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Sarah Silverman Goes Off On Doctor Who Gave Her An Inappropriate Mammogram

Going to the doctor for anything worse than a head cold can be a harrowing experience. No one likes doing it, but regular check-ups and screenings are the best way to prevent spending even more time with your butt hanging out the back of a paper gown.

Screenings can be invasive or uncomfortable by their nature.

Unsplash | Marlon Lara

Which is why all doctors should endeavour to make the visit as comfortable as one can when one of those in the room are half naked and at the mercy of a doctor they may or may not know well.

That's quadruply true when the body part being screened is a private part.

Recently, comedian Sarah Silverman shared an example of why this is so important.

Instagram | @sarahkatesilverman

In an extended, angry Instagram post, she described two uncomfortable mammograms with the same radiologist.

After explaining that she always needs to get an ultrasound after the mammogram, Silverman describes her first encounter with the man last year.

After opening her gown, he "put gel on [her] breasts and smeared it around with his bare hands."

Now, even if you've never had an ultrasound, you've probably learned that it involves spreading a gel over the area and then running a wand thingy over it.

So the gel part wasn't the problem, it was the bare hands. Which: no.

And then, instead of quickly moving onto the exam, the guy starts yammering.

Instagram | @sarahkatesilverman

Unsurprisingly, Silverman is the type to just say what she's thinking. "Hey-can we either talk about this when I’m dressed or WHILE your doing the ultrasound? I’m not comfortable with my breasts out just shooting the s*** with you," she describes herself telling him.

I'm lucky to have had good doctor visits all my life.

Every time I've gone to my regular GP or to a clinic, the doctors have done their best to complete the awkward exams as quickly and professionally as possible. There should never be a tangent while the gown is open!

Then, as he used the wand, his (still bare) fingers somehow manage to drag across her breasts.

Instagram | @sarahkatesilverman

Of course, she called him on it and he stopped, but the whole thing left her with a bad taste in her mouth afterward.

So here she is a year later when the same radiologist shows up to do her ultrasound.

If you wonder why she didn't call him out or request a different person, she probably wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Instagram | @sarahkatesilverman

I mean, it's been a year and even if he wouldn't normally remember every interaction with a patient, this is unique.

I think I'd remember if a famous comedian told me off for touching her breast, don't you?

I wish I could say that he'd learned his lesson, but this is not that kind of story.

Once again, he applies the gel without gloves and drags his fingers across her breasts while he uses the wand.

I can't even picture how he's holding the thing. Like, does he think this is high tea and he needs to extend his pinky?

She didn't let him get away with it this time, either.

Instagram | @sarahkatesilverman

"Again, AS I TOLD HIM LAST YEAR, I said 'Hey! Do you need to be touching me with your fingers?' He said, 'No'. And he pulled them off of me. Then he added 'I do that for balance.' I said 'Well I believe in you and I think you can do with without your fingers on me."

Silverman says outright that she doesn't think it was a sexual thing for him.

Instagram | @sarahkatesilverman

Which is lucky, because there have been too many reports lately about doctors taking advantage of their patients in that way. It's awful and should be called out every time.

Doctors hold all the power in those situations.

People in the medical profession should understand that being half-naked with a stranger touching your private parts is a vulnerable state to be in and the least they can do is not make it weird.

And that's regardless of the gender of the doctor or patient.

As she says in the post, it's too easy to just shut up and not say that you're uncomfortable.


But that's when it's most important that you say something.

"All this to say speak up," Silverman says, "Trust that thing in your gut that tells you this s*** ain’t right."

Unsurprisingly, some people decided to ignore the actual point in favor of crudeness.

Instagram | @sarahkatesilverman

If you're seeing a proctologist you're expecting the exam. What you're not expecting is for them to caress your butt cheek while performing it, and they definitely wear gloves.

The exam itself isn't the issue here.

The issue is a person in power not considering the comfort of their patient or actively ignoring it.

So next time you're at the doctor's office and something doesn't feel right, don't be afraid to speak up about your discomfort.

And make sure they wear gloves, because that's just gross.