Our social media feature for this weekend is on the word ‘Chaperone’. Social media really allows for the darnest and most puzzling of questions to be asked. I totally believe Quora, tops the chart in this regard. Questions begging for answers…

So an anonymous doctor (obviously of the male gender) sent in a response to the question; “Have male doctors attending to a female patient ever gotten turned on?… Was the woman aware of it?”

His response came in as well…

I have to answer anonymously as I have been aroused in some occasions when attending to female patients.

There was the first time I had to handle breast and endocrine clinic and have to do breast examinations during my early internship in surgical posting. Sorry to say that I had to muster all my self control to avoid having an obvious erections when performing breast exams in female patients. But I was definitely aroused and embarassed more than my patients I think when attending to any particularly attractive ladies. There was one time I had to examine both the mother and her teenage daughter, though the daughter appears more uncomfortable than the mother, I think I was the most distressed as I was having an erection!

Afterwards I avoided going to breast clinic and asked my female colleagues to handle it instead. Though i think my reaction is only due to my limited experience and frequency of handling breast clinic, so that’s why I wasn’t desensitized yet at that point. As far as I know, those who regularly handle the clinic are very capable of having self control and desensitized to seeing exposed patient to have any significant arousal physically. Sorry, theory and practical are different and we are still human with normal senses sometimes. So don’t take all doctors for granted and always have chaperone when being seen by doctors of the opposite sex. It’s your right to request for one.


According to Wikipedia, medically speaking, a Chaperone is a person who acts as a witness for a patient and a medical practitioner during a medical examination or procedure. Medical specialties where a chaperone is commonly seen include Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and others where intimate examination is regular done as in breast examinations of General surgery, or Prostate Examination in Urology.

It is totally standard for a chaperone to be present at medical examinations or procedures, regardless of the gender differences or similarity between patients and doctors. However, it is stressed that a chaperone should be on hand to support the patient with reassurance and emotional support during a procedure or examination that the patient may find embarrassing or uncomfortable.

The chaperone may also provide practical and timely help to the doctor during an examination or procedure. In other clinical settings, as in a Psychiatric examination, the chaperone could protect the doctor from physical attack.

The rate of litigation following from accusations of sexual harassment is still a major issue, which gladly can be avoided. A chaperone saves the day by helping to keep both patients and doctors in ‘line’.

So when next you visit the hospital, feel free to request for a chaperone…



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