Woman's "ghetto booty" diagnosis by doctor makes us question our healthcare system

A Tennessee woman recently filed a complaint against a doctor who diagnosed her back pain as "ghetto booty." Though 55-year-old Terry Ragland had been to the practice several times in the past, she had never met with this particular doctor, Dr. Timothy Sweo--a man who left her feeling shocked and offended.


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"I think I blacked out after he said 'ghetto booty.' I think my mind was just stuck on the phrase because I couldn't believe he said that," Ragland said of her experience with Dr. Sweo.

After sending Ragland for x-rays, the doctor returned with his inappropriate diagnosis, which was actually a term he was using for a condition called lumbar lordosis--apparently he thought Ragland wasn't capable of understanding the medical terminology, or maybe he was just too lazy to explain it to her. In an apology letter he wrote to Ragland after her initial complaint to the office's manager, Dr. Sweo said, "I was trying to take technical conversation regarding your lower back and make it less technical."

Understandly, his patient was offended at the thought that the good doctor believed her incapable of understanding that the curvature of her lower spine was the cause of her back pain. "It's not endearing. It's not loving. It's not a compliment. It's wrong in every aspect and it's very demeaning," Ragland said. 

I hope the official complaint Ragland filed with the Tennessee Department of Health against this jerk is taken seriously, and that action is taken to make sure that he never again has the nerve to use such sexist and derogatory terms when diagnosing a female patient. We've probably all encountered insensitive health practitioners who lack bedside manner, but Sweo's words and justification for them are just beyond ignorant. ¡Qué bobo!

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: sexist  health care