GP admits inappropriate ‘rough sex’ comments to patient
Medical Council hears woman in ‘absolute shock’ and felt violated after consultation
The woman told the Medical Council she found the whole incident so bizarre that she thought she was involved in a hidden camera show. Photograph: David Sleator
A GP has admitted making inappropriate sexual remarks to a female patient in which he allegedly spoke about having rough sex with other women.
The locum doctor, known as Doctor A, has told a Medical Council fitness to practise inquiry he could not recall saying the exact words as claimed by the patient, but he acknowledged he may have said words to that effect.
The identity of the doctor, his clinic and his patient were all anonymised by the Medical Council, which said it was in the interest of “fairness” that their names not be divulged.
The patient, in her 20s, presented at the clinic on June 4th, 2014, complaining of suffering mood swings and heightened irritability. She had a history of previous bouts of depression, as had her mother. She decided to attend the doctor after she assaulted her boyfriend. She also had a small lesion behind her ear.
The woman told the that she was “completely unnerved” by the encounter with Dr A and found it difficult after the incident to trust male doctors.
In the course of the consultation, the woman told Dr A she had punched her then boyfriend - now husband - in the face and had sought help as a result.
Dr A responded by stating that he was a black belt in martial arts and had taken his training so seriously that he could do 100 chin-ups. She found his behaviour “quite bizarre”.
She said he told her that if a woman wanted to have “rough sex” with him, he was afraid he would get carried away and hurt them.
She said he then asked her for her arm. She alleged he made a movement with her arm which he said he would use on women who want rough sex with him.
The witness said he also told her that she might be suffering from hypomania, a form of bipolar depression. She said he suggested the form of hypomania involved can lead to hypersexuality, with the patient behaving in a promiscuous manner and getting involved in three or four orgies a week.
The woman said she found the whole incident so bizarre that she thought she was involved in a “hidden camera show”.
He then examined the lesion on her ear. She claimed he touched her in an inappropriate manner on the shoulder and back.
“I just wanted to take myself out of the situation. I perhaps should have done it earlier,” she told the inquiry. “I felt really panicked, I was completely caught off guard and unnerved. I felt sick in my stomach. I was in absolute shock at the whole experience.
“I felt violated. I felt my space had been totally invaded. I went in and I trusted him. He took advantage of it.”
A month after the alleged incident took place, she reported the incident to the Medical Council.
Dr A responded by stating that he had no recollection of using the words “rough sex” and had only heard it used once before a decade previously while treating a female patient.
He said he had great difficulty recalling “with specificity” the conversation he had with the patient because of the passage of time though he had admitted as a matter of fact before the hearing occurred that he has said something inappropriate to her.
“I may or may not have said something that may or may not have been misunderstood. I’m dreadfully sorry if I made a mistake,” he said.
“I will try to improve my communication skills to make sure that it never happens again.”
He did, admit, that he told her he had a black belt in martial arts and was used to doing a lot of chin ups.
Dr A denied his physical examination of the patient was inappropriate given the nature of the lesion behind her ear.
The inquiry was given a report written by Dr John Hillery, a consultant psychiatrist, which stated Dr A had certain autistic tendencies.
He was inclined to go off on rambling monologues, had poor communication skills and often missed the conversational cues which would alert him to the fact that a patient may be feeling uncomfortable in his presence.
Dr A admitted that he was prone to monologues and that the hearing had been invaluable in reminding him that he needed to improve his conversational skills.
Dr Ide Delargy, an expert witness on behalf of the Medical Council chief executive, said Dr A’s conduct fell “seriously short of the conduct expected by doctors. In my opinion, it was a poor professional performance.”
The hearing continues on Thursday.