Medical Patient Modesty - a non-profit organization to improve patient modesty in medical settings


Importance of Filing Complaints Against Medical Professionals / Facilities

Medical Patient Modesty encourages anyone who has had a bad experience with a medical professional or medical facility to pressure the medical community to remedy these situations by filing as many complaints as necessary for change to take place. This includes

  • Unnecessary intimate procedures without prior understanding and consent.
  • A medical professional of the opposite sex who should not have been present for intimate procedures.
  • Unnecessary exposure and visual access of intimate areas of the body.

To illustrate this need for more individuals to express their grievances and file complaints, read this letter that Misty Roberts, the president of Medical Patient Modesty received from the Georgia Composite Medical Board after she filed a complaint with them on behalf of a woman who went to an all-female ob/gyn practice in Georgia. This practice advertised on their web site that they were an all-female staffed clinic and that they were the only all-female ob/gyn practice in that particular county. This patient was deceived by her female gynecologist who assured her that she would be awake for a hysteroscopy. However, the lady was given Propofol that left her too sedated to speak up against the male anesthetist who was present even though the practice was advertised as an all-female staffed practice. The lady suffers from PTSD because of her horrible experience and shared that she would have never consented to Propofol if she had known it would have been given to her.

Misty had one simple request of the Georgia Composite Board: reprimand the doctor and the practice for false advertising. The Board should have required the practice to remove all references to an all-female practice if male anesthetists came to the practice to assist with procedures. Also, the lady should have been given the option to have the procedure performed using local anesthesia as is commonly done in many other doctors’ offices. It was apparent this practice took advantage of the lady to make more money since she had good insurance.

As you can see in the letter from the Georgia Composite Board, they closed this complaint with no clear explanation. It appears as if they probably rushed through the complaint and did not really care. Medical boards are often unfair and on the doctor’s side because they are run by doctors.

Misty also filed a complaint with the Iowa Board of Medicine on behalf of a man who was alarmed to learn that the disposable underwear he had been given had been removed and his pubic hair shaved while he was sedated for a venous ablation procedure that involved incisions around his knee only. He was never informed about this pre-procedure prep and would have never consented to the procedure had he known. Furthermore, he found out afterwards that this procedure is often performed a more relaxed office environment with a local anesthetic rather than in an operating room with sedation. The doctor who performed the man’s procedure even offers the no-sedation option at the same hospital, but she did not do so for this man. Another doctor told him that not only was there no reason why his procedure had to be done in an operating room with sedation, but that they do not shave patients’ groin / pubic area for this procedure at his hospital.

Misty asked the Iowa Board of Medicine to reprimand the surgeon for her unethical behavior and levy a requirement that she document in a consent form that she has explained the possibility of visual and physical access of intimate areas of the body for all patients.

Look at this redacted letter from Iowa Board of Medicine Misty received in response. The board apparently did not treat this as a serious issue. They claimed that what happened to this man did not seriously impact patient care which is a profound lie.

Pelvic exams without consent finally have been recognized as a form of sexual abuse. Other intimate procedures are no different. No intimate procedures should ever be done without a patient’s expressed consent.

Check out this investigation by Spotlight on America, “Citing 'national crisis' of inadequate doctor discipline, some call for overhaul of system | The National Desk.”

This investigation revealed that doctors tend to dominate most state medical boards and the need to rectify this imbalance is to replace them with members of the public who are not a part of the medical profession.

Spotlight on America shared this: “We found Alabama and South Carolina’s medical boards don’t currently include a single member of the public. Florida, Kansas and Iowa have just three public members each compared with 12, 12 and six doctors respectively. Only California and Delaware have a near equal balance.”

Thus, most complaints are not taken seriously, which is problematic because it enables doctors and medical facilities to continue their wrongdoing.

So many doctors, especially male gynecologists, have gotten away with sexual abuse for many years. Look at our list on for an example. You will notice many more patients felt empowered that they could come forward when one patient filed a complaint when a doctor sexually abused her. The same thing happened with Dr. Larry Nassar.

Thankfully, sexual abuse of female patients by male doctors is taken more seriously today. For example, pelvic exams without consent have received more attention over the past few years, resulting in some law firms taking on those cases by virtue of these exams being considering as sexual abuse. Furthermore, multiple states have passed laws specifically banning non-consensual pelvic exams.

The truth is there are other intimate procedures done without consent besides pelvic exams, such as rectal exams, unnecessary removal of underwear while the patient is sedated or under anesthesia, shaving the pubic / groin area, etc. that constitute sexual abuse under guise of medical care. We need to fight this like the many women who pushed for an end of pelvic exams without consent.

Sadly, the same protection has not been afforded male patients because our society does not want to acknowledge they are also sexually abused by medical professionals. Many men do not feel comfortable speaking up because they are often labeled as weak and feel they won’t be taken seriously. For example, one man decided not to complain about a female doctor for pulling down his underwear to examine his hernia against his wishes because he was afraid he would lose his health insurance (probably an unfounded fear) and the doctor might label him as crazy.

While it is common for medical state boards, hospitals, offices of patient education, patient advocate groups, etc. to not take patients’ complaints seriously, it is, nevertheless, important for as many people as possible to complain so they cannot deny that a problem exists. The more complaints they get, the more likely there will be changes.

We recommend you read the article, “What You Should Know About Surgery,” before you have any procedure. But if you have been wronged in any way, please consider pursuing the following avenues as a way to express your grievances and keep up the pressure so that together, we can enact much-needed change within the medical industry.

Complaints You Should File

1) Medical Board in Your State – Many of those medical boards have a form you can fill out.

2) Patient Experience or Patient Advocate Office at the Hospital – Many hospitals have this department where you can file a complaint.

3) Medical Facility’s web site – Some medical facilities have a form on their web sites you can fill out to file a complaint.

4) Office of Sexual Misconduct – This department exists at numerous university hospitals. If you had an intimate procedure done without your consent, you should file a complaint.

5) Consult with an attorney for certain cases.

6) File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, especially if the practice or medical facility you used had false advertising.

7) File a tort claim in your state if you had an intimate procedure done without your consent. This violation would fall under medical battery.

8) Submit a Complaint through Consumer Watchdog.

9) Write a letter to the administrators, such as the practice administrator at the medical facility where you had the procedure.

10) File a complaint with The Joint Commission.

11) File a criminal complaint with the local police department. If the incident occurred at a university hospital, file a complaint with campus police.

Resources to Check out:

Choosing a Doctor and a Medical Facility

Patient Modesty Friendly Doctors

What You Should Know About Surgery

Unnecessary Underwear Removal For Surgeries

Sedation, Versed, and Your Procedure

Modesty Concerns for Procedures and Surgeries

Why You Should Have a Personal Advocate For Surgery?

Surgery and Your Modesty

Surgery and Your Modesty - Youtube Video


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