Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Doctors Are Afraid Of Pretty Women

Forget what you may have seen on Gray's Anatomy. Male doctors are in fact scared to death of pretty female patients. I've noted this reality many times. Whenever there is a young good looking female patient in the procedure room, suddenly it is mandatory to have a female staff member also present. It doesn't matter if the patient says she's comfortable with having an all male staff inside, the procedurist will insist on having a female nurse or tech in the room at the same time for nothing more than a figurehead.

I understand this is all to prevent possible future litigation (thank you malpractice lawyers for increasing staffing costs), but this same wariness doesn't seem to apply to older women. Somewhere after the age of forty, female patients suddenly don't instill the fear of sexual harassment lawsuits anymore. We can bring a middle aged or elderly woman into the room and there is nary a consideration for having a female staffer present. It appears that doctors are not afraid of older women bringing a lawsuit against them. Is this age discrimination? Do physicians not find older women attractive enough to harass? Or do doctors think juries are unlikely to believe they would harass an older woman?

One last observation. I've never noticed a female doctor feel the need to have a male figure in the room if there is a male patient and an all female staff, which is not as uncommon as you might think. There are plenty of female procedurists and anesthesiologists these days along with still plentiful female nurses. I guess sexual harassment only works one way.

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