Seeing the Doctor in the Primary Care Clinic is basically the first step I have to do and tell him the reason why I’m there and what my concerns are, and then for him to refer me to the relevant specialists within the clinic.
I went for three specific reasons; I wanted to have my moles checked by the dermatologist (just because it’s good to check), I wanted to have a mammogram because its recommended from a certain age as a precaution and I wanted to have a pelvic ultrasound due to an old issue which was resolved two years ago, which I was supposed to have a check up on…every year!
You cannot get a referral without first speaking to the Doctor in Primary Care. The Doctor took notes of what I was telling him, and then, told me that he would refer me to the three different specialists that I was going to see. He told me he could arrange all three referrals in 24 hours. Great!
That’s the first time that I felt uncomfortable and I made a comment about something, which prompted him to call a female nurse in (who should be there before any examination takes place).
Sometimes things happen that you just know are inappropriate, even when they are disguised as a medical examination.
Why was I being asked to have a breast exam, when tomorrow, I was already booked in to have a mammogram, which is the ultimate exam and can highlight things that are not detected on a normal breast exam? And remember, I didn’t have any symptoms, no pain, no lumps, no issues. I was only going as a precaution.
Sitting on the edge of his examination table, with my shirt and bra off, he proceeded to ‘examine’ my breasts in the presence of a young female nurse. The examination was thorough. I was extremely uncomfortable, not because he was a male Doctor, because I thought it was totally unnecessary, and the examination felt like it was for his personal benefit (or pleasure).
He wanted to ‘show’ me how to conduct my own breast exam, so he took my hand and started to do the same process again, holding his hand on top of mine. At this point I stopped, and took my hand down, because I knew he was touching me inappropriately.
He also decided to put his hand inside my jeans to ‘check’ for painful areas in my pelvic region.
On one hand, you’re thinking, am I being stupid, and on the other hand, you’re thinking, this is wrong, I’m being violated!
I left the clinic and went straight home. The whole evening, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I was crying and had a very bad feeling and I felt sick to the stomach. I couldn’t sleep that night, because I just knew that what I had experienced wasn’t right.
Why didn’t the Doctor ask me if I would prefer to see a female Doctor? Why did he proceed to do an examination without a female nurse being present? Why did he even need to do an examination when I was having a mammogram the following day?
The next day when I visited the clinic, after I had completed the pelvic ultrasound with a female Doctor, I went to her office in tears, she thought she had done something to upset me during the exam. I confided in her about my experience the day before, and I asked her if this was the normal procedure, so I could just forget about it and move on. I was hoping that she would tell me that it’s the normal process, and she didn’t. She raised the issue immediately with the head of the clinic.
The person in charge in the clinic came immediately and said that “don’t worry, I’ll talk to him” and didn’t even take any details from me or ask me to fill in a complaint form.
After receiving no follow up or investigation, I raised the complaint with the insurance company who were providing the medical cover.
He told me that the concerned Doctor would have a “question mark” placed in his file, even though he hadn’t conducted a proper investigation. He told me the outcome of the situation before he even asked me what had happened.
He told me that the matter was now concluded.