Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Can Oral Sex Be Considered Sound Medical Advice?

J. Peter Zegarra, M.D.
This story has been making the rounds for a couple of weeks. However, to me it is so amusing and ludicrous that I can't help writing about it. A Sacramento surgeon has been reprimanded by the California Medical Board for giving bad medical advice. Dr. J. Peter Zegarra had advised a patient to get an EGD. The patient said she was hesitant to get the procedure done. She complained that she has a very strong gag reflex and would have difficulty getting through it. In response, Dr. Zegarra, in front of the patient's husband, told the patient to perform oral sex twice a week to suppress her reflex. Let's just say the patient was not amused.

She brought the matter to the Medical Board. They too failed to see the humor in all this. Says Cassandra Hockenson of the Board, "This constituted unprofessional conduct, and so this is a message that probably wasn't appropriate."

This incident raises a few questions. It makes me wonder about the doctor's relationship with the patient and her family. Had they known each other for a long time and that's why he felt he could openly suggest oral sex to her and her husband? I can't imagine giving a patient advice like this after meeting with them for fifteen minutes. But if she had been his patient for years, maybe he felt less inhibited about saying something as politically incorrect as this. What was the husband's reaction? Did he laugh out loud when the suggestion was made knowing that it was just a joke? Or did he jump with glee thinking about how he would help his wife follow her doctor's orders? What was the patient's reaction when he first suggested fellatio as a medical aid? Did she run out of the office in tears at the horribly inappropriate words she got from her doctor? Did she attempt it at home and didn't like it so she referred the matter to the Medical Board as revenge? Or did she also initially saw this as a bad attempt at humor then later on decided it was wrong enough to bring the doctor's name to the attention of the Board?

I guess we'll never know the answer to all these questions. However, I do have one suggestion for Dr. Zegarra next time a patient complains about a strong gag reflex. Viscous lidocaine. Simple. Just ask an anesthesiologist and he would have saved your hide and good name and prevented this whole shameful episode.

1 comment:

  1. CHART NOTE Comes in today for exam because of vaginal and perineal burning and itching which began during the night.