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

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... Read More

  1. by   mandana
    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.

  2. by   mercyteapot
    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.
  3. by   MMARN
    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.
  4. by   caroladybelle
    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.
  5. by   live4today
    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.
  6. by   live4today
    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.
  7. by   grannynurse FNP student
    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.

  8. by   pannie
    I also would rather have my pcp stay and write while I slipped my slacks off esp if I had a gown on. A couple years ago he did ask if I was comfortable without a standby. I was and am. If it's for a pap though, she is there to help. Any exam that doesn't need "an extra hand" is fine though.
    I can't believe someone seriously thinks they don't get waylaid about rx refills, telephone calls, etc. when they step out of the exam room. Been guilty of that myself.
    Last edit by pannie on Jan 10, '06
  9. by   leslie :-D
    already being gowned, i wouldn't have any problem w/a doctor asking me to remove my pants.
    the only time i've had female staff present is when i've had pelvic exams, and that's a cya issue. my 20's, i had a gynecologist who was in his 70's. he never had a female present when he did his exams. he was an absolute sweetheart except he was rough as hell. one time i had asked him if he was always this gentle w/his wife. dang, i swear he was trying to reach my lungs.
    anyway, he retired-i just loved him, soooooo non-threatening.
    but i have been to male md's where i have definitely requested the presence of a female. it all depends on the nature of your relationship, or not.

  10. by   suzi_h
    Here's a bit of useless info...In Germany and from what I understand, European countries in general, the doc's scoff when a woman wants privacy to undress. They don't give gowns, just sheets. I never got to experience this but, all my prego friends came home in utter shock after their first appt. w/ German docs. Just an insight to a different culture's way of doing it.

    I personally wouldn't care. After having recieved prenatal care at a training facility, I have no modesty left.

  11. by   lortarn
    why did she put the gown on over her clothes? Did she keep her underware on? If she did I don't see a problem with her being examined without a female in the room
  12. by   hipab4hands
    The docs I've worked with (both males and females) always have had a MA or RN present during any type of exam.
    My own personal physician doesn't do this and I'm completely comfortable with it.
    If you're friend was uncomfortable being examined without another female in the room, then she needed to speak up and let someone know. I don't know of any doc that would object.
  13. by   Jasano
    I think it is absolutely Okay for the male Dr. to ask the female patient to undress. You know, as a male nurse, it is in no means any great joy to view the female anatomy any more than it is to view the male anatomy. There really are few differences, and I don't look at my patients, male or female in anyway other than purely clinical.

    If your friend is uncomfortable with a qualified medical professional examining her, because he is male then perhaps she needs to find a female doctor. Although personally, I think we all know as nurses, that when you've seen one you've seen them all and that a health professional sees things a lot differently than a lay person. All I see is more work