Doctor Diagnoses a Woman with GHETTO BOOTY?!

This is one of those stories that just make you go "What?!?!"Apparently, a doctor in Jackson, Tenn. diagnosed a woman with "ghetto booty." Yes, that's the term he used when giving someone a medical diagnosis.

Terry Ragland is filing a complaint against the doctor she went to see for her lower back pain. After ordering an X-ray, Ragland says this is what happened with the doctor, Timothy Sweo: "He said, 'I know what the problem is. It's ghetto booty,' and I said, 'Ghetto what?' He said, 'Ghetto booty.' He said, 'There's no cure for it, but I could give you something if you're having pain.'"

Holy hell. I can't imagine what it would be like to be spoken to like that by a doctor, someone you're trusting to try and fix your health problem. Not only is "ghetto booty" a grossly unprofessional thing to say to a patient, there's the added fact that Terry Ragland is African-American and Dr. Sweo is white. Would the doctor have felt comfortable using the same offensive term to Terry Ragland if she were a woman of another race? Either way, his use of "ghetto booty" was racist, sexist and completely and totally out of line.

Ragland complained to the office manager, who apologized. A few weeks later, she received a letter of apology from Dr. Sweo, who said he was trying to put a humorous spin on her lower back pain. Ragland actually does have a medical condition, for which the correct medical term is lumbar lordosis (an exaggerated curve in the lower spine). There's no cure for her condition, but she hopes that by filing a complaint with the state of Tennessee, Dr. Sweo will learn some better doctor-patient communication skills.

Photo: PinkMoose on Flickr