Anonymous essay exposes physicians' secret misconduct

An essay published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on Monday reveals unsettling behavior among physicians, according to U.S. News & World Report.

In the anonymous piece, the author recounts instances when physicians behaved in a unprofessional manner that went undetected by patients.

The author details one disturbing incident a medical student shared with him while he was teaching a fourth-year elective course. The student, who the author calls David, described how an attending physician made lewd comments as he cleansed a woman's vaginal area prior to a hysterectomy.

The author also recounts a time during his third year of medical school when a physician made lewd comments and gestures directed at a woman on an operating table who was experiencing dangerous bleeding following vaginal birth, according to the report.

In an editorial accompanying the essay, editors of the journal said the purpose of publishing the essay is to dissuade physicians from engaging in disturbing and unprofessional behavior.

"It is our hope that the essay will gnaw on the consciences of readers who may recall an instance of their own repugnant behavior," the editors wrote. They hope physicians who have engaged in this type of behavior in the past will "think twice before acting in a manner that demeans patients and makes trainees and colleagues squirm."

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