Sexual Misconduct By Doctors
   
     

Tips For College Girls To Prevent Abuse By Doctors

A number of college campuses push young women to have unnecessary pap smears, pelvic and breast examinations. You should always take time to research to assess your risks for cervical cancer to determine if it is necessary for you to have a women's wellness health exam. Informed consent is often missing from pap smears. There is usually no need for young women to have pap smears if they have never engaged in any type of sexual activity. See more information on pap smears for virgins. 99% of cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV, a Sexually Transmitted Disease. HPV can be transmitted by oral sex, anal sex, and skin to skin contact with genitals, yet the girl could still be technically a virgin (no penetration). Sometimes, virgin girls have problems such as abnormal heavy menstrual periods, severe cramps, or large ovarian cysts that need to be taken care of. But there are some less invasive procedures such abdominal ultrasound that can detect ovarian cysts. Many HPV infections actually clear on their own without progressing to cervical cancer.

Many college girls have been traumatized by having intimate examinations by male doctors even if there was no sexual abuse. There was one case where a college girl went to her infirmary for an ear infection that ended up having a pap smear, pelvic exam, and breast examination. The doctor told her she needed a pap smear right away and it took her completely off guard. She was very traumatized by her experience. The doctor took advantage of many other girls at that college as well. Women should never be pushed into having a pap smear at an appointment or walk-in about another health issue.

1.) It is best for a woman to never go to a male gynecologist if possible. There are so many good female ob/gyns you could choose from. If your area or college infirmary does not have any female ob/gyns, you should check into having a female Nurse Practitioner or Physician's Assistant do your women's health examinations. You are in a very vulnerable position when you let a male doctor do intimate procedures on you. Having a nurse or an assistant present in the room with the doctor does not guarantee that nothing inappropriate would happen to you. Remember that the nurse or assistant is present to "protect" the doctor and will often be on the doctor's side. There have been cases where female patients felt the male doctor went too far, but the nurse or assistant felt he was simply doing thorough examinations. It is certainly not worth the risk to let a male doctor do intimate female procedures or examinations on you. If there are no good female gynecologists in your area, ask your mom or someone else to drive you to the closest city with a female gynecologist no matter how far it is away.

2.) Even with female doctors, you have to take some precautions. It is very rare for female doctors to commit sexual misconduct, but it is possible. Some female doctors are very coercive when it comes to doing things. You need to speak up about things you do not want to be done to you. For example, if you do not want any male anesthesiologists, nurses, or students/residents present for your procedure (ex: ovarian cyst removal surgery) you should be sure to make it clear to your female gynecologist and have all of your wishes in writing. It might be good to have someone who can help you advocate for what you want. You should ask the female ob/gyn to tell you in details about what exactly what she will be doing and if there is anything you do not like, you should speak up.

3.) Do not allow yourself to be pressured into having a pelvic exam, pap smear, or breast exam at any doctor appointments. Some female patients have gone to the doctor for other health concerns and were pressured into having unnecessary examinations. For instance if you go in for a sore throat and you think you may have strep throat, do not spend time listening to a lecture by the doctor about how important it is to have a pap smear and that you need one today. If something like that happens, tell the doctor you are not interested and you only want to talk about the reason you came in (ex: your throat is sore).

4.) Do not undress or put on a medical gown when it is unnecessary and/or you feel uncomfortable. There are so many procedures and tests that doctors can do on you without you having to change your clothes. For example, there's no need to change into a medical gown for a strep throat test.

5.) Keep in mind that it is unnecessary for you to take your shirt off for the doctor to listen to your heart. You should wear a thin shirt and not a sweatshirt. It is strange, but many doctors do not even ask men to take their shirts off to listen to their hearts, but they ask women to. That tells you something is wrong.

6.) You should think in advance about what parts of your body the doctor should examine and dress accordingly. For instance if you have a knee problem that you want the doctor to check out, you should put shorts instead of pants on so you would not have to take any of your clothes off in the doctor's office.

7.) Never let anyone even your mother or friends pressure you into going to a male gynecologist no matter how good he may be. Many people thought that the male gynecologists who have sexually abused some of their patients were wonderful doctors.

8.) Make a firm decision that you will not let a male doctor or nurse touch any parts of your body that are covered by a two piece bathing suit. This is a good way to prevent you from being sexually abused by a male doctor.

9.) Do research to assess your risks of cancers. Do not trust everything the doctor or nurse at your infirmary says.

10.) Never let a nurse or doctor set up an appointment for you to have cancer screenings without doing some research about your risks of each cancer.

11.) No person should ever go to any medical appointment alone. Always take along a trusted person (family member or friend) - not only for protection from potential sexual abuse, but to act as another set of eyes and ears to help listen and remember everything you need to know regarding the reason you actually are there.

12.) Do not let the doctor coerce you into having a pap smear or pelvic exam to get a prescription for birth control pills. Only a blood pressure check is necessary.


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