A few posts ago I asked if male physicians ever had the same uncomfortable moments with their patients as I experience with mine.
Here are a few stories I received from the male side of things but not all of them involve patients…
“Once I did surgery on a local high school football coach. The procedure went well and I was writing the note outside the room. As the patient was leaving, he smacked me on the rear like I had scored the winning touchdown. I believe it was the highest compliment he could have given but I would rather he had not done it.”
“Some older female patients say things about me being handsome and dating their daughters or something like that but nothing too bad. Also some female patients say things like, ‘After having three kids I am not shy.’ Then they toss their gown off and parade around naked which I really would prefer they not do.”
“Occasionally some female drug reps will say some very, very suggestive things…”
“As a second year resident I did a study with our program director and we were going to present at a meeting in Chicago. The secretary was making the travel plans and she called and asked if I wanted separate rooms or to share. I said separate and that was the last I heard of it.”
“I have a couple of patients who refer to me as ‘good looking’ or ‘handsome’ in a way that makes me a bit uncomfortable.”
“When I was a resident, a nurse at the clinic took a liking to me. I went into the supply closet to gather supplies for a procedure. She followed me in and aggressively made a pass at me. I had to ‘escape’. Later that day she walked past me and pinched my rear. The attending saw it and gave me a lecture about staying away from the nurses despite my protestations that I was innocent.”
This last story reminded me of my own residency program. The list of new residents, complete with head shots, would get published and posted all over the hospital each July. No one cared about the lady residents but the men… The staff would cross out the photos of the ones that were married and drew hearts around the photos of the ones that were “available”. They became targets and were persued mercilessly and relentlessly while the administration did nothing to stop it except to lecture the male residents about how they interacted with staff, as if it was their fault. I know the male residents did not appreciate the attention and I felt uncomfortable as a woman just watching it. That was over a decade ago. I wonder if it still occurs….