Today's letter in the newspaper from a patient requesting a waiver for the need of a chaperone for her acupuncturist during treatment, triggered memories of certain kinds of patients which left me (& my female colleagues) rather uncomfortable.
The need for a chaperone when a male doctor does an examination on a female patient is pretty much standard practice, not only to protect the patient, but also to protect the doctor from allegations of inappropriate behaviour. However, when it comes to chaperoning a female doctor examining a male patient (specifically if said patient has a complaint related to his genitals), there hasn't been much discussion over this issue.
Usually a male patient who has a complaint like urethral discharge, or penile rash or testicular swelling would request to see a male doctor, especially in the local context where Asian sensibilities tend to be more conservative. Hence, when I get a male patient who specifically asks for a FEMALE doctor to examine him for such complaints, alarm bells start to go off! Fortunately, such encounters are rare. But my female colleagues & I have compared notes & each of us had our own "Penis Guy" (different patients but similar complaints, each time requesting to see us specifically)who would come in complaining of a rash or some other malady that has affected his organ. And when you examine the affected area, there really is nothing obviously wrong with it. When the same guy comes in repeatedly for the same problem, we would try to redirect them to our male colleague to handle. This usually would put a stop to further unneccessary consultations for non-existent problems.
We have been fortunate that these patients did not exhibit any drastically inappropriate behavior during our non-chaperoned consults (although there was a case that was publicised fairly recently about a male patient who masturbated in the presence of the female doctor while consulting her for a supposed traumatic injury to his groin). Worst that ever happened to me was my Penis Guy trying to invite me out to dinner DESPITE the fact that I was wearing my wedding ring, & did not give him any indication whatsoever that I would even remotely be interested! The gall of some people...