive discussion on approaches how to mitigate them. I think that discussion of the approaches in communication is very appropriate here. ..Maurice.

At Tuesday, April 27, 2010 9:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might want to meet with a health psychologist to advise you. They will probably tell you to tell the management that you were very traumatized by the incident and in order to move through it and reduce the possibly of developing post traumatic stress disorder over time, you need to meet with the individual. You will find using that approach will introduce the aspect of healing instead of yelling and screaming. Should they still say no and you feel you need this to move on perhaps a letter from a therapist to the management might help. They will see liability and might be inclined to left you swing from the ceiling if you want.

Maurice, you are absolutely right. First, in order to institute change many things have to happen and sometimes simultaneously. Perhaps legislation in state funded facilities mandating both genders on staff to satisfy privacy needs. I'm not sure if men aren't applying because they're being turned away but this certainly would open up the job market.

I find it so ridiculous that even on this blog instead of working as a team we are punishing each other because we're not the same gender.

Everyone deserves privacy rights--

At Tuesday, April 27, 2010 10:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did they violate your privacy?

At Tuesday, April 27, 2010 10:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How did they violate your privacy?"

Good question. I'll answer that. But first you answer me a question. Why, in our culture, are our genitals referred to as our "privates?"

At Wednesday, April 28, 2010 7:43:00 AM, Anonymous María said...

I am a Female that has to undergo a EKG to have plastic surgery (eyelid). To begin with I don´t want the procedure, and I would rather die of cardiac arrest rather than having it done by a male tech (which by the way, are not even required to have a bachelor's degree) Even if it is a female, no way she es even going to be alone with me for a single minute. If my husband is not allowed to be with me, it´s a deal breaker. I had been offered a real discount on the price of the surgery. Will I have to let it go??? I am DESESPERATE!!! wHAT EXACTLY DOES THE PROCEDURE INVOLVE? DO THEY HAVE TO TOUCH ME???

At Wednesday, April 28, 2010 7:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Of course I'm not qualified to tell you what to do but if I were in your shoes I would call the medical facility and explain to them your need of modesty and ask them the questions you mentioned in the last line of your posting. If you are not comfortable with making this call then maybe your husband could do it for you.

Many facilities have staff that are very sensitive to modesty needs and would work very hard to accommode you. If when you call, the person(s) you speak with give you a hard time or imply you are out of line for asking to have your modesty respected, then THEY are unprofessional and out of line. You are perfectly entitled to tell them in no uncertain terms that they are being unprofessional. You might want to say something like: "I'M paying YOU so YOU serve ME".

Would you let us know how it goes?


At Wednesday, April 28, 2010 7:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was floored when I read this nurse’s attitude about patient modesty on allnurses: “With all due respect, it is very easy to say that patients should insist on having things done "their way" when you are not a nurse. IMO, that is one of the huge problems in nursing today, the "customer service" mentality. Patients need to realize that the majority of nurses care about their patients, act professionally and are trying to do their jobs under increasingly difficult conditions. There are not all that many male nurses(something like 95% of nurses are female) so finding a male nurse to prep an overly modest male(or a male with an insecure wife) is going to be difficult. I do agree with you that there should not be a double standard. Both genders need to realize that the OR staff tries to keep you as comfortable and safe as we can, but we cannot accomodate every little whim/hangup/phobia that a particular patient may have. Done here with this topic, because I'm sick and tired of having the implication made that we OR nurses are somehow inaapropriate or unprofessional for doing our jobs

Overy modest??? How can someone be overly modest? One’s sense of modesty is determined by the individual themselves, its part of their personal value system. I’m not going to change my values just because I'm in a hospital. -Jean-

At Wednesday, April 28, 2010 7:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello all readers, this is usapat. I have been reading this blog for about 3 months now. About 4 months ago I had two traumatic experinces in the medical environment involving my modesty. Shortly thereafter I began researching medical modesty on the internet - it had been a huge eye opening experience. I have been comforted, inspired, and edified by the posters on this blog. Dr. Bernstein, I'm very grateful to you for your donation of time, talent, and energy to help people. Your comments, those of PT, and many others have helped me. I'm now ready to tell my stories. I will take a while. In the meantime, you other readers please continue to post your concerns. While I'm sharing my experiences, I will stop and support you. One final comment: I'm male and am upset by my reading of how apparently men more frequently have their modesty disrespected than women do. But I know that women do indeed suffer many egregious modesty violations. I will be just as supportive of females as I am of males.


At Thursday, April 29, 2010 1:00:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jean said

"Done here with this topic,because
I'm sick and tired of having the
implication made that we OR nurses
are somehow innappropriate or
unprofessional in doing our jobs."

Thats the very implication made
towards all potential male
mammographers,that somehow male
mammographers would be somehow
innapropriate or unprofessional
in doing their jobs.
Only thing is there are no male
mammographers,women have made sure
of that! You don't see male nurses
in L&D either.Even the face of
gynecology is changing regarding
the increasing numbers of female
physicians entering into that
There NEVER WERE any male
mammographers in the first place
so how would anyone know that they
would somehow be innapropriate or
unprofessional. In conclusion
Jean,those male patients on this
site have had unprofessional
experiences in pre-op and the
OR,myself included. I certainly
don't want to be reminded of those.


At Thursday, April 29, 2010 1:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the anonymous poster who stated

"The paper is filled with CNA
positions and not a single guy
has applied."

That makes the assumption that
males were granted entrance into
a cna program in the first place.


At Thursday, April 29, 2010 11:27:00 AM, Blogger Suzy Furno-Maricle said...

Regarding allnurses: (not exactly my favorite site) but that being said, consider the relatively new post
"However, in the instance of catheterisation I have always offered a choice of male or female nurse. In that instance as it is so invasive I would grab a nurse from another department if I needed to!"
(agencyangel, I believe.)
One post? Yes. How many caregivers does this opinion represent? We don't know.
How many women does one swf here represent? How many men does one MER or one PT equal?
The poster said 'you have me thinking' and that is the key. The thread is still open. If they will not come to us we should go to them. At least tell the ones who care that you appreciate the consideration.
Regarding the above quote from "Jean": There are so many things wrong with what the caregiver said that I can not contain it to 4096 characters. Yes, pretty disturbing, selfish, stupid and self-serving. But (for example) MER is getting opposite results in interviewing than I. I still see hope in that somewhere in between his results and mine, there is a middle ground to find.
Valid and respectful communication is the only way.
"That's what I'm trying to do -- get men and their spouses and significant others to fight this battle on the ground level."
MER is right....the system will not right itself. WE ARE the change.

At Friday, April 30, 2010 2:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the woman who did not want to post her story about being nude with the pediatrician with her mother and father present. I had a similiar experience. It was to this day the most humiliating, traumatic experience of my life, I was also a young teen at the time. I wont go into deatils but it involved mulitiple people walking in and out of the room,the door being opened as i was undressed and a mixed group of males and females .I was in a small examination room surrounded by people just looking.They had NO hand in caring for me they were just watching and other than 2 sentences noone spoke to me.I was told not to worry because the humiliation would be over soon.Truth is I would not have been so humiliated if their werent multiple people watching me.Other than being a small child I had never been exposed like that in front of anyone so to go from that to being in a small room surronded by 6 people was beyond degrading . I have tried doing research on the topic of people suffering from flashbacks and emotional trauma due to these types of "medical" enciounter however most info has to deal with trauma that led up to the reason why a person is in a hospital not so much pain and suffering that results from the actual hospital/medical encounter itself.I was a teen and had no idea what was going on(i thought it wuld just be me and a doctor) and I had no other experiences to compare it to. Not only that but as a teen I felt like I couldnt tell the doctor or medical people what to do because i saw them a "the grownups."My mother didnt speak up for me .. truth be told I wish she wasnt in the room at the moment either for obvious reasons. Noone was an advocate for me. The doctor was their as well as a couple of interns and also 2 other people who just wanted to watch and my mother. This has happened years ago and I still think about it everyday unfortunatly. I know that I'm not the only one who is experiencing this. The thing is the medical staff thought nothing of just opening the doors ,waltzing in and inviting others in......again not asking me was like I wasnt even a human being to them. The sad part is they do this type of thing regularly. Just wondering what it is I should do about this and wonder if their are any other sites/resources that deal with this type of distress as a direct result of "medical care."


At Friday, April 30, 2010 5:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

upsidedown -- What you describe is a perversion of true humanistic medicine. The patient becomes an object, is dehumanized, becomes a specimen to be studied. In cases like that, the patient's humanity becomes invisible -- just as slaves and servants weren't "seen" because they were not considered important. They become part of the decor. The danger, in your case, is that the patient's humanity becomes separated from the body. The body becomes the focus, not the whole human being. This kind of "distancing" some doctors use may be to protect themselves from their own feelings and attitudes toward nakedness. By making believe that nudity means nothing to them, they may feel safer, may transfer their feelings of safety toward the patients and actually believe that, as long as the they (the doctor) pretends it doesn't matter, the patient won't care either.
Doctors like Dr. Bernstein can begin to train doctors better about this. But any real change must begin at the ground level with parents and spouses and friends, advocating for each other and for the children. The problem, there's significant numbers of studies out there that demonstrate how human beings obey authority, especially authority in uniforms and during stressful situations. Although people need to stand up for themselves, many just won't. They'll defer to the authority figure, even convince themselves that all is good. Later, as with you, the trauma may return and they'll hate themselves for not doing anything.

At Friday, April 30, 2010 11:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a female student nurse on a nursing blog. Attitudes are changing:

"I would say that male and female nurses (in the US) should be expected to do the same tasks and give the same care UNTIL THE PATIENT REQUESTS OTHERWISE. But this also means that nurses should offer patients a choice right from the start, so that the patients who are afraid to speak up are encouraged and given an opportunity to do so. If you enter the room and say “you need a catheter for this reason” and explain the procedure, THEN SAY “if you are comfortable with me placing it, I can do it now, but if you would prefer a nurse of my opposite sex, it would be no problem for me to get one for you,” the patient does not have to go out of his/her comfort zone to request someone else."

She does have some unsettling things to say about how "chaperones" are handled, but I think she represents a younger generation. You can find this blog at near the bottom:


At Saturday, May 01, 2010 12:59:00 PM, Blogger Suzy Furno-Maricle said...

Pretty remarkable site, reading about caregivers actually standing up for people's rights to own their own bodies. To say who can and can not touch them. To remind others that their job is just a job, not an entitlement bestowed on them to violate others.
Out of the workplace we would not have to remind them that they are just people. Out of the workplace we would not have to remind them that they can not touch us if we don't want them to. And out of the workplace this conversation would not have to happen.
But in the meantime, bizarre but true, we have to fight to take our bodies back.
The website is well worth the read.

At Monday, May 03, 2010 8:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe a doctor can explain to us regular nonmedical people why a teen has to sit naked for a long time in his office. Not one but two here so I far and I don't see why this preversion is allowed.
I know a doctor doesn't want to say bad things about another to protect them, but this is dangerous for all of you. Maybe more than nurses because I never see them loosing a licience because they blame it on the doctors who let them. But if the nurses cared either they would have given them a gown at least.
Mer says this is rare, Swf says maybe it is maybe it isnt, and Pt says it is not he sees it every day. Many anons and Gd say it isn't too, but the doctors say it is! Who do we believe because please we need it to stop.
I am too scared to even go to the doctor anymore because I don't want an embarrassing fight.
I don't like to sue people but the only way I see people stopping hurting us is to make them go to court. They might win but it will be out in the open. It wont hurt the good doctors like ours here, but the bad ones will at least exposed.

At Monday, May 03, 2010 10:17:00 AM, Blogger Suzy Furno-Maricle said...

"This kind of "distancing" some doctors use may be to protect themselves from their own feelings and attitudes toward nakedness. By making believe that nudity means nothing to them, they may feel safer, may transfer their feelings of safety toward the patients and actually believe that, as long as the they (the doctor) pretends it doesn't matter, the patient won't care either."
MER: I know you have eluded to this before, but I still find it an interesting concept.
Would any doctor here be willing to admit this sort of distancing practice? If they did, would a patient have a greater respect and understanding for the doctor as a human being, or simply discount it and say this validates the issue?
Personally, I would appreciate the honesty.

At Monday, May 03, 2010 1:08:00 PM, Blogger Jean said...

To upsidedown:
I understand what you are going through. Although your experience was much more traumatic than mine, I, too, have been plagued with thoughts about a recent negative medical experience. Unfortuneately, we cannot go back and redo things so we are stuck with dealing with the lingering (creepy) feelings. I also searched for websites to deal with this without much luck. That's how I happened upon this one. The only other way I thought to approach it was to explore it from the angle of "how to overcome bad memories" or something along that line. There are some more or less "self-help" sites with suggestions on how to address it, even though they don't particularly deal with trauma from a negative medical experience. You may be able to adjust some of the thinking to try and rid yourself of the persistent memories. It is difficult, though, and you do have to be in a certain mind-set. It's almost like you keep returning to the negative experience; almost like constantly picking at a sore. You just can't help yourself. The only positive thing I have gotten out of this whole experience is happening upon this website. I now feel like I am more empowered if I ever find myself in the position of having to have an intimate procedure or exam. I will definitely know to ask a lot of questions, get as much information as I can and hopefully be better informed before I ever committ to having anything done again. It's little consolation but it just has to be enough.

At Monday, May 03, 2010 5:12:00 PM, Blogger BJTNT said...

Don't we pretty much agree that changes to patient modesty will only happen from patient actions and that changes from the medical establishment will not occur? We know that medical operations is more about control and convenience for medical personnel than anything to do with patients, but still...
Is there something about medical operations that stifles people's ethics? Is there no empathy in medical operations? One example is the way female nurses treat their fellow female patients. When nurses tell females that they have to remove all their clothes and put on a gown for such procedures as cataract surgery [this happened to my wife], has anyone heard of a female nurse telling the female patient sotto voce that she can leave her underpants on? Nurses seem to be sucked-in by the culture of disrespect in medical operations. Yet, female nurses dislike the disrespect of their modesty when they are patients themselves, but still seem to have no empathy for fellow female patients. Why?

At Monday, May 03, 2010 8:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another amazing post from allnurses where a nurse admits they “fudge” the truth when asked about the level of exposure that will occur in the OR once the pt is knocked out:

"I know, it's a stupid rule, but that's what they want. You'll be totally covered except the body parts they have to deal with." That statement is a bit of a fudge, but gee, if they were told everything I know about surgeries, exposure, and who is in the room they'd cancel outright, and remember, they'd still be sick and have to do it later anyway.

Dr. B do you think that is ethical behavior?

At Monday, May 03, 2010 9:45:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

I know of no diagnostic or therapeutic rationale for a patient "to sit naked in a doctor's office"--period! There is no reason for a patient to be examined fully undressed unless in an emergency it is necessary to survey the body quickly for evidence of trauma or for a full dermatologic evaluation, though as I have written here previously, the dermatologist at our medical school has indicated that a full body exam can be better performed by sequential and systematic removal of drapes so as to inspect one small area at time.
Any other excuse for having a patient naked in the doctors office should be considered something other than professional medical practice. You draw your own conclusions.

As far as having shorts or underpants removed for surgery, I have no opinion since I do not live in operating rooms. However, I would think that inserting a foley cath into the bladder in both a man or a woman during surgery if needed is clearly not something which can be accomplished without clear access to the genital area. A patient who is sedated or under anesthesia will not cooperate in the needed removal of this clothing. To me and maybe I am an outlier statistically on this operative room issue but I think that such modesty issues are irrelevant to the need for a safe and sanitary operating environment.
Trust me, based on all the operations I have witnessed in my career, though there may be rare exceptions noted in the media or by hearsay, sex and pornography is not what is part of the operating room protocol. ..Maurice.

At Tuesday, May 04, 2010 1:19:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At a number of major neuro-
intensive care units here in the southwest I have seen male patients
with pajama pants with a foley cath
exiting the zipper.
As far as surgery goes if the staff can wear their scubs just
brought from home into an OR case
then theres no reason I can't wear
my clothing in the OR from home as

Finally,I want to comment on
some issues that have occurred over
the last 40 or so years. If you are
a teacher and teach your students
to discriminate against other people then some of those students
will become teachers one day that
only repeat what they are taught.
Their behavior will only mimic what they've seen and learned. The cycle needs to be
broken in these nursing schools.
The assumption is "well this
is what they taught me in nursing
school so it must be right." For
instance,to strike an erect patients penis with a spoon started
in nursing school but probably ended with administration to stop
the practice.


At Tuesday, May 04, 2010 7:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

good idea PT. now if I could get a male to place that foley then I would be treated like a decent moral citizen with rights like anyone else. meanwhile I want to protest at the hospital doors to give us the moral right not to be molested by immoral selfish women at the hospital.its so morbid that we men get treated like this in America and its legal!


At Wednesday, May 05, 2010 8:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People just don't understand. For some of us it's the matter of acting entitled to do what they want even though going to school was their choice not ours. Some of the regular people who write have brought it up but medical people blow it off as if it isn't real but it is.
Who else ever says it's my job to do this to you so take it or leave it with no choice?
Lots of people feel entitled to our bodys, but that doesn't make it o k. Fathers molest their kids because they think they belong to them and have the right. People attack you and do things because they want so they feel entitled to and have the right. Nurses feel they know how and want to do it so they feel they have the right to do whatever they want to you to.
All these people feel entitled. It is like a big horror story about all the people who can't wait to get at you without your permision. Everyone wants to take your body, it never ever really belongs to you. At any moment at really any time. If you have permision that is fine. But if you just take it then it is wrong. Just as wrong for one as the other.
But medical people don't want the right to our body taken away because it makes them feel superior to us and we are peons who mean nothing and they are in control of all of our bodies at anytime. Like animals who mean nothing.
Im so sick of it all because everyone gets it but they don't care, so they ruin people like me and smile and walk away with a lousy buck and what is left of me?
Enjoy your paycheck nurses. You sold your humanity for it. And against my will mine too.
ruined for life

At Wednesday, May 05, 2010 9:07:00 AM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

What I must emphasize and remind everyone here that the role and responsibility of those engaged in the occupation and profession of medical care should have only the maintenance of health and the repair of the bodies and minds of those they serve. Yes, as part of this responsibility we may actually, with permission, intrude into our patient's bodies. We are not automotive mechanics dealing with the ills of cars..we are not plumbers dealing with the ills of toilets. Human bodies, human minds is everything we have spent all of long years learning about and improving our skills. The body and mind is where we have been assigned by society to work and we will continue to perform our duties within this environment until robots take over the practice of medicine or we are relegated to be a auto mechanic or plumber.

What I have written is not intended to defend any complaints about those performing medical care who disregard the concept that the body and mind they attend is the property of someone other than themselves. I only want to remind everybody the the bodies and minds of others is our job--no other profession has such a direct responsibility. ..Maurice.

At Wednesday, May 05, 2010 5:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Based on this blog, what kind of grade would you give the medical profession for taking care of minds and body's (reflecting on your recent post)

This is not to blame the profession for it is my belief that many of the psycho social aspects of medical care are detrimental to mental health. Until these processes are reviewed, it is likely that the bulk of the problems will still exist.

At Wednesday, May 05, 2010 6:00:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

My evaluation of the medical profession (physicians and those who are also associated with medical care) is that overall it gets a B plus grade. is that a great grade considering the complexities and frailties of the patient's human body and mind and the unknowns still unknown in diagnosis and treatment? People would not live as long and as healthy as they do now without the medical profession. Fixing all ills on your own just won't work.
But, still, is that a acceptable grade?

Now, the grade is not higher (A minus, A or A plus) because the medical profession is not perfect in both personal behavior (some of which has been amply noted on this blog thread) and systemic organization (also noted here). But the goal to get a higher mark, I think is possible, with time, with education and further experience.

We can all help the medical profession get a better grade, a more perfect grade which is essential for this particular profession. I can help educate the medical students about the concerns described on this thread and their need to listen to and be aware of all the needs of their future patients. You, as patients, can help by speaking up to your doctors and nurses and getting together to form communities to educate the medical system and help the system facilitate solutions to your concerns.

I am not satisfied with a B plus grade for the profession of medicine--maybe that's good for some activities... but I think that those who are responsible for the life and health of people must attain a higher grade representing skills, knowledge and behavior. ..Maurice.

At Thursday, May 06, 2010 1:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anonymous poster Wed,5/5.8:810

who said "I'm so sick of it all
because everyone gets it but they
don't care,so they ruin people
like me and smile and walk away with a lousy buck.Enjoy your paycheck nurses."

Recently,as in last week this
conservation came up between some
nurses that were sitting near me.
One was considerable old and rather heavier and make the comment
"I would rather not be seen here,
I don't want anyone seeing my coouch. Another nurse made the comment that yea,its better to be
seen by a stranger somewhere else
and not at the same hospital you
work at."
Are they aware of a speific
mentality,in other words they know
what we already know.


At Thursday, May 06, 2010 3:04:00 PM, Blogger amr said...

Dr. B.

As has been shown any number of times, doctors will diagnose and treat symptoms in their own area of expertise. If they don't, they are turning away business. They are biased towards what they know and their pocket book. Most docs do this. In fact, when I get a docs opinion I always filter it through this lens of built-in bias on the docs part.

Put another way, whenever you ask docs (or anyone else in an academic setting) who among them will graduate in the top 1/2 of the class, most students raise their hands. (This is a bias of expectation.)

I would give the medical profession as a whole a "C" or "C-". The USA is behind Portugal in medical delivery world-wide. That places us in 17th(?) place on the world scale. We are NO WHERE near a B+ in my book.

From the macro view point, the USA sucks in its medical delivery. We are also no where near the top in average longevity for the above reasons. I place the blame on the concept of fee-for-service that we are all caught up in.

That being said, you Dr. B also (and you have the right to your opinion based upon your years of experience) are biased to the notion that patient modesty is antithetical to the notion of good patient care. Although you protest that this isn't true and you have admirably kept this blog going, your commentary over now 4+ years that I have followed this blog indicates that it is a "moot point" as you put it whenever the "safety" of the patient is at stake.

There are too many stories out there now (and video on the net) that demonstrates that in the OR (or ER, or ICU, or PACU), patients are generally not respected from this standpoint once they are out, even though in the OR, exposure can be minimized with a small effort on the part of staff. You have stated on a number of occasions that in all the years that you have observed operations, patients have always been treated with respect.


1. It took you a long time on this blog to admit that patients were naked in the OR
2. I believe you have never considered the possibility that bad behavior was not witnessed by you, because your presence (as a professor of medicine showing your students an operation) changed the dynamic of the OR.
3. As a part of 2 above you have pretty consistently taken the stance that if you haven't witnessed it, it probably hasn't happened or it isn't significant.
4. To not consider patient modesty in ALL medical settings is not truly addressing the issue.

By the way, this group think that doctors have is not isolated to the medical profession. However, I am making this respectful assertion about you from MY years of experience in and out of the medical delivery system, and from observing 1st hand the behavior of my wife's family, one and all good and decent people - 3 of whom are doctors and all share similar views about patient nudity to your own.

I close today with a comment that Dr. Sherman made on his blog awhile ago. He was in the hospital visiting a patient and he noticed a male patient (not his) unnecessarily exposed during a bed bath. He said that before these blogs it would have never registered with him. Now it did. He observed that the patient had a very embarrassed look on his face. He spoke to the charge nurse about it. She apparently said that he was right, but that she wasn't at all surprised.

Until you teach your students that respecting modesty of the patient in ALL medical settings is important, whether the patient is aware or not, you sir are still a part of the cycle of education that needs to change.



At Thursday, May 06, 2010 3:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Ruined for Life: I sympathise with you: I also woner wherther you´re male or female... What really gives me the creeps is this: a male gyno who did me a laparotomy (yikes!!!! a laparotomy) lied to me saying I'd get a bikini scar instead of the awful vertical one I got. I argued with him for two hours before getting the allegedly "emergency" surgery to remove an ovarian cyst, it turned out later that I had nothing at all! But what leaves me astonished, outraged, and apalled is that as I had been so "difficult" to persuade, he got back at me (on purpose!) by arranging the only two male nurses in the whole hospital to bathe me!!! there's no way in hell that could have happened without a concerted effort. If you give them a hard time, they really get back at you!!! Really. I thanked them by dropping out the hell insurance, and I'd rather be dead than going to that hospital again. And no more gynos for me. Men or women I don´t care. No more male doctors either, and even then females cannot be alone with me, my husband has to be present (a 8"1 tall man with police training). Farewell to the nurses, too. Especially them and aides. I'm not going to argue with them any more. If I notice someone wants to operate on me under general anesthesia, I'm going to make sure that person
a) isn´t paid
b)has a very hard time
c)wishes he/she never got into surgery or medicine!!!

At Thursday, May 06, 2010 3:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dr bernstein said >>I only want to remind everybody the the bodies and minds of others is our job--no other profession has such a direct responsibility<<
obviously. your job, your choice. my body, my choice. if someone chooses the job, they can't force it on someone else and take their rights away. that is my point. and if society gave someone this honor then society has to protect me, and they don't.
and medical people never say i'm sorry about what happened to you no matter which one did it. they just say find a way to go on and goodbye. so much for body and mind.
ruined for life

At Thursday, May 06, 2010 4:11:00 PM, Blogger Suzy Furno-Maricle said...

Excellant post from DonMD
Here is how he ends his post: "Remember that the patient is the only naked one in the room, and that is extremely humiliating."
After listing examples of three male patients and several female nurses, he aks them" If in doubt, reverse the gender of everyone in the room, and ask yourself if the situation still seems right."
After reading the entire post, he seems to understand intimate care gender concerns. Maybe things are changing after all.

At Thursday, May 06, 2010 4:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A doctor on allnurses writes this:

"The bottom line is that a man without pants is as exposed, in any position, as a woman in stirrups for a pelvic exam, and should be given as much privacy as we accord a woman in that situation. All patients need to be treated as if they are the most modest person on the planet. You won't cause emotional harm if you treat the less modest person with the utmost regard for privacy. But you'll harm a lot if you treat every guy patient based on the myth that "guys don't mind" being seen naked, or "it's no big deal". And speaking of big, the elephant in the room is the issue of penis size in our society. Women do look, and do compare and do talk. As a doc, I can't tell you how often I've heard nursing staff making comments. So it's hypocritical to pretend it shouldn't be a concern for the male patient."

He then continues with a few very disturbing accounts of male modesty violations. This supports those who say these violations are much more common than I would hope. Perhaps they're right. You'll find the thread here:


At Thursday, May 06, 2010 5:59:00 PM, Blogger BJTNT said...

The UK TV Channel 4 has some useful medical information. The URL at the end of these comments has an example of the unnecessary violation of patient modesty. View the URL before reading the following comments.
Why can't the male patient be given a Viagra pill and after waiting the appropriate time see the male MD? This would have eliminated the involvement of the female staffer. However, we need to remember that medical operations places a higher priority on control by them than concern for the patient, especially when it comes to patient modesty.

At Friday, May 07, 2010 12:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The comments on allnurses by DrDon
are factual and in fact very common
in medical facilities today considering there are over 3200
hospitals alone in the united states.
Once I saw it a practice
for female nurses to insert foley
catheters on male patients when
they knew in fact that female patients were watching.This was in an er treatment area.
I'd like to second the excellent
post by amr regarding the dynamics
that are often changed by ones
presence as in your case Dr B and
furthers my point that much of the
unprofessional behavior that occurs
is in the environment of nursing.


At Sunday, May 09, 2010 11:08:00 AM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...

May I make my often repeated suggestion to the participants on this thread: Move on to a more activistic approach to getting your views heard. As an example of what you can do.. please, please go to my new thread on the current agitation regarding the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggestion to permit "nicking" of the female genitalia as a means of satisfying a family's ritual request but discouraging full circumcision.

I want you all to look at today's post there with links by IntactByDefault and how that activist is trying to get the anti-circumcision view out to the public, AAP and the government. I suggest that my concerned visitors regarding patient modesty do likewise. ..Maurice.

At Monday, May 10, 2010 1:24:00 PM, Blogger BJTNT said...

It's appropriate that we are critical of medical operations for their unnecessary control of patients, especially when it comes to modesty. But, keeping some perspective, control is inherent in human nature.
A scientific study showed that when people are waiting for a parking spot, the parked car driver takes longer to vacate the spot.
A key point is that we expect higher standards from medical operations and I believe Dr. B. agrees. We patients need to keep the pressure on. This is easy to say, bu difficult to accomplish because of the fear of retaliation by medical staff. The violation of patient modesty is done with impunity because the supervisors have the same mind set. The administration can't be bothered with patient modesty other than token denunciation. It's beneath the dignity of an MD to be concerned with such mundane matters.
Therefore, from the medical staff standpoint, retaliation is a no-brainer for them since they can almost always get way with it.

At Monday, May 10, 2010 4:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Ruined For Life:
Here's my recipe for recovering my sanity: make sure, if at all possible, that they never hear from you again.
If possible, cancel surgery, and in the case of a real violation, if you have the chance, do attempt to file a lawsuit. Even if you lose it, they'll be wary of messing with you again.
So, if we don't allow entitled-minded medical operations people to have their way with us, then they have the right to get back at us!!!

At Monday, May 10, 2010 7:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A short, free online class for nurse instructors called "Teaching Tomorrow's Nurses: What's Happening in the Classroom" written by Maureen Habel, RN, MA, a nurse author from Seal Beach, Calif. and Ann Kim, RN, BS, MSN, MPH, CNS, a full-time lecturer in the School of Nursing at California State University, Long Beach.

A quote from the course:

"Today’s nursing students are much more ethnically diverse — and an increasing number of them are men, and faculty must adapt. Because of their socialization, some men may have a different, but valid, approach to some elements of nursing. Some men, for example, have a harder time expressing emotion and may not establish therapeutic relationships with patients in the same way that most female nurses do. Men may be more likely to use humor and less likely to use touch. Women may view that way of relating as inattentive and nontherapeutic, based on their female expectations for communication."

Very encouraging. A clear understanding that men and women differ in how they may approach nursing, and both approach are valid. It's an interesting read, if you're curious about how the profession is reacting to educating a new generation of nurses. You can find it at:

At Tuesday, May 11, 2010 11:40:00 AM, Blogger BJTNT said...

Yesterday, I had a stress test. A staffer barged in, no knock, during the procedure with a lame excuse. The door was left open during the last ten minutes of the test. Being a male and only having my shirt off I wasn't surprised at this lack of respect for my modesty.
Are females treated the same way? Even if a female has her bra on, I think she would consider this a violation of her modesty.
Since this was my first visit, I stopped in a week early to obtain the paperwork. When I signed in on the day of the procedure, I couldn't make eye contact with the two staffers. Later, when one called my name and I gave her the paperwork, she said that I should have turned in the paperwork when I arrived otherwise she might not have called me [whatever that means].
Just before getting on the treadmill I had to sign that I understood the risk. When I asked why I wasn't given the consent form earlier with the other paperwork, I got the usual nonsense answer. Apparently it's easier to lie than consider the patient any more than just a widget. Has anyone every received an apology from a staffer?
I always write DECLINE rather than agree to arbitration for medical disagreements. I can always agree to arbitration later on if it benefits me.

At Tuesday, May 11, 2010 3:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A staffer barged in, no knock, during the procedure with a lame excuse."

Did you call them out on it?

At Tuesday, May 11, 2010 5:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you were upset why not ask them to leave the room versus complaining here?

At Tuesday, May 11, 2010 8:27:00 PM, Blogger Maurice Bernstein, M.D. said...



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