For most women, going to the gynecologist isn't exactly #1 on our fun list. But at the very least, we're pretty confident that our exam will be highly and completely confidential. Eerily, that may have not been the case for patients of a Johns Hopkins gynecologist named Dr. Nikita Levy ...
Earlier this month, Dr. Levy was accused of secretly videotaping patients by wearing a pen around his neck that may have been used to conceal a camera. An employee told hospital officials of her suspicions on February 4, and officials soon discovered devices similar to the one described by the employee in the office, on Levy, and "large amounts of multimedia evidence" that he had been recording his patients. Ugh. And as if it couldn't get worse ... On February 18, the 54-year-old doctor killed himself in his home. What. A. Nightmare.
Not that it would really make a difference, because if even one patient's dignity and confidentiality was compromised by this situation, it's horrible. But according to police, more than 2,000 patients and former patients of Dr. Levy have called a hotline set up by the hospital. Class-action lawsuits have been filed against Johns Hopkins, and the hospital has been keeping the public and the doctor's former patients updated on their findings.
It blows my mind how someone could get away with what it sounds like Dr. Levy did for so long. Maybe his status as a gynecologist at a prestigious hospital made him seem an unusual suspect for this kind of perverted behavior, but the position he was in was one that should be treated with utmost care.
That said, patients have a right to be angry and deserve explanations and specifics. Although Hopkins reassures that all of the images and videos they found have been securely placed in the possession of the Baltimore Police Department, Dr. Levy's patients are still concerned that graphic images and/or videos could have, at some point, potentially been broadcast to the world via the web. Ugh.
It's hard enough to be a patient -- especially one who needs to summon the courage to spread her legs and have a speculum put up her vagina! -- these days. Doctors often suffer from short attention spans and poor bedside manner, because they're overbooked and rushed from exam to exam. But then you throw something like this in the mix?! It's just completely outrageous, disconcerting, and disturbing beyond belief. Here's hoping the case leads Hopkins and other hospitals to work on a perfected security system that could better preempt situations like this from occurring down the road.
Here's a local news report on the first lawsuit to be filed ...
How do you feel about this story? What do you think could be done to prevent something like this from happening in the future?
Image via ABC