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10/20/2017

Patient Modesty: Volume 82

I think that the above image and words sets the tone of the conversation regarding male physical modesty issues which form most of the conversation currently on the Patient Modesty thread.
Thanks  to Alternative Press via Google Images for the graphic for this Volume.

Continuing on with the Comments, here is the last one as of the time of creating this new Volume and it is by AB who professionally appears to know much of the ins and outs of the medical system. ..Maurice.

At Friday, October 20, 2017 2:41:00 PMAnonymous Anonymous said…
I cannot speak knowledgeably on the distribution of genders in hired medical scribes. It is my impression both male & females are hired to be scribes. At my old medical center, in the emergency department we hired scribes to assist the ED physicians but there was no requirement they only be female. This was the only location where we allowed scribes. Nationwide I don’t know if there is a trend toward one sex or another for scribes, I don’t think there is.

Medical assistants in private practices and clinics is more sinister matter. MAs assisting as a chaperone, for example, always mean the physicians/NP/PA is also present with the chaperone/MA when the patient is naked. As such there should be ZERO reluctance to hire males to perform this duty, if medicine is gender neutral and patients have no preferences (which of course we know is not true for BOTH sexes). The “risk management” issues of a male being alone with an unclothed female are removed in the chaperone situation. Most of the other MA duties in clinics, say a Dermatology clinic, never involve the MA being alone with a naked patient (the physician is always present, at least). (Urology is a special situation which I’m omitting admittedly). So again, no “risk” barrier to hiring male medical assistants in such clinics. But unless others can provide evidence to the contrary it is my personal experience and impression physicians and clinics almost always hire female medical assistants if they will be in attendance with naked patients. Its way more than just happenstance – it is a preference for most physicians. So the question is why is there this preference?

Reasons include 1) the belief men are NOT entitled to the same or any bodily privacy respect as are women (see recent articles above on how its okay for the whole department to view male genitalia), 2) the belief female MAs will not be as great a “risk” as male MAs, 3) physicians can and DO pay females less than they would males, so they can save $ by not hiring males. I think all of these are contributing factors, but they all hinge on #1 being valid and enforceable.

Finally, a comment on the naked Dermatology exam. Standing naked for 10 minutes while the Dermatologist examines every square inch, possibly with a “scribe”/“chaperone” present is a really poor medical practice. There is NO medical reason a patient should be made to remain naked for the entire exam. If that were true every physical exam one got would require being totally naked the whole time. Its absurd. Dermatology needs to modernize and stop their archaic practice that violates basic bodily privacy considerations. All patients need to speak up about practices that make them uncomfortable. And you do NOT have to agree to the presence of an observer/scribe/chaperone. That is your decision. The physician will tell you if she/he feels comfortable performing the exam without their chaperone present. You are paying for this service. —AB

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