If you had your wishes ignored,
you should write a letter to the hospital/doctor's office or
the doctor. A particular man has to go to a dermatologist every
year because he had skin cancer on his ear last year. He chose
a male dermatologist of course because he knew he would be checked
all over. You can find a letter he wrote to the dermatologist
after a bad experience below. Check out this article, Importance
of Filing Complaints Against Medical Professionals / Facilities.
Letter Man Wrote to Doctor:
On June , 2009 I had an appointment with you for a skin exam
at your ____________ __ location. As you are aware I was very
upset and disturbed by some of the incidents that happened to
me that morning at your office. We talked about some of the
incidents while I was in a numb and shocked state. I have had
time to think about what happened that day and I need to let
you know for the record what my feelings are. When It came time
for me to get called back from the waiting room I was taken
to an exam room and a very nice lady asked me some health questions.
I told her that I had had Basal Cell Carcinoma on my ear and
that I needed to get my skin checked. She then instructed me
that I needed to take off everything but my "boxers".
First of all I need to ask you Doctor ____________ how does
your staff members know what type of underwear I wear? The proper
statement should have been "take off everything but your
underwear" with no reference to type. This may seem trivial
to you but if the situation was reversed and it was a male nurse
asking a female patient to take off everything but her bra and
thong I am sure something would be said! Second incident: No
gown was offered to me to cover myself. Here I am standing in
my "BRIEFS" doing what I could to protect my privacy
and you did the proper thing and knock and waited until I said
"come in" BUT to my shock, humiliation and embarrassment
a woman walks right in with you. When I spoke up and told you
that I could not permit "her" to be in the room that
is when she left and our conversation began about my beliefs
and privacy and dignity concerns. There was no reason she had
to be in the room with us! After we talked and I calmed down
you said that you would like to continue with the exam. I was
on the exam table and I could not believe what happened next.
A knock comes on the door and in a split second without giving
you or me a chance to say "come in" the door opens
and another nurse is standing there. You did jump quickly to
the door and tried to block her view, but she did see me on
the table in my "BRIEFS". A KNOCK ON THE DOOR IS NOT
PERMISSION TO ENTER! WE WAIT UNTIL WE ARE TOLD TO ENTER, THEN
WE COME IN. What if you were examining my genitals when she
walked in? The entire morning caused me mental and emotional
trauma. Why am I writing this letter? I am writing this letter
because I think you are a good doctor, yet there are some procedures
and practices at your facility that I believe need to be corrected.
* When men or women are told to take off all of their clothes
except their underwear, don't assume what type they wear. Just
say "underwear" NOT briefs, boxers, thong, bikini.
* When a person is asked to undress to their underwear, offer
them a gown.
*The nurse who gathers the medical information before you come
into the room can let the patient know that a nurse will be
assisting you. Ask the patient if he is comfortable with that.
DON'T ASSUME! DO NOT SURPRISE PEOPLE AND PUT THEM IN AN AWKWARD
SITUATION. Many men may have a skin concern on their private
area and because a female is in the room he may not discuss
that with you. If the patient knows that a female assistant
is going to be in the room, he can ask to see the doctor in
private first. Or he may have the same convictions I have and
not want a female in the room while he is in his underwear.
Some men also get aroused very quickly and the presence of a
woman in the room, while he is in his underwear or nude may
cause him to get an involuntary erection that may be very embarrassing
* Teach your staff that just because they knock on the door
does not mean they have the "right" to enter until
the person on the inside says "come in"
Your written response to this letter stating
the corrective actions your practice will take in regard to
the incidents cited will allow me to return to your office knowing
that respect for my personal privacy and dignity will be provided
during visits to your facility. If no response is given from
your office then I will assume that these violations of privacy
are not important to your practice and I will seek another Dermatologist
who does care about a person's dignity, privacy and respect.
Doctor's Response To Letter:
Dear Mr. ________
Thank you very much for your letter. I read it carefully and
thought very deeply about your concerns and all of the points
I would like to apologize for your negative experience during
your recent visit.
We have discussed in detail the incidents surrounding your
visit. The following corrective measures have been implemented.
All assistants, during the intake interview, are now clearly
asking each patient whether he or she would be comfortable with
having an assistant present during the examination. If the patient
prefers to not have an assistant present, a sign that reads
"Physician Only - MA's Do Not Enter"
is placed on the door so that privacy will be maintained throughout
the visit. Assistants also have been reminded that gowns should
be offered to all patients (this has always been our policy).
Thank you again for your correspondence. If you choose not
to return here, please try to be seen by another dermatologist
on a regular basis given your history of Basal Cell Carcinoma
and actinic keratosis. If you have additional concerns please
do not hesitate to contact me.