Monday, November 8, 2010

Yes Virginia: It’s a Prostate Exam

A holiday season or so ago I was half listening to the television while stressing over my husband’s Christmas list. What do you get a guy who needs nothing and wants even less? I was still holding out hope for inspiration when an ad with a “merry” tone caught my attention. The ad sported an attractive woman, grinning and practically winking secrets at me. I leaned forward in anticipation: She claimed to have the perfect gift for any man. She then looked directly at me through the camera and said, “Get him an appointment for a prostate exam.”
Rewind. Play again.
“Get him an appointment for a prostate exam.” Yes. That is what she said.
Seriously and what the heck? For Christmas?
Cringing, I envisioned the reaction Christmas morning of men opening small holiday boxes only to find “Happy Prostate Exam” written on appointment cards. What a terrible marketing scheme, unless a pap smear actually made it to her Christmas list.
Nevertheless I started thinking. How many women really think about Men’s Health? How many women know the issues, pitfalls, concerns, drawbacks, and needed reform? Who of us knows hype from help, and why men really avoid healthcare? Although many women just do not talk about it, you and I are going to.
Recent studies have shown that 46-49 percent of males do not seek healthcare. We’ve all read it; we all know it. The simple truth is that this is a healthcare crisis and but for a few changes and choices these men might choose care. Frightening? Think of the top ten men in your life and consider that roughly half of them are not getting medical attention. Perhaps your man is one of the many not seeking care and you find this startling and unacceptable. But before you rush to the phone to make an appointment he will undoubtedly not keep, have you asked him ‘why’ he doesn’t go? Now be prepared because modesty just may be on his list.
*Let’s consider that: The safe feeling you get enveloped in the arms of mostly female staffers may well pose a humiliating problem for him. The ocean of females you encounter in just one visit may seem normal to you, but the intrusion of privacy and modesty may well be the barrier he faces to choosing care. Be willing to listen to his concerns without judgment. His anxiety and preferences are just as real as yours. (How many of you prefer a female OB-GYN?) Stand by his decisions to seek same gender care if it is his preference. Be as involved as you possibly can in the search for choices that he can accept. If it involves making a few phone calls then do it.
*Or: Suggest he make his own appointments. He will get a better idea of who and what to expect, and become more assertive about what he considers respectful and dignified care. Remember, even a male doctor may also mean a series of female techs and support staff.
*And together: Petition the medical community for options that would allow men the same vast choices as women. If we are talking about saving lives then don’t worry about saving face. Be bold. Support him. Stand up and be a Woman.
*Don’t forget: Talk to your female friends and gain support for men facing modesty issues. I’m sure he supports your healthcare preference. It’s extremely helpful to bring this issue up with friends who are caregivers. You will gain insight as to how they view this issue and whether they do/don’t want to change male circumstances.
*Down to Earth: Men aren’t really from Mars Ladies. Nor are they babies, children, or little boys. If they ask us to respect their bodies then that is what they deserve. No chastising, belittling, coercion or bullying. We all have issues that are at core…human.
*Intimacy: No one ever says this one out loud! Some men want to keep intimate exposure between only one woman (you) and them. It forms a bond and strengthens trust. What woman would not want that sort of value and respect placed within their relationship?
*As always: Emergencies happen. Know his preferences. Know his wishes in healthcare situations and don’t forget to tell him yours.
Couples need to be their own best advocates. No one knows your spouse/significant other better than you. No one cares as much and has a more personal stake in each other’s health and lives. Be a team. Be supportive. Show real support for each other’s health by showing real respect for each other’s needs.

© Suzy Furno-Maricle 2010


At November 9, 2010 at 5:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an insightful and compassionate article. It's refreshing to hear comments regarding male modesty from a female perspective and you make a compelling argument. I look forward to reading more from you on this and other subjects. I think your really onto something with this blog. Keep up the modesty fight for all of us!

At November 10, 2010 at 8:36 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good article, but I think I like "Are Women Ready to Sexually "Come Out" Of The Medical Cultural Closet?" better. As long as women are used as sexual buffers, men will never get honest medical modesty curtesy.
Otherwise, well stated and good job.

At November 11, 2010 at 9:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The statement you made below:

Intimacy: No one ever says this one out loud! Some men want to keep intimate exposure between only one woman (you) and them. It forms a bond and strengthens trust. What woman would not want that sort of value and respect placed within their relationship?

is very true of many men. I desire for my future husband to be the only man in the world to see and touch certain parts of my body. I also don't want my husband to ever have any intimate procedures by female doctors or nurses.

It is very sad, but many men who request a male nurse to do intimate procedures are mocked. One male veteran needed to have an uteroscopy and he told his doctor that he didn't want any female nurses to participate in the procedure at all. The doctor labeled him as mentally ill. A female nurse acted very ugly toward him. If there were no male nurses at that hospital, they should have simply told him that they were sorry and that he could check out another hospital to see if they had a male nurse.

It is very obvious that many nurses and doctors need training on becoming more sensitive to patient modesty. Many doctors and nurses may not be modest themselves or hold the same convictions/beliefs as some patients, but they should focus on patients' wishes and accommodate them.

Look at horrible male modesty violation cases at It is so ridiculous for a person to be required to take his/her underwear off for certian surgeries such as hand, knee, etc. You can find some cases where people stood up for their rights to modesty and were successful at

There are also female modesty violation cases at that you can look at of course.

At November 11, 2010 at 11:40 AM , Blogger Suzy Furno-Maricle said...

Anon. 11/11

Yes, this is a tricky area for patients, and many times this is why: If a person (male or female) tells a caregiver that their reasons for modesty are actually moral or ethical, then the caregiver assumes that you have just accused THEM of being immoral or unethical. Feathers get ruffled and communication breaks down. That is why most advocates prefer to keep the umbrella issue modesty.
But I have interviewed enough men and women to know that many (not most) times, relationships are the "hidden casualty" of opposite gender intimate care situations.
Hopefully, spouses and significant others can agree on this issue. Otherwise, they will certainly encounter problems along the way.
Since we advocate for the patient's choice, I hope partners seriously discuss this issue.

At November 26, 2010 at 4:16 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a male patient that has experienced the abuse and total disregard for my modesty, I can say that it is more the norm for men to be disregarded in their wish to retain their modesty than it is for women. Most medical facilities have both male and female nurses and or staff. It is the accomidation of the patients wish that is the problem not the lack of qualified personel. I have requested only male nurses and attendants and have been told "YOU DONT HAVE ANYTHING I HAVEN'T SEEN BEFORE" this platitude is not considering that it is not what they have seen before but the patients comfort and modesty issues that are at stake. The best healing of a patient is when they have the mental, as well as physical ability to heal. Being forced to indure intimate procedures by female nurses only hinders healing processes. Gender specific care is granted to women and not to men without complications. Care and treatment is posponed by men more from this issue than from any other. To date, most men are not given a choice, so they just pospone care and treatment until it is too late. My wife and I both usually request treatment by gender for this reason. It is not prudish or insane to do so. What is insane is to be forced to submit to,or ridiculed by female nurses, something against your own morals and modesty. I have seen elder men almost in tears begging for a male nurse to do procedures only to be told off by a female nurse and the procedure done against his will. I personally have been dismissed by a doctor becasue I refused to allow a female PA examine me. so I speak from personal experiences.

At December 2, 2010 at 12:20 PM , Blogger Suzy Furno-Maricle said...

ANON 1126:
You are right about male's requests for same gender in intimate situations. Modesty is often looked at (tragically!) as weakness. The very interesting thing to me is that you said "My wife and I both usually request treatment by gender for this reason. It is not prudish or insane to do so. What is insane is to be forced to submit to,or ridiculed by female nurses, something against your own morals and modesty."....
We rarely discuss the moral issue at legnth, but even under the modesty umbrella I believe it needs to be discussed more. Caregivers brush off modesty as a temporary discomfort that can be survived. In some cases that is true, but why knowingly inflict patients like this? If they expect healing later, then they are well aware of the damage that they caused.
But to my point: what of the moral issue? Belief systams are who and what we are. Whether faith-baesed or not they are the fibers and foundation of how we define ourselves,and the safety of the people and relationships that surround us. Once the medical system "strips" us of our beliefs..our faith..then we have damaged souls, relationships, future expectations, and many times detremental self-loathing.
If the medical community refuses to acknowledge their participation in this destruction, then they will innocently go home and continue to be allowed their own safe and healthy relationships.
They need to know all sides of the issue, and then be held accountable for action. Too many lives are destroyed while saving bodies.

At December 28, 2010 at 8:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This message is to all women of the world please stop playing with this topics (not respect with male modesty) sooner or later you will be the only victims of this subject.

At December 29, 2010 at 10:33 AM , Blogger Suzy Furno-Maricle said...

Anon 12/28
I'm not really sure what you mean. Are you saying men don't want women's help...or more choices for men mean less for women? Can you explain more for us please?

At December 29, 2010 at 11:42 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This message is to all women of the world please stop playing with this topics (not respect with male modesty) sooner or later you will be the only victims of this subject."

Not likely. Too many female nurses. Sorry Guy


At December 31, 2010 at 8:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


I don't think this was a guy. I think it is a woman really worried that we are hurting women's options. Yes?


At January 1, 2011 at 5:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This message is to all women of the world please stop playing with this topics (not respect with male modesty) sooner or later you will be the only victims of this subject."

I believe the person who posted this was trying to convey the idea that if women continue to attack men's desire for privacy and modesty, the cultural tide will inevitably turn and they shall find themselves on the receiving end of said behavior; And this, from the very victims that they created. Whether this will come to pass or not, I cannot say. I find it quite ironic that the cry from feminism has been a 'right to privacy'. Apparently, we men have not been 'granted' this right.

At January 4, 2011 at 2:29 PM , Blogger Suzy Furno-Maricle said...

I see your point Anon (5:17).
This is why both genders need to see things from each other's point of view, or else society will never have gender equity.
I wonder what it might take for everyone to become "equalists" instead and work together on each other's issues? Men and women could certainly use each other's help....

At March 9, 2011 at 3:36 AM , Anonymous María said...

It seems that many sides of the topic have become unexplored. This time, I am really angry at something: complaint about "THE VAST OPTIONS" in medical modesty women aledgely have. Not so. As someone brilliantly pointed out in Dr. Sherman's blog, women are the vast majority of nurses because of
a) cultural traditin, it's considered a subservient profession
b)yes, to pay them less
Many doctors and ob-gyn are still male, to an astonishing percentage in some part of the world. Many changes that have happened are certainly for the good, but not the result of female acommodation.
That said, there's something I find somewhat patronizing in your opinion. My partner, for one would be really annoyed if I started making calls and appointments on his behalf without his consent, and I'd be even more ofended if he did the same thing for me. Then again, being aware of the stupid and even cruel things they do and sometimes say just to get the job done. Besides, what do you do in you're single or divorced, for instance?
Frankly, there should be patient advocates, and they cannot be involved in healthcare at all.
The point is that much intimate care is overrated, pointless, and done during hospitalizations for daftest reasons, many of which have to do with staff convenience. How many catheterizations happen because staff cannot be bothered to bring you a bedpan?
And don't get me started on the issue of cross-gender intimate care. There's n excuse for the lack of consent, in either male or female patients. Implied consent is one of the most damaging absurdities of these last two centuries, esoecially for women. Men might resent it, but they might feel less guilty walking way from a disrespectful situation.
Until this stupid mentality in healthcare changes, I won't let them a mile near me.. Decisions that affect our lives must be ours to make. It is a ball that should never be in their court.

At March 9, 2011 at 8:52 AM , Blogger Suzy Furno-Maricle said...

I actually agree with much of what you say.
Yes, having an advocate present should be considered a viable option in most medical encounters. The excuses the medical arena gives us for it not being pracical are arguably unfounded. The truth is really that they prefer the hidden veils instead of transparancy.
And it also leads to attitudes and questions that they are not prepared to face. Example: If they allow advocates, then they are admitting that there may be an ethical need for one. And once they admit that, then they need to be accountable for the ethical breaches of patients bodies.
And yes, I did state that it was better that men make their own appointmants. My husband takes care of his own appointments and I my own. BUT, there are times when it takes investigation to find gender options, and I am more than willing to make calls to help find those options. I would hope most people are willing to help each other in those cases.
Record numbers of patients are now speaking up for the dignity of their bodies, and what they would personally consider respectful treatment. Some co-opertion is happening, but not enough. We find that we have to drag some of them kicking and screaming into a new world where the patients want what they want, and many are not happy about it. They want to remind us that they are human enough to make mistakes but not human enough to be just men and women working with naked bodies. Now that is patronizing.

At March 30, 2011 at 11:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Part 1:

Maria, I too agree with much of what you say but take issue with your rational and think it is flawed in some regards. For example, you say:

"As someone brilliantly pointed out in Dr. Sherman's blog, women are the vast majority of nurses because of
a) cultural traditin, (sic) it's considered a subservient profession
b)yes, to pay them less"

I would agree that "tradition" has had a major role when accounting for the large numbers of women occupying nursing positions within medicine, particularly in the 19th and 1st 60 years of 20th centuries. However, where I diverge with you is in your reasoning behind this tradition.

To suggest that the majority (in fact it's actually overwhelming numbers in reality; a majority can be as little as 50% plus 1) of nurse positions in medicine are occupied by females because nursing is considered a "subservient profession" and woman can thus be paid less, may have had some merit within the Victorian age and the first half of the 2oth century prior to the Women’s movement, but to suggest this rational accounts for the large numbers of women occupying nursing positions within the modern age is simply erroneous logic in my view. Frankly, it reeks of that tired old adage "the oppression of women by men".

In particular, your premise and the use of the term "subservient profession" by definition is highly suggestive that women are being forced to enroll in nursing positions because they have no other options (and by contrast men don't need to because they have other options at their disposal). Due to I would presuppose, is some subversive and organized cabal by the so called paternalistic medical establishment to ensure the status quo and keep women down.

It depends on one's definition of what the medical establishment actually is, but it may come as a surprise to you to know that women now occupy an important role within the medical establishment of North America. If you find this hard to believe, just go to your local hospital and read the index of management positions and you will see women having high profile positions within the system. From CEO's to heads of departments and wards. In other words, women now have an integral role in and are directly involved in the decision making process within the medical arena.

If women didn't have and other options other than to take a so called "subservient profession" than how do you account for the fact that every year 50% of new enrolments in medical doctor programs are comprised of women in the USA and Canada. Moreover, when it comes to the "female specialties" within medicine such as Ob/Gyn, the vast majority of new med students entering are in fact women! To me, this represents empowerment and choice for women!

At March 30, 2011 at 11:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Part #2:

For example,

According to the Association of American Colleges April 2007 Databook, women accounted for 74.5% of the physicians entering the obstetrics and gynecology field with 3,504 in 2005. That number rose to 3,568 in 2006, or 75.6% of the total number of doctors in the field. And this ratio is continuing to rise.

You also suggest as a corollary to your premise that an ulterior motive to nursing being a "subservient profession" is to justify "paying them less" by the establishment (presumably the male dominated establishment).

Last I heard, nursing generally pays quite well in comparison to many other vocations within society. Yes nurses don't make as much as doctors, but than again they are not suppose to! Doctors have to go through a much more rigorous academic and training regimen than nurses do. It's no different than the disparity of pay seen between a lawyer and a legal assistant/paralegal. Both are trained in their field, but one much more so which gives entitlement to a higher pay scale.

In truth, I believe that women entering the nursing profession do so of their own volition and accord. And what’s more, they're happy to do so! Nobody in society is forcing them to enter the field. Women don't choose to enter the nursing field because they feel they have no other options or because there is some impenetrable glass ceiling that can’t be traversed. I assume that the vast majority of nursing students are entering the field because of altruistic motivations.

Nursing plays a very important role in society and in my view is an honourable profession and one worth pursuing no matter what one's gender may be. There are many sociological and institutional reasons as to why it is dominated by one gender. That’s another subject worth discussing. But the females in it are there because they want to be!

Jonathan W

At April 2, 2011 at 12:53 PM , Blogger Suzy Furno-Maricle said...

Jonathon W:
Incredibly insightful and informative post. Thank you for providing the wealth of information.

I have noticed the term “subservient” used quite often in other blogs regarding the female nursing role in general, and on a broader scale the continuum in society. There is a danger here in terms of male (or female) modesty, in the sense that we have a tendency to rely on the ‘passive’ nature of the feminine, and never really allow accountability. We all look for the root of the medical modesty problem, and usually assume the dilemma lies in the corporate culture that facilities create. How often do we divert responsibilities for actions of employees by saying ‘they are just doing their job’, when in fact, employees need to be responsible for the job that they allow themselves to participate in? I agree: nursing has a very important place in society. I just maintain that any profession that expects to work with naked and vulnerable people, owe them dignity and choice in who may be fulfilling that job description.

I also agree that the reasons why nursing is (still) dominated by females needs some discussion. This is one of those situations where society needs to realize historical data, and perhaps re-work policies for the 21st century of savvy patients!

At May 21, 2011 at 7:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Suzy;
As it has been previously discussed in so many words Modesty for men is best kept private and shared between the intimacy of his wife or girlfriend.
Most heterosexual men wouldn't argue or deviate from this premise. I've heard many countless stories how women have complained about modesty and privacy issues when they have made themselves subject to invasive internal medical examinations. Not doubt some stories reveal the indignant cold indifferent behaviors of the medical profession.

But what about men who also experience embarrassing, cold and painful invasive medical exams? Few men are brave enough to repeat such horrid experiences.

I'm a heterosexual man who has no qualms about having a female doctor do an embarrassing prostate exam and palpating testicle exam. And yes I do have concernedly fears when such intimidating exams are carried out. What the hell is it with complacent doctors who carry out mundane everyday invasive medical exams as if the patient was nothing more than a slab of meat on a gurney?

One female doctor who deserves the unorthodox name of a Bitch walks in behind the privacy curtain after I found myself transported to hospital after a seizure. She doesn't even introduce herself with her costumed white lab coat and stethoscope. In a rushed ignorant fashion with no time for preliminary cordiality she blurts out ("I have to do a rectal") She forcefully turns me to my side with the help of a female nurse and forcefully shoves two or three lubricated gloved fingers inside my rectum.

I wanted to scream in pain but all I could muster was a fearful groan still feeling weakness in the aftermath of my seizure. After a thorough painful prostate exam she removes her gloves and puts on another and roughly exams my testicles and later leaves the cubicle curtained room without a word. What I speak of here is no exaggeration whatsoever. I'm left with no dignity, no nothing. A damned dog would have been treated better. Forty-five minutes later after the weakness of my petit-mal seizure has subsided I'm released from hospital.

My fear of making complaint about my experience would be prejudged and seen as complete ridicule and disbelief with governing protocols between hospital officials.

I'm in my mid-fifties now. I will not submit to any invasive prostate exam nor a Colonoscopy that my family doctor ordered recently.

Men too have fears when it comes to invasive medical exams and bad experiences with medical professionals. Is my embarrassment worth the trouble? I think not

At May 21, 2011 at 10:54 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In all honesty I felt it necessary to explain myself further in detail in relation to my last post above.


The Sporadic Desensitizing compassionateness Of Nurses and Doctors")???
In the course of human experience, I have come upon many confounding situations and undesirable surroundings. Although objectionable biased communication from subjective people can be emotionally disturbing. I am "not" usually inclined to incite unfavorable judgment towards prejudiced people whom for what ever reason have this unorthodox, whimsical mental attitude to stereotype, dichotomize, or categorize people whom they view as being different from themselves. The fact is, I pity these kind of people. Because they will never know anything beyond what they perceive with their own two eyes. Much like the lacking intellectual depth of a person who prejudges a book by it's cover; so it is with the "failing" perspicacity of people who access other people by outward appearances. There's an old saying; if you truly want to understand what another person endures in their life, try walking a (few months) in their shoes.

Connotative to expressing an opportunity to examine what's going on in our world today...and extrapolate into the future what will be the consequences of our actions...invariably, the humane way we treat each other as people. As humans we arrogantly think that we have full control over our sciences. Whether it be cosmology, meteorological, agricultural, or the vast branches of medical sciences. We think that we know all the answers. But the truth is we don't. There are all kinds of ideological theories going on in the world. There is irrefutable reason to suggest in a prominent way how the evolutionary social sphere of today's prevailing populace is saturated by all kinds of human desensitization, both in ourselves and the reality of the global world around us. What will become as a future result of the personal decisions we make today ? Notably; the preservation of ("real") moral values, justice, and compassion that are characteristically an important essential part to improving humanization. These viewpoints do not only place emphasis on the love and care of those who are nearest and dearest to us. But; an honourable compassionateness for our prominent aging society, the sick, the diseased, the terminally and mentally ill; anyone who is marginalized and in particular female and male victims of rape torture, who are all deserving of genuine humanitarian care, and the committedness of a people governed by strong moral principles and acceptable conduct.
We must face the fact that we live in an extremely vulnerable world filled with afflictive suffering, even though there are people near us who are unwilling to perceive this truth.

Some of the vulnerable situations I speak herein are not likely to come to an end soon. While I am not accustom to being favoured by good fortune. Overwhelmed by terminal illnesses and death within my family, and careworn by my own indisposed health including Rape-Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have been unkindly treated on numerous occasions by superficial people. So why should I waste my time writing about the substandard medical treatment of patients, who fall under the subjective, callous, and indifferent behaviour of a certain number of doctors and nurses who "sometimes" mental-stereotype patients after having sloppily summarized and categorically prejudged their patients medical files.
A bold abstract implication indeed. Perhaps you believe my inference is cynically unfounded ? Think Again.

At May 21, 2011 at 10:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


On Super Bowl Sunday 2009 I was taken from my home by ambulance to my local city hospital
after suffering one of several recurrent seizures. Upon being wheeled into the emergency trauma bay by stretcher, I was greeted by a subjective, cold-hearted female nurse who took one look at me and said; Oh God ! Not you again. I felt aggrieved, dejected, and completely speechless. Meeting the wrong nurse or doctor who communicates unfeelingness, moodiness, superficial compassion, or downright inconsiderate care towards any patient defies imagination. You don't know how dehumanizing it is to be a patient affected by the impoliteness and aloofness of any medical professional. I was just recovering from a seizure. I didn't require extreme care or effort. Just the normal courtesy and reassurance of knowing that in my present state of confusion, fatigue, and fears I would be OK. Instead; I received an undignified brush-off not only from the female nurse in the emergency trauma bay, but; a female doctor checking me over. I wish disconcerting moments like these allowed for more pliancy and mutual openness; encouraging friendliness and candour between nurse, doctor and patient.

No patient deserves the temperamental cold indifference of a medical professional who is deplorably lacking of an inherent sympathetic aptitude. One patient alone is out-numbered even if they attempt to come to their own defence. My own aggressive defence is being silent. I've dealt with too much pain in my life; including the affliction of being a heterosexual male rape victim suffering from a torturous and harrowing savage gang rape under the duress of gunpoint. Despite this atrocious and troubling adversity that haunts me; it's comforting to know their are a far greater number of nurses and doctors out there, who are more deserving of their genuine professionalism and humanitarian committedness. It's not difficult to perceive the compassionate sincerity of most nurses and doctors who truly care about the well being of their patients. Personally; I consider myself privileged to know numerous doctors and nurses who are truly deserving of genuine affection, praise and appreciation because they trustingly have the most concernedly sympathetic hearts I have ever encountered.

At May 21, 2011 at 10:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


In this critique I am "not" unperceptive or insensitive to the demanding, stressful, time-strapped situations, or lack of medical staff in emergency trauma bays. So why have I chosen to write this substantiative correspondence ? Two essential reasons that I believe merits mindful consideration and constructive criticism. No# 1. I believe that most patients in a hospital are understanding of the many ponderable qualities that nurses and doctors are gifted with. Not just their life saving medical skills; but, more aesthetically important the benevolent gift of themselves as a person. These are the deep-seated qualities and principles that best defines the integrity and humaneness of a ("real") nurse and doctor. The most distinguishing tangible attributes that belongs to any good nurse or doctor is not formed by their professional title; but, the gift of their innermost heart to the sick, the injured, the dying, and the psychologically ill.

No# 2. In today's society their are a growing number of distressed people living intensely vulnerable and painful lives due to an often unwanted, undeserved, oppressive, and inescapable environment that contributes to increasing physical and mental sickness. This is not merely a conjectural opinion; but, a statement supported by objective proof. Under a supportive hospital atmosphere their exist a symbiosis...a reciprocal human mutuality of trust and reliability that's essential between nurse, doctor, and patient. Regrettably; there are times when this confiding connectedness or trustworthiness gives way to impassivity or betrayed confidence.

Apathetic gestures or aloofness expressed by moody, fatigued medical professionals, even though sometimes unintentional, can lead to a partiality that prevents the objective consideration of health issues and situational circumstances that when overlooked, can have jeopardizing consequences on any patient. Patients who are subject to troubling external conditions and elemental surroundings merit meaningful ethical consideration. I believe nurses and doctors should be "very concerned" about patients deciding not to avail themselves to much needed medical care, because of a medical professionals sometimes "poor reputation" besmirched by the lacking compassionateness and impersonal cold behaviour that sporadically subsist amongst individual nurses and doctors. The medical profession is not infallible.

I could go into a more profound psychological discussion about the lifelong stigmatic effects that are painfully etched deep into the souls of woman and men victimized by the scourge of rape. Indeed; there are numerous afflictions encountered by many individual people who are truly in need of necessary medical care at a hospital.
In contrast; I need to believe that there are a greater number of dedicated, understanding, and generous spirited nurses, doctors and shrinks who have a purposeful insightful heart to grasp in part many of the difficulties and sufferings that a great number of patients are confronted with. In conclusion; as a male rape victim I am not claiming to be an important somebody whom I know I am not. However; I do consider myself a very forgiving and perceptively an empathetic person. While a nurse or doctors occasional ill-natured communication with their patient is forgivable. I don't believe any medical professional should behave in a manner that imparts additional adversity or anxiety.
Patients on the other hand should be mindfully deferential of the awkward stressful moments that nurses and doctors are challenged with on a daily basis. Respectfully; I would gladly invite any other person reading this post who has experienced similar experiences.

Sincerely C.F.

At June 10, 2011 at 10:22 AM , Anonymous Minsy said...

I don't have a vast vocabulary with sophisticated terms. All I want to say is that it is amazing to me how we as a peopl, jump into a forum/blog to sympathize with a man for saying that he wants privacy and modesty during exams, but chastise a woman when she says she wants modesty during childbirth and you all tell her to forget it, and that a woman sould not even think about modesty when in labor. You also tell her that her dad can can watch her give birth because he changed her diapers when she was a baby. Do you all understand what I am sayin? Why do you all do that to women?

At June 14, 2011 at 9:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't find anywhere on this blog where women have been chastized for intimate care expectations. Your point is valid, but I think most of us agree that both genders deserve the same respect.

Suzy Furno-Maricle

At June 14, 2011 at 10:51 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

First let me apologize for the delayed response due to technical problems. I am sorry...

Thank you so very much for your willingness to open up the personal circumstances that surround your care concerns. I do understand your analyses, and I would hope that most caregivers appreciate your ability to see the stressful side of their abilities DESPITE your incredible circumstances. The question is, would they respect your circumstances as well.
Quite frankly, I think you see both sides of the coin more openly than others would.
Here are just a few concerns of mine.
The modern patient does expect optimal standards of care and respect regardless of time concerns. There are those who care about modesty for gender's sake, and those who care about modesty for the sake of respect. Both deserve what they is that simple.
It does humble me a bit that someone who has gone through trials such as yours can give allowances where you feel it is are the rare soul. I however, believe that caregivers need to go to any length possible to provide respect for those bodies that find themselves in their care. To some it is a “calling” some it is a job, but first and foremost it is our bodies that we almost relinquish to another person. That deserves much more than “I will try” . Much more than “I don't have time”. And much more than “this is the way it is”.
I respect your view on gender. I respect your view on respect. Personally? If someone of the opposite gender assumes intimate rights to my body simply because that is their view of a job and a paycheck then I would say that their attitude of benevolence is rather self-serving. I am not really prepared to give them the gifts of munificence that others may see shining in their light of daily existence.
My personal circumstances require that no one is entitled to my body in any assumed situation. Permission is mine to give, and theirs to humbly negotiate.
But that is me.
Thank you so very much C.F.

Suzy Furno-Maricle

At January 16, 2012 at 7:42 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was hesitant to begin reading this blog because it's not often I hear or read about a woman defending men's modesty issues, but I've been pleasantly surprised with the blog author and some of her commenters. It's nice to see there are a few women out there that care.

Someone mentioned a common retort that men hear all too often when they try to stand up for their modesty issues, "You don't have anything I haven't seen before!" After hearing that from a nurse once I asked her "Haven't we all? I've seen naked women before but I don't use it as an excuse to force women to get naked for me against their will." She obviously didn't like it but luckily she didn't have much fight left in her.

At March 13, 2013 at 2:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a male patient that refuses opposite gender care, because of extremely bad experiences, I end up in a new pain management office, This office was chosen because of a male doctor. Once he could no longer "find" the cause of the pain, once again im shoved off to a Physisicans Assistant, which I have no problem with until I find out the PA's are both women, and I am seeing pain management for male specfic pain. I refused and was told that it is my fault that I am intemidated by women, and that I need to grow up. When I asked her, if a female patient is undressed with the male doctor, is there a chaperone? she said yes. I then asked if a male patient is underessed with the female PA is there a chaperone, she said no there is no need for that.... I asked if they had a male nurse, she said yes, I asked for him to be present with the female PA, and that I will remained fully clothed, they refused, she said that she wouldnt put the female PA through that, and the male nurse has more important stuff to do....

At March 13, 2013 at 2:29 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To combat the "Ive seen so many its no big deal" I tell them, "If it is no big deal to see it, why is it a big deal NOT to see it?" they never have an answer for that one hehe

At February 24, 2014 at 12:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dilemma is, I prefer the female General practitioner I've been going to for 6 years. In her office, there is also a male general practitioner and a female nurse practitioner... along with several female nurses/assistants.
I am comfortable with most procedures preformed by the female doctor... annual prostate exam. I do not like the personality of the male doctor. He speaks to as if I'm stupid.
That being said, I had to schedule a visit because I suspected that i had developed a hernia.
When getting a routine physical for my job, a year earlier, that was set up by my employee and performed by a "doc in the box" (female) used by my employer, when it came to check for hernia, ask she did was ask me to unbutton abd unzip my all she had to do was place her on me in the extreme lower abdomen, to check.
When I felt I had later actually developed a hernia, I went to my regular doctor. She had me drop my pants to my knees to examine me.
I wasn't necessarily uncomfortable, but, it did feel a little awkward, as this was the first time my front had ever been exposed to her.
She was very professional and understanding when I spoke up about it being the first time a female doctor had ever "seen me."
After later visits, I become increasingly comfortable with her performing "intimate exams," but, i really wish she had a different male practicing partner.
I hate feeling like I would offended her by asking for a male doctor for future intimate exams, but I would equally hate asking for the female doctor if the situation were reversed. I don't want to be thought as "homophobic" or something.
I'm truly more comfortable with my female doctor performing a DRE than any male doctor. Perhaps it's because I've known her for 6 years, now... and have developed a trust. I don't know.

At November 13, 2014 at 12:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently had a heart cath and had to stents put in resulting in a stay in ICU. Not only was I totally exposed to about 4 female nurses in the cath lab, but when I got to the ICU, several nurses checked me in and this also resulted in total exposure to everyone in the room. Later, I had an antibiotic lotion applied all over my body by FIVE female nurses and all the time, I was totally naked. This lasted for about 10 min. Anytime they checked the cath site, they pushed the sheets down to my knees again totally exposing my genitals even though the doctor when he checked the site pulled the gown over my leg and exposed only the actually site. The doctor took less then a moment to check, the nurses always took about 5 min. to check the site and all that time, my genitals were totally exposed. It usually took two nurses to check the site each time. I did have a urniay cath inserted again with several nurses in the room. When it was time to remove it, one nurse asked several times if she could do so and when she did, she removed it very slowly which resulted in an erection. She simply looked at my erection for a moment and than said "I see you have good blood flow now." Even though I have been told many times that women do not enjoy looking at naked men, these and several other occasions lead me ot believe that many women DO enjoy seeing a males genitals.

At May 19, 2015 at 5:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So far I have been a fortunate man. Twice I got female doctors and told them I prefer a male doctor. They don't need to know why. I'm going for a surgery soon. If they don't cath me in private by a man I simply will leave the hospital without surgery and take my business elsewhere. Money talks, even in the medical world.

At February 20, 2016 at 4:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The healthcare system here in the States still hasn't figured out men who have modesty issues aren't less of a man or sissies.

I took a vow when I got married and that vow means everything in this world to me.

Out of love and respect for my partner I will never allow the opposite sex to see much less touch my private parts in any way for any reason under any situation.

Hospitals and clinics must understand there are people like myself that want our modesty kept intact at all times when we come there for tests or procedures.

For example.

I have friends in the UK that tell me when they've had to go for the dreaded colonoscopy screening there, the hospitals ease peoples anxiety about being exposed by giving them what they call over there "modesty pants". Everybody gets them. They're sewed shut in the front with a slit in the back to allow passage of the scope into the body.

Why hasn't the American healthcare system here in the states adopted the same idea system wide. There are a few (and I do mean few), institutions that consider their patients needs & offer some kind of clothing but for the most part this aspect of the patient equation has gone totally ignored.

Does the healthcare system need more regulation to make this happen? You would think and hope not.

Forget about the cost involved and start thinking about basic human decency.

The human being portion of the United States healthcare system is fast becoming extinct.

We're becoming cattle in a system that doesn't care about the human that's just looking for some common decency, dignity, and respect. Something every human being deserves without question.

Are we just going to stand by and let this go on or are we going to stand as one and say no more and effect change into a broken system?

Respects to all,
Concerned American Citizen

At June 4, 2016 at 4:16 AM , Anonymous Stop Shaming Patients said...

It's a sad fact that a female doctor/nurse is unlikely to respect a male patient's wish for same-sex care. However, if a male patient were to explain to a female doctor/nurse, "My wife doesn't want other women seeing or touching my intimate parts", it is likelier that she would listen (or at least wouldn't be able to shame him for honouring his wife's wishes). Sad, but true...

At March 20, 2017 at 2:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had at least 7 female providers and each time I have an exam which required removal of all my lower clothes, each of them had a chaperone with her and oddly enough each time it was another female so instead of one woman each time seeing me naked, it was two. Not so bad except the last time the chaperone was a nurse I had worked with for several years and yes each time the chaperone was able to see everything going on

At March 20, 2017 at 2:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had severe right testicle pain for which my doctor ordered a testicular ultrasound. When I went to get the exam, there were two women doing the exam as one of them was being trained. Of course they left the room as I got prepped but when they both came back into the room and removed the drape to do the exam, they "coved " me with a towel which was bunched up in the middle but I had the feeling it did NOT cover anything so both my penis and my testicles were exposed. They both looked at each other as they looked at my testicles with a very puzzled look. I looked back at them with a puzzled look and they said "They do not look swollen" They then explained that the doctor's reason for the exam was "swollen testicle" I explained that it was ordered because of pain in the right testicle. Of course I could see why they were staring at my testicles as they were thinking ...if these are swollen, what does his testicles look like normally?

At March 23, 2017 at 5:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any reason to retract the foreskin for an Inguinal hernia repair. I woke up after a hernia repair and my foreskin was retracted. It was not when I went in for it.

At August 20, 2018 at 9:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess I'm in the minority. I don't have any modesty issues in a medical setting. My internest is female and has always done a genital and prostate exam at my annual physical. I recently had open heart surgery and I knew I would be naked ob the OR table during the prep ( I was sedated at that time). Didn't bother me. In the ICU the nurse said they would like to bathe me. I said fine. Another nurse came in (both were female) and they took my gown off. I was laying there nude with a urinary catheter no less. I chatted with them as they cleaned and dried me. I thanked them and that was that. Everyone is different. I just check my modesty at the front door when dealing with doctors and nurses. Makes there life easier.


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