Going to the Doctor: Your Rights As A Patient

Dr. William "Rusty" Robinson
Dr. William "Rusty" Robinson

You can be sure of several things when going in for a pelvic exam: anxiety, discomfort. But you can also be sure of your rights as a patients.

There are basic standards in place nation wide for patients in the gynecologist's office.  Dr. William "Rusty" Robinson, a gynecologic oncologist, points out you have the right to a chaperone present for any exam, to be covered properly, to stop the exam if you want to.  You also have the right to as few people in the exam room as possible, and to take a complaint to an outside body.

Dr. Robinson says the Potter-Randall Medical Society is always open to patients and can give steps on where to go.  You also can turn to the Texas Medical Board, which will investigate your claim.   Another option is the medical ethics committee for a particular hospital.

Robinson does not suggest, however, going to an office manager in a doctor's office.

Dr. Robinson says a chaperone provides an independent observation of what goes on in an exam, and does sometimes assist.

He says that person is there for the benefit of both the patient and the doctor.