Is this standard

greenallover_2006March 6, 2006

Last week I went to a dermatologist for the first time.

During the taking of my history, I was asked if I wanted a complete exam or for the doctor to just focus on the condition for which I came in.

Not knowing any better, I said "complete exam".

I was told to strip totally and put on the lovely gown. When the doctor entered the room I was instructed to take off the gown and stand up. I refused.

The doctor proceeded to tell me that I had requested a complete exam. I told the doctor that had I known I would have been told to stand up completely naked, I would never have agreed to a "complete" exam.

Is this SOP for such an exam?

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I don't think the stripping was SOP. I had a complete as a new patient. Every inch was examined, but all those private areas were carefully covered and uncovered as needed. The doctor and her assitant, went over every inch very carefully. A complete, from time to time, is a good idea. A person simply can't see what's happening on the back or on the back of the legs, where a lot of sun damaged skin may be.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 5:42PM
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That's how I anticipated the exam would go, agnespuffin. Thanks for your input.

After I posted, I mentioned this experience to my co-workers and one, who goes to different dematologist, said her doctor requires her to stand totally naked.

I asked her how she felt about it and she said she was extremely uncomfortable doing so. When I then asked why she consented to do so, she said she didn't think she had a choice!!!!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 6:22PM
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When I go to the dermatologist for my annual 'skin check' I am asked to disrobe and the assistant gives me a small sheet to put over my lap. There is no gown. When the doctor comes in, she examines me as best she can while I am sitting, but, of course, that does not give her a complete view of my skin. Then she asks me to stand while she checks everything else out. I am completely naked. I am a male and my doctor is female. I really don't see that there is any problem. I'm sure she sees many naked men and I am just another one in the mix. Would you rather go through extensive surgery or even die because you were too embarrassed to show your body to a medical professional? I'm not embarrassed to show my body to a medical professional - male or female. Because when I consider the consequences, it really would be silly to actually die of embarrassment.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 8:54AM
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A lot depends on how the woman is asked to strip. Some doctors can do it with a smile and attitude that puts the patient at ease. Others have all the charm of stale bread and an attitude that degrades a modest woman. I remember one proctologist that started out by saying that he understood how I felt about the exam and there just wasn't any other way to get the job done. Then he something funny and got me smiling. It wasn't so bad after that.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 9:50AM
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There is no need for anyone to ever stand naked in front of a doctor. The doctor cannot possibly see your body in its entirety. The best way to do a skin is exam is piece by piece, slowly examining each area, exposing only that area and keeping the patient covered and comfortable, both physically and emotionally/psychologically.

A surgeon who once operated on me advised me in advance that he did not allow the OR staff to totally expose a patient under general anesthesia while prepping them for the procedure. He felt, and I believe him, that somewhere deep down inside the patient would know he or she had lain naked on the table. He told me that a patient getting a local anesthetic would never be totally uncovered in the OR and the staff should show the same respect for patients under a general.

This particular doctor is also very strict about what is said in the OR.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 11:12AM
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I am amazed at the attitude being expressed here toward the human body. We all have a body. Most men have male genitalia and most women have female genitalia. There really are no secrets under our clothes. We all know what each other has. In other countries, it is not unusual for people of all ages to be naked at the beach. Oh the horror!

If a doctor needs to see any part of my body, inside or out, to assist in my well-being, he/she is welcome to it. The doctor is not 'getting off' on seeing my naked tush, I can assure you. Health care is a serious issue that should be treated seriously. If you afford your doctors the access they need to do their job, they can do it better. It is not like the doctor is exposing you to people that don't need to see you. It is unfortunate that so many people have been brought up to believe that the human body is a source of shame.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 1:21PM
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If you feel secure in your body, over n under, that's fine, but please don't denigrate those who read these pages who do not. You have absolutely no idea of how they were raised or of their life experiences.

You have no idea if the doctor they go to is one of their choosing with whom they feel comfortable or if they are forced, by their health insurance plan, to have to settle for someone they would never ever consider socializing with, let alone stand naked in front of them.

"The doctor is not 'getting off' on seeing my naked tush, I can assure you." Perhaps you can assure us that your doctor is not getting off on you, but you cannot assure all readers of this forum that this never happens. It happens all too often - and I CAN assure you of that - only it's swept under the rug and is seldom made public unless an extremely gross violation of ethics takes place.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 5:11PM
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Agnespuffin, I didn't even realize there were any more proctologists - I thought they'd all turned into gastros.

Over n under, do you have any idea of how many people have stopped traveling by air, the preponderence of them women, because they can't stand those patdowns by TSA screeners? Do you know how many more are going to stop when they are forced to go through x-ray machines that will show their raw body to a screener - will even be able to tell if a woman is using a pad or a tampon for her period?

Are you going to be all that comfortable in your body then? Hypothetical = how are you going to feel when your 14 year old daughter is forced to transit one of those machines? Are you going to tell her it's o.k. for a stranger to see her naked?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 6:48PM
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Froghollow - let's keep this on a medical level. I'll be happy to debate airflight safety later. I'm saying that if you deny access of your body to a medical professional you are risking your life. I wonder how many people have allowed themselves to get to a serious or fatal stage because they were too embarrassed to show or talk about a part of their body. Probably a lot more than are refusing to fly because of a pat down. And probably a lot more than have ever been a victim of an ethics violation. A mature attitude about the human body is a far safer way to live.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 8:46PM
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I think with some women it's more of a matter of vanity than modesty. We know only too well the bulges and sags were not there 20 years ago. We don't even look into full length mirrors anymore. I don't want anyone, male or female, seeing me in the nude. Especially standing where every droop is attacked by gravity. I think a doctor with any sense understands this.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 9:37AM
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The point is not safety in the air, but rather how many people are NOT comfortable with strangers seeing/touching their bodies - even if their health is put at risk.

But that is their choice - and not something any of us should be denigrating.

There is also the financial gain aspect for the dermatologist - an exam of a naked person takes less time. An exam of a patient who is covered takes more time and is more "costly" to the doctor.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 12:01PM
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wow, this raised some heavy duty emotions in me. I went for my first "adult" physical when I was 18 and ready to start college. The doctor, for whom I also babysat, immediately took my gown off, examined every part of my body and then made me stand naked and do jumping jacks while he held onto my breasts. Obviously I was being abused and he was later sued by his nurses for treating them in a similar manner. My mom thought I was just being shy and so nothing was done. I think doctors should make every effort to treat us respectfully and I think our daughters should know what is and what is not acceptable behavior or at least have a pretty good idea. All procedures should be explained and if they involve something outside the ordinary the reason should be made clear.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 4:40PM
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Actually, when you think about it, it would be much easier to examine anything from the waist down, if the patient was lying on an exam table turning so that both front and back can be seen. It would certainly be a more thorough exam. The Doctor has to squat down to see the skin on the legs. and he can't check out the feet and toes as well.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 5:32PM
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There have been far too many cases of male doctors accused with reason of sexual harrassment and worse and there can be no possible reason for a woman to have to strip completely for an examination. The correct way is to have the patient don a gown and then be examined, one area at a time and with a nurse (female) present. If a doctor requires a woman to stand naked in front of him, he ought to be reported immediately. To the hospital if that is where it takes place or to the medical association if a private doctor. And to the state authority as well.
A doctor who does such a thing is either getting his jollies out of it or is too stupid to realize the implications and ought not to be practicing medicine.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2006 at 7:16PM
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