Now, for your OMG/WTH/You Have to Be Kidding Me moment of the day ... A woman in Tennessee has filed a complaint with the Tennessee Department of Health, because she says a doctor named Dr. Timothy Sweo, who she was seeing for back pain, diagnosed her with "ghetto booty." Fifty-five-year-old Terry Ragland told local FOX affiliate, “I think I blacked out after he said ‘ghetto booty.’ I think my mind was just stuck on the phrase because I couldn’t believe he said that." Unbelievable is right!
Even Dr. Sweo himself admits that he used those words to explain the cause of Ragland's back pain, because as he states in a letter he sent his patient, "I was trying to take technical conversation regarding your lower back and make it less technical." UGH!
I hate to generalize, but it makes my blood boil for so many reasons. Why is it like pulling teeth for so many patients to achieve the kind of rapport with a doctor that they feel they're being understood and treated appropriately? Why is bedside manner so hard to come by? And how in the world would a doctor think it was okay to simply dismiss a patient's pain with a slang-borderline-slur term like "ghetto booty"?! It's maddening -- and the mark of a physician who clearly doesn't treat his patients the way they deserve to be treated.
Ragland herself noted that she feels Dr. Sweo gave her that answer -- instead of the technical explanation he was apparently trying to "dumb down" -- because he underestimated her intellect. So, so wrong. We all deserve doctors who listen to us, who allow us to ask questions and give them thoughtful answers, who don't take us for fools or morons!
Furthermore, it's outrageous that the guy boiled it all down to nothing more than "lumbar lordosis, which is a medical term for the curve of the lower spine that makes the buttocks protrude more." Wow. And all he could allegedly think to offer her was painkillers and to say "there is no cure." Really? She was born that way, so she's doomed to experience pain and should just throw in the towel and pop some pills? No discussion of any injury or repetitive activity that could be contributing to her discomfort? No suggestion of physical therapy, which is considered the top treatment for this lumbar lordosis? Just, this is your body, deal with it? Sick -- and seriously problematic.
Thank goodness Ragland spoke up about her experience. Any patient treated in a half-assed way by a physician should follow her lead -- and then find a doctor who not only treats them like a fellow human being but is willing to put in the extra time to help them truly heal.
What do you make of this? Have you ever felt like your doctor was "dumbing it down" for you?