When I was eighteen I was transferred from a children's hospital to an adult hospital with a new endocrinologist. During the first visit he did a brief physical exam. This entailed the usual such as, checking my injection sites, feet, blood pressure etc. One thing that seemed off was he asked to see my breasts and genitals, not a pelvic exam or anything just looking. His reasoning for this was that some diabetics who are diagnosed young have "developmental disruptions" his words, not mine. He did ask permission but seemed to push me even more when I asked why it was necessary. This happened over three years ago now, but now that I have been to several other endocrinologists since, and never had this "exam" I have been questioning whether he took advantage of me or not? Has anyone else had a similar request from their endocrinologist?
That's really interesting. I mean yes I can understand the whole audience thing, but it's interesting a practioner would leave themselves open for the potential of someone saying something inappropriate happened. It's must much easier to protect yourself by having another person present in the room. Especially when the practioner is of the opposite sex.
Reminds my of my first OB appointment, lol there were two med students present, haha the Dr ASKED if I cared, and I mean I work in the medical field, so Im ok with med students, nursing students. But yeah lol I had quite the viewing going on.
I was in the same situation as you when I turned 18. I had to leave the pediatric endo and find an "abult" endo. I went to several different doctors before finding one that I was comfortable with. NONE of the initial appointments I went to had this type of exam. If you are still questioning the behavior of this doctor after all this time, then you definitely should speak up. I also had an encounter with a doctor that really creeped me out. It was with an eye doctor that I was told by my insurance company that I had to switch to. He put his hands on me during the consultation, an EYE EXAM consultation. I went home and didn't know what to do. The internet was not easily available to me so I called the insurance company. When they found out what had happened they were very helpful in making sure I never had to see this doctor again. I filed a formal complaint with them. They also gave me the phone numbers to the medical board if I chose to report him there as well. I was told by the insurance company that if there were other complaints, then they may drop him as a doctor that they will cover. You may not be able to prove anything in a lawsuit, but you may get this guy in the other place it hurts-his wallet. If major insurance carriers will not pay him or consider him "in network", that could be a major financial blow. I still urge you to talk to your local authorities and medical board, but contacting your insurance carrier might be another option for you as well. Good luck and make sure you do what YOU are comfortable with.
Great advice to Rebecca,Jackie. She should do what she feels comfortable doing.God bless,
Well, I looked into whether there might be a valid reason for an endocrinologist to be concerned about the development of a young woman of 18 who is diagnosed with diabetes. I found a monograph on the medical step-by-step best practice for diagnosing delayed puberty. It clearly lists diabetes as one of the key reasons for delayed puberty as well as stunted growth. High blood sugars can be present for years before a final DKA event lands you in the hospital, and having untreated diabetes during your teen years can result in delayed puberty. The standard assessment starts with history and if at 18, your were of short stature, that may have been a flag. And then essentially the next step is an examination of the nature you described.
I am not saying this justifies the examination you received, nor does it say anything about your feelings on the matter. It is a plausible explanation for the doctor's behavior, nonetheless what really matters is whether you felt taken advantage of or violated.
I'm sorry this made you uncomfortable but I think it was totally normal. When I was first diagnosed I was sent to the Children's Hospital in Vancouver for training. Not only did it happen there - there was a group of interns standing around! For a few years after we would take yearly trips back to the hospital for a check up and it was done every time.
Keep in mind this was back in the late 80s and things were different. For example I was trained to pull back on the plunger of the syringe while injecting to make sure I wasn't in a blood vessel. Most diabetes now have never even heard of that. This might be similar - an older technique that is rarely used now-a-days.
I'm still leaning to this was weird, and especially if it makes the OP feel uncomfortable and taken advantage of, then it should be reported, and YES definitely filing a complaint with your insurance company as well is a good step to take along with the board of medicine. I would think at 18, and IF there were no obvious problems with delayed puberty. Such as being 18 and not menstruating yet, then MAYBE. But still it ALL boils down to the OP had been followed by a pediatric Endo and was switching to an adult Endo at 18, this WASN'T a newly diagnosed person. We are also talking about something that happened 3 years ago, not something that happened in the 70's or 80's where practices MIGHT have been different. A simple history of when was your last period in my opinion, could have solved the question. If the menstrual cycles are normal, and occuring on a normal basis, to me puberty is not delayed. And what the heck does looking at one's genitals tell you anyway. I mean not ALL women are big breasted, a LOT Of women have small breast. Does that mean a diabetic woman with small breasts has a delay in puberty??? I just think it was WAY off base.
Don't you think that it being a standard practice in a major hospital for many years means that there is probably a medical basis? Perhaps it was off base for current practices but WAY off base - I don't think so.
The opinion of a practising endo could change my mind though.
But we aren't talking YEARS ago, this happened THREE years ago. I just think as a LONG time diabetic, who was diganosed when I was 10 and am now almost 40. This was strange. A simple medical history such as age of menstruation, how regular are you cycles could have answered a LOT of questions. What does what your genitals or breast look like have to do with it? The OP posted herself that no pelvic exam was done. I have NEVER had any Dr Endo, GP, etc wanting to see my genitals or breast in relation to my diabetes. And once again, is it seems to have made the OP very uncomfortable, and appears she feels she was ? taken advantage of. I don't care how "medically necessary" something might be, NONE of us should ever feel uncomfortable with a Dr's practice or leave feeling like we had been taken advantage of.
Maybe there MIGHT have been some reasoning behind it, not being there or knowing the full medical history. But regardless the OP was made to feel uncomfortable, and if nothing else, maybe it will bring that to the Dr's attention (if it truly was an innocent exam) and this Dr might rethink his practices about how he approaches female patients in the future. And if he's just a perv, then it needs to be brought to the proper attention. Thats the last thing we need is more people in authority figures who are pervs.
I'm most definitely not saying she shouldn't report it. That's her decision and I agree that it's not good to feel uncomfortable with a dr under any circumstances.
I am merely pointing out that, despite the OP, you and many others never having had this exam, at one time and place it was routine. Take that as you will :)
Oh I can assure you it's NEVER a fun experience. Nothing I enjoy more than going to get the lady parts checked out. And yes it is certainly part of a thorough examination, but usually reserved more for yearly physicals/Gyn type exams. If it had been a yearly physical by a GP it wouldn't be so odd to me, I just find the situation odd when its been done as part of a diabetes examination and if my Endo asked me to see my female parts, in that situation, it would probably be the last time I'd go see that Endo. Yes in some circumstances its perfectly part of a normal physical examination, a yearly check up type thing, and it's certainly not the funnest or most comfortable of examinations for anyone. I used to work in family practice and had to assist the Dr's in both examinations for males and females, and Dr's of the opposite sex performing these examinations.
But like I said as part of a Diabetes examination, if my Endo wanted to see the lady parts, I'd be like thanks but no thanks, my Gyn does that, and I'd seriously be looking for a new Endo. Thats just strange. And there is uncomfortable, and then there is UNCOMFORTABLE. And uncomfortable feeling like you've been possibly taken advantage of by someone in a position of trust is a totally different kind of uncomfortable, then having the parts exposed for a routine exam. It seems to me, something about this exam made this OP feel more uncomfortable but UNCOMFORTABLE feeling this wasn't right. Sadly but just like in the Church, there are perky people in all sorts of areas of practice they shouldn't be in: teachers, medicine, police, etc.