Is it OK for male Dr. to ask female patient to undress in front of him? - page 2

by echinacea

53,965 Views | 32 Comments

A friend of mine went in for a check-up. She had complaints about calf pain, and the doc asked her to take off her pants so he could examine her legs. (she was wearing a gown, with a camisole and jeans under) He stayed in the... Read More


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    When I go to see my PCP, I am asked by a female member of his staff, to remove my top and bra, given a patient gown and left alone. If he needed to examine me, he had a female staff member present, when I was younger. He has been my PCP for twenty-six years and he no longer feels nor do I, it necessary to have someone present. The excuse that he would get delayed by stepping out of the room, is a pretty lame. My PCP has a large and active practice. He has never gotten delayed when he has left my room and returned. It really depends on the age of the patient. Under 60, a pgysician should step out of the room and should have a female staff member present, just in case.

    Grannynurse
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    She already had a gown on, was in the middle of an exam, so it doesn't sound too inappropriate to me.

    Now if he walked in with her fully dressed and said "get undressed", that's another thing. But slipping pants off while in an exam and while wearing a gown doesn't seem inappropriate.

    Probably for his own liability he might have had another female present. But during routine exams that's not always done, during pelvic/gyn exams it is.
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    Quote from grannynurse FNP student
    When I go to see my PCP, I am asked by a female member of his staff, to remove my top and bra, given a patient gown and left alone. If he needed to examine me, he had a female staff member present, when I was younger. He has been my PCP for twenty-six years and he no longer feels nor do I, it necessary to have someone present. The excuse that he would get delayed by stepping out of the room, is a pretty lame. My PCP has a large and active practice. He has never gotten delayed when he has left my room and returned. It really depends on the age of the patient. Under 60, a pgysician should step out of the room and should have a female staff member present, just in case.

    Grannynurse
    In the OPs example, the pt. was already in a gown, but had not removed her pants ... this should probably have been pointed out to her by the nurse, or MA, or someone, since she was to have leg & hip pain evaluated. The part that hurts is (one of) the parts that needs to be examined ...

    With all due respect, I find it "lame" to suggest that females older than age 60 are somehow less deserving of privacy than those under 60. I'm totally perplexed by that statement.
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    This situation would not bother me at all and I wouldn't even think twice about taking off my pants with the MD in the room.

    In regards to the other part, neither my family physician or my OB/GYN requests a chaperone for my exams. I've known them both forever and I'm not at all uncomfortable with them performing their exams without another set of eyes in the room. In fact, I find it more intrusive to have another body in the room.

    Amanda
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    I've never had a male doctor come in with a chaperone. It seems like wasting resources to me. Still, given that not many people would have given a 2nd thought to taking their jeans off in front of a doctor (even one with his eyes diverted), I don't think it would be much of an issue to just ask for a moment's privacy.
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    Quote from echinacea
    A friend of mine went in for a check-up. She had complaints about calf pain, and the doc asked her to take off her pants so he could examine her legs. (she was wearing a gown, with a camisole and jeans under) He stayed in the room, not looking at her undress - he was writing in the chart - but there was no privacy screen or anything. There was no one else in the room when he examined her legs. He also had her lie down, and he checked the area around her hip joint. (she has stiffness and pain in her hip too.) After, he asked her to put her pants back on, and again he stayed in the room. Are there any rules about the doctor asking the patient to undress and dress without providing privacy? Also I was wondering if a male dr. can examine a female without another female in the room. I volunteered at a hospital, one of the things I was asked to do was to stand nearby while a male dr. examined a female patient, so I thought that was standard procedure. Honestly, my friend didn't mind, she feels comfortable with this doc. I was just wondering.
    Honestly, even for a school physical that I have had, the doctor always left the room. Not even the nurse was there when I undressed. I'm not sure about the rules or the policies on these things, but to me I would really be very uncomfortable if he just stood there watching me undress! Did he ask if she was comfortable with him staying there or did he just stay there?

    I don't know, but it doesn't seem right.
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    I always thought the "MD nips out of the room for 15 minutes, while it takes 2 minutes to undress for exam" bit was annoying and a waste of time, myself.

    But then I grew up around military facilities where privacy was rare.
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    I prefer the doc stay while I get undressed so I can continue talking to him/her about why I am there to be checked. If he/she leaves the room, no telling when they'll come back. I'm more bothered by them leaving the room so I can get undressed, only to have to sit there freezing in a skimpy gown until they return.
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    Quote from caroladybelle
    ...............I grew up around military facilities where privacy was rare.
    Isn't that the truth! :chuckle Me too. When I was in the delivery room pushing out my first baby, orderlies were peeping through the delivery room windows on the double doors at me. The military allowed that, but wouldn't allow my first husband to come in and watch our baby being born. Go figure on that one.
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    Quote from MLOS
    In the OPs example, the pt. was already in a gown, but had not removed her pants ... this should probably have been pointed out to her by the nurse, or MA, or someone, since she was to have leg & hip pain evaluated. The part that hurts is (one of) the parts that needs to be examined ...

    With all due respect, I find it "lame" to suggest that females older than age 60 are somehow less deserving of privacy than those under 60. I'm totally perplexed by that statement.
    I didn't make myself clear. I meant. by my older then 60 comment, that it is highly unlikely that a male physician would act inappropriately with a female patient over 60 (that is not saying that being over 60 automatically makes one unattractive). Some women over 60 or under 60, do not have issues with privacy and are not embarrassed by a lack of it. Conversely, there are those that do have issues. It is up to the individual to make her feelings known. And I stand by my comment of having another female present when examining a female.

    Grannynurse


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