Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dr. Orthochick: Miss Boobs

Me: You know what I like about you? You're one of the few scrub nurses around here who doesn't remind me that everything blue is sterile every time I walk into the operating room.
Scrub Tech: You know what i like about you?
Me: No, what?
Scrub Tech: Your boobs.

The next 4 years have potential to be awkward.

Also, I was in clinic with Dr. Sportsfem and we walked into the [female] patient's room together and the patient said to Dr. Sportsfem, "wow! Look at her boobs! Can I call her 'Miss Boobs?'"

...and that is why Dr. Sportsfem and I will never be friends. Because she said that was fine.


  1. At least nobody grabbed them. This is why I now wear double sports bras to work. Just one interaction:
    Me, addressing pt in bed: How are you doing?
    Pt, suddenly grabbing my boobs: With both hands!
    Dept manager, when I complained: Just let them do it. It isn't hurting anything, and we don't need any complaints on the surveys.

    1. Wow, I rarely recommend complaining at work, but in this case I think the department manager warrants a complaint for that response to your legitimate concern. Is your manager female? I can't imagine a male responding in that way these days. Your personal well being is worth more than a survey result.

    2. I wholeheartedly agree with you PGYx. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever disagreed with you. Personally, this whole patient satisfaction survey thing has gotten out of hand! - Paul

    3. So the customer isn't always right?

      (tongue in cheek)

    4. James, you may have been said it tongue-in-cheek, but you hit upon something. It's no longer a patient, but instead a customer! And
      doctors. Guess what? They're now considered employees!
      Personally, I think it stinks but don't get me started. - Paul

  2. Where do these inappropriate people come from?!

  3. This reminds me of a thought I've been pondering off and on for a while. Not breasts, but commentary on appearances.

    At this point I've accumulated a few compliments from patients, ranging from stating that I'm handsome (whether directly to me or to the female nurse when I'm at bedside) to calling me "cutie." Most of these comments come from elderly women, but I've also received one from an elderly man. (I've also received a few from homosexual men, but that was outside of the hospital...) Comments like these make me a bit more careful, because the interaction gets pushed one step closer to being less professional; I generally ignore the comment or thank the patient and quickly move on. Yet internally, comments like that make me happy. Maybe it's because I don't think particularly highly of myself or my appearance, but it feels nice. It's a little boost, knowing that others find you attractive.

    Yet it's strange, because in the same setting I perceive comments from male patients toward female nurses very differently. It isn't even comments about specific body parts, nor gushing about overall appearance; even a mild comment that could indicate that the patient finds the nurse attractive comes off as sexual harassment. Female patients to male nurses isn't an issue, as I think to myself that it's nice that they were complimented.

    My discomfort with males complimenting females isn't necessarily shared by the women, themselves. I've discussed it with my wife and she said that she feels similarly to the way that I do when I receive a remark from a patient. Many don't seem to appreciate it, though. I can think of a few reasons why, but I still find it to be an interesting difference.

    1. I may be mistaken, but the sense I get of it is you have a protective nature
      toward females. That's a good thing, Ledgem. - Paul

    2. Personally, I really don't like it when a maLe patient tells me I'm cute or something along those lines. it makes me very uncomfortable. If a woman says it, it's fine.

    3. Do I do this, Dr. Fizzy? My wife tells me I tend to over/under respond due
      to my Aspergers syndrome. I sincerely hope I don't as that is not my intention. - Paul

    4. Paul, I think you're right, but there's a societal bend toward this. A few days ago I was talking with a staff member about dealing with pediatric patients. "Just keep talking to them, telling them how cute they are!" she said. I pointed out that female staff could get away with that, but if a male did it then it would likely come off as being creepy. She thought about it... and agreed.

      It reminds me of a little comic that I saw once, displaying this double-standard. In one frame there are two women, with one showing the other a photo that is presumably of her infant, naked son, and they're exclaiming, "look at his little wee-wee, it's so cute!" Nobody is batting an eye. In the next frame there's a man showing another man a photo presumably of his infant, naked daughter, exclaiming "look at her little vagina, it's so cute!" and everyone within earshot is disturbed.

      My theory thus far as to why this double-standard exists deals with two things. The first is rape: female-on-male rape occurs, but it's so rare that we hear about it that most people don't consider it. If a woman compliments a man's appearance and even admits to fantasizing over him, he's unlikely to feel threatened; the inverse isn't true, because we worry about male-on-female rape.

      The second consideration is American society's repression of women's sexuality. If a woman makes a comment about a man's appearance, we figure that it must be innocent. Women (or "proper women," in any event) don't think about sex and don't initiate sex, so there must be nothing sexual about it. On the other hand, men are thought of as being sexual creatures. By virtue of this, if a man makes a comment then there must be something sexual behind it. It doesn't help that our society styles women's clothing to be form-fitting and occasionally see-through. They're practically sexually objectified even before a man opens his mouth.

      I'm still thinking about it. And for the record, I have a male colleague who received compliments from female patients and who did not appreciate them. So regardless of how I feel (and how I assume most men feel), there are men who feel uncomfortable with it, as well.

    5. No disagreement. You seem to have a thorough understanding of the dilemma women face every day. It's a mixed up little world and very
      hypocritical. Not being a neurotypical male (Aspy as I call it), I tend
      to be very sensitive to my environment and identify with women
      who have to deal with environmental pressures too. Personally, I don't know how women manage to balance all the conflicting messages society imposes on them. It's a no win situation. If a woman doesn't "play by the rules" she risks alienation. However, if she chooses to conform,her sense of self is compromised. Pick your poison. It's a balancing act with two heavy weights in both hands and no net.
      The good news: people like yourself Ledgem, enlightened males,
      are slowly becoming the rule rather than the exception. The irony is:
      when women are freed from the constraints society imposes upon them, men will be freer too. - Paul

  4. That's DOCTOR Boobs to you, thank you very much!

  5. Here's a comeback for Dr. Orthochick:
    Patient. Can I call her Miss Boobs?
    Dr. Sportsfem. Yes, that's fine.
    Dr. Orthochick. (speaking to patient in reference to Dr. Sportsfem). Oh, and you can call her Dr. Boob, singular. It seems to fit her so well.