Editor’s Note: This story is part of the series A Plastic Surgeon Sexualized My Exam
I underwent post-bariatric body contouring with one of the finest plastic surgeons in the nation. Let me be clear that he is not the plastic surgeon who sexualized my exams. Here is my story.
The White Coat Wall of Silence
Physicians’ leveraging of power is especially evil and disturbing, and is erosive of an ancient, sacred trust. The unfortunate subculture of predatory and deviant medical professionals that exist within the ranks of what is far and away an honest profession is the result of a need to satisfy inappropriate power and control issues. They are clever children disguised as men who are disguised as doctors.
However, in practices and institutions around the country, the medical profession turns a blind eye to physician sexual misconduct, allowing patients to be assaulted – emotionally, physically and sexually.
MD Whistleblower writes in his blog post, The White Coat Wall of Silence:
"We physicians are not effective or serious at holding our members accountable. Sure, every state has a medical board, but we all know how egregious an offense must be to result in a serious professional sanction. It is not part of medical culture to identify colleagues who have demonstrated competency lapses, committed a negligent act or may be impaired. Recall the adage, ‘friends don’t let friends drive drunk’. Physicians don’t turn in colleagues who may be in need of remediation and rehabilitation, except in extreme circumstances. What stops us? Are we scared that we will be stigmatized as a squealer and ostracized? Do we rationalize that we might not know all the facts about a practitioner who may appear to be missing the mark? Do we look the other way hoping that some other corrective mechanism will descend from the sky to address the issue? Do we allow our empathy for a fellow colleague to corrupt our judgment?"
For the majority of patients, it is unthinkable that our own doctors would disregard our assault. And we view looking the other way just as wrong as committing the act itself.
The final violation came when I confided the sexual offense to several of my doctors. Most counseled me, but made it clear they did not want to get involved. However, the one doctor whom I trusted most of all, looked away and told me that he did not want to know what happened. I asked him for help thrice more. He told me that he did not want him or his P.A. to get involved. And in the aftermath of all that I had been through, it was this wound that cut the deepest.
_"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."
- Elie Wiesel_
Cheryl Ann Borne, writing as My Bariatric Life, is a contributing writer and Paleo recipe developer for HealthCentral’s Obesity Community. Cheryl is an award-winning healthcare communications professional and obesity health advocate who has overcome super obesity and it’s related diseases. She publishes the website MyBariatricLife.org and microblogs on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Cheryl also is writing her first book and working on a second website. Watch her transformational video on Vimeo.