Primum non nocere (First, do no harm)

Similar to the Nightingale pledge, the Hippocratic oath is taken by medical professionals – nurses and doctors respectively. I assume there is no such pledge for medical technicians. Or maybe one has been created since 1979 when I went in for a sonogram at 15 years of age. The scene couldn’t have been set up any worse.  I was taken to the doctor by one of the men who inappropriately touched me – my stepfather.  While in the room on the table to get my sono, the tech made me put my hand on the side of the table.  I had moved it because I could feel his erection in his pants pressed up against my hand. So, I moved my hand and he promptly directed me to put may hand back to where it was.  This happened for about a year — okay, it was likely closer to 15 -20 minutes, but it felt like a year to me.  Over and over again he rubbed himself against my pubescent hand as if his penis was a file and I was doing my nails.

Strange that almost 40 years later and I can still SEE his white pants – they weren’t quite jeans I don’t think, but they had the same feel as jeans.  Maybe they were jeans???  They were white – that I know for sure. So I lay there with a thin piece of paper cloth over my stomach while he masturbated against my hand.  I was disgusted, terrified and angered simultaneously.  How dare he?! I even still see his curly hair.  I can’t remember what I had for lunch two hours ago, but I’m sure I could pick him out of a line up today (if he held a picture of himself in his 30s).

It’s a wasted synapse!! Why hold something like that in my head when there are more important things that space could be occupied by?

Over the years I’ve found myself wondering how many innocent young women he has done this to. Perhaps even older women had fallen prey to his lascivious behavior? I don’t know and I’ll never know. I just pray that if there were others, they have found a way to move forward; or better yet, maybe, just maybe one of them told and he was subsequently terminated or killed (just kidding, sort of). I know that much like the black males used in the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, I also lost my sense of trust and belief in those in the medical profession. I have since insisted on the presence of another in exams that put me in a vulnerable position; and I insist on female doctors.

If medical professionals cannot be relied upon to follow ‘premium non nicer’ be sure to set up your own oath of “cura ut valeas” – Take care of yourself.


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