#MeToo - Stories Of Sexual Harassment In Cosmetic Medicine


#MeToo - Is sexual harassment more common in cosmetic medical clinics than other areas? Do you have a story?

In speaking out about sexual harassment, clinicians and estheticians are growing a social movement outing those in power who have engaged in what amounts to criminal sexual behaviors.

In reading a story from the Washington Post on sexual harassment in medicine I began thinking of a number of incidents that I witnessed that, depending upon your point of view, could have been seen as sexual harassment.

From the article:

"A Kaiser Health News review of dozens of legal cases involving health-care workers across the United States shows patterns similar to those found in harassment cases that have cropped up in other fields: The alleged harassers are typically male, and they typically supervise or outrank the workers lodging the complaints. There are slaps on the butt, lewd comments and requests for sex. When superiors are confronted with reports of bad behavior, the complainants, mostly women, are disbelieved, demoted or fired."

Medical spas and cosmetic clinics are almost linear in their conformity to sexual harassment cliches. They are often owned an operated by males, often physicians, and staffed by (generally) younger women who have almost zero power inside of the clinic. Where a nurse in a hospital may have outside resources like a union or an HR department that may at least provide an option to make a complaint or provide a curb on behaviors, most staff in a medspa or cosmetic practice have no recourse other than to quit or file a lawsuit.

There seems to be something of a societal shift taking place that may recalibrate what is appropriate and clamp down on unwanted sexual behaviors.

I've witnessed a number of encounters that made me uncomfortable; a physician having a foot-rub from an employee, a couple of comments about looks, the occasional double entendre. But these were just observations of how physicians and others behaved in their own clinics.

I've also observed any number of actions that - in any other work situation - would be clearly outside of the bounds of permissible behavior; before and after photos of staff members being used to show vaginal rejuvenation or breast augmentation being just one of many examples.

As with most human interactions there are often two sides to the story.

If you have been subjected to unwanted sexual actions in a practice, or if you've been accused of misconduct that didn't happen, please click on the button below and tell your story. (We will not use your name or any identifiable information if your story is published.)