What\’s a Duck Got To Do With It??

Dear American Academy of Pediatrics:
I think there is a mistake.  Kids started coming into the office recently with forms for sports physicals, and the form is different.  See Below:

Someone added stuff to the form!  Not only do we have to continue the inexplicable obsession with the hernia check (for maximum humiliation of boys, we try to use only female examiners for this), there\’s a bunch of new stuff.  I do understand why we need to check for heart problems, with the risk of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy that can kill previously healthy kids.  But what\’s this with the femoral and radial pulses?  Yes, I know it is a screening test for coarctation of the aorta, but so is a simple pedal pulse check.  Plus, checking a femoral pulse on kids is almost as bad as a hernia check.

Then there\’s the \”functional\” part of the exam.  The kids all think this is hilarious, but we were quite confused.  I never was taught in medical school or residency what a \”Duck-walk\” was.  I did a Google search and found that it is a brand of wine, but I don\’t think that\’s appropriate for a sports physical (you know, with underage drinking being such a problem).

Google also had lots of pictures of Chuck Berry.  I assume his walk in a squat position is referred to as a \”duck walk.\”  So are we supposed to have them do air guitar and pretend to be Chuck Berry?

Would the Chicken Dance be OK?  Most of the kids these days have never heard of Chuck Berry.

Then finally, there\’s the hopping on one leg thing.  Why would hopping on one leg include or exclude a child from sports participation?  Wouldn\’t a child who couldn\’t hop on one leg have a low likelihood of making the team in the first place?  What exactly are we looking for?  I guess if we gave them some of that Duck Walk merlot, they pretty much would do anything.  Come to think of it, I wonder if they were drinking merlot when they made this form.

I wanted to bring this to your attention because it\’s caused quite a stir among the teens.  They apparently are swapping stories about doing duck walks and are very disappointed with having to do the Chicken Dance.  Somebody thought that hernia checks were not humiliating enough and wanted to share the love with girls as well.

I hope you fix this problem as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Dr. Rob

19 thoughts on “What\’s a Duck Got To Do With It??”

  1. Good Lord, what kind of physical education is in the schools these days? If I duck-walked (whatever that is) in front of my classmates in school I'd have been target practice for softball! One of the best little-league football players I ever saw was a 10 year-old quarterback with only one arm.

  2. As a female NP who has done many, many sports physicals I have to say I had quite a chuckle reading this. I, personally, just love demonstrating the duck walk to the patient! Its so fun to see the look on their faces when they see this 5' 1″ woman do the duck walk. Almost as fun as when I tell the boys about the hernia exam I have to do! 🙂

    1. I don’t see the humor in the humiliation of boys by opposite gender care givers where intimate exposure is involved. Why is it funny for so called “Professionals” to embarrass males. This would never happen to young females or women. Its about time men and boys get treated with respect and dignity. I’m really sick of hearing this from our so called medical professionals. And you wonder why men and boys don’t go for regular medical exams. These comments clearly demonstrate the why. Get your act together people, provide the same respect for men and boys dignity that is now provided to women and young girls. The double standard in medicine is blatant when it comes to respect for privacy for men and boys…..its completely absent and nobody is doing anything about it.
      Would it be humorous to strip down young female patients and have them humiliated by male medical professionals? Seems like when we change the genders, all of a sudden things seem wrong don’t they, its not funny anymore. I sure will not send my boys to Janna to be humiliated, how about thinking about same gender care for boy’s and men like we now do for female breast health and gyn issues. Let’s make medicine comfortable for our men and boys like is now done for women and young girls, maybe you will then find out why men and boys don’t want any part of the medical community. They don’t want to be embarrassed and humiliated, real funny Janna, get your jollies, you’re a real professional “Do No Harm.”

      1. Chill out. Really. Chill out. You are taking all of this far more seriously than the boys and their parents do. Girls are treated with more respect because historically they’ve been treated with far less. That’s all I will do to dignify your response. You are getting upset about what is a non-issue on a blog post that is meant to be more humor than anything. Just chill.

        1. “Girls are treated with more respect because historically they’ve been treated with far less.” Doc — do you even realize the implications of what you’re saying? So…it’s get even time? Use some logic. The fact that women were treated unfairly in the past doesn’t justify treating boys’ modesty with less respect now. And just because you claim something to be a non issue doesn’t make it a non issue. So — patient modesty issue discussions are considered by you unworthy of dignified discussion? And doc — humor is a tricky issue. Just because you think something is funny, doesn’t make it universally funny. Wake up.

        2. Dr Rob,
          As a follow up, I meant no disrespect to you personally or the followers of your blog. When I read those lines about the female practioier thinking it funny to see the embarrassment of the boys when they find out a female will be giving them their hernia exam, it touched a nerve. Also the line, (for maximum humiliation of boys, we try to use only female examiners for this). I was one of those boys when I was growing up, I remember the smile on their faces during the group physicals, I remember the joking, it’s like it was yesterday. We had no choice; many of us were embarrassed and humiliated out of our minds. The nurses all thought it was funny, just as Janna did in your blog. My point is medicine is blind to this even today. Try asking those young males how they feel, don’t just think it didn’t bother them because they didn’t say anything, I didn’t at the time either, I was mortified. We see females in the E.R. quickly covered, males left exposed to anyone and everyone. I recently had to get a sonogram of my prostate, I called six hospitals in my area, every single one had a female sonogram technician, and not one provided a male for this test. Female nurses routinely catheterize male patients without asking the patient if its ok with them, male nurses have to ask permission of the females. Its blatant, the discrimination of men when it comes to privacy and dignity, we are treated very differently. Its believed this is a major reason 35-40% of men don’t seek medical attention unless their half dead. They don’t want to go through the embarrassment and humiliation. Women have choice, I think its time men are offered choice, a comfortable environment in the medical community where they are treated with respect and dignity, and not made the brunt of jokes. For me and many men, that means same gender intimate care. And, respect & dignity are defined by each individual patient, not the healthcare system. Dr. Rob I’m sure you are a good Doctor, again I didn’t mean any disrespect, this is a sore point for me and MANY men. We just want to be treated the same as females are currently treated. When in doubt, reverse the gender rolls of everyone present and see if things still feel the same. Thank you for letting me vent, sorry if I ruffled any feathers.

  3. Thanks for the good laugh this morning! This made me think back to my days of sports physicals and I don't remember having to do any of this stuff. People are too paranoid these days! If a kid can't duck walk does that mean they can't play? I sure am glad they didn't have these crazy rules when I was in school!

  4. You quack me up. One of the proudest moments of my life was when I went to see my son's college band play in a neighborhood bar. He did a rocking guitar solo of “Go Johnny Go” and did the “Chuck Barry dance” across the stage. I cried and ordered another bucket of beer.
    xoxomo

  5. I have as good a sense of humor as anyone else. But why is itfunny to stress the medical humiliation of boys? The piece
    starts talking about “kids” coming in for sports exams, but
    then focuses on boys and the hernia exam. “(for maximum
    humiliation of boys, we try to use only female examiners
    for this). And this is supposed to be funny? How about
    this from a female NP: “Almost as fun as when I tell the
    boys about the hernia exam I have to do!” Humor is
    one thing. But humor based upon the humiliation of
    patients is another thing — especially young boys.
    By the way, why no jokes about male doctors laughing
    about intimate exams with young teenage girls. Not
    politically correct? Do we have a double standard
    going on here?

  6. The sexual fetish cfnm(clothed female naked male) seems to be quite popular these days. So does child pornograpyamong wacko female nurse quackitioners!

  7. OK, to those who are sexualizing this: cut it out. I don’t know why you’ve waited three months, but this whole comment string is really ridiculous. I will close comments if it continues because it is absolutely irrelevant to the point of the post. Really. STOP.

    1. You just do’t get it. It’s not a sexual thing. It’s apower thing. It’s a control thing. Go ahead and close comments.
      But I won’t comment any more on this blog. The only thing
      more pathetic than your attitude is the medical community’s
      general unwillingness to even talk about this. Bring it up
      on a blog like this and the response is to shut communication
      down. It’s about power and the desire to not only control
      the patient, but to control the conversation. Too bad. Doctors
      and patients should discuss this issue more.

      1. Are you basing this on only this post? Have you read the rest of my posts? You come in here with a very judgmental attitude. It seems as if you have already made up your mind about what kind of doctor I am. Perhaps it is not your message, but how you convey it. Perhaps coming in and acting as if you know more than the rest of us is a bad way to “discuss this issue more.” This is the problem with blogs overall, that people tend to judge what you write in a sigle post, when you’ve been writing for over four years. Read my latest few posts. Read my posts in the “being a doctor” category. I am willing to discuss, but don’t appreciate someone judging me or my readers, or my entire profession, and calling me “pathetic.” You think we docs are all high and mighty? Look at the tone of your comments. Look in the mirror.

        1. Okay. I apologize if I’ve come on too strong. My intent isn’t to attack you as a doctor.I’m sure you’re a fine doctor. I did read a few of your other posts. So, I’ll look in the
          mirror. But the medical profession needs to look in the mirror, too. And you are
          completely right. Blogs are not the best place to always discuss issues like this. I
          do appreciate that you are writing a humorous blog. But I’ve encountered too
          many patients, many men and boys (women and girls, too), who do not feel the
          way many doctors and nurses do about how patient privacy and modesty is
          treated. And the gender of
          the provider is an issue for some patients. Anyway, don’t mean to impose on
          your blog. Good luck with your practice. I just hope perhaps you’ll think a
          little more about how boys and young men feel when confronted with a hernia
          or testicle exam with a doctor (male or female) and perhaps a female chaperone
          in the room. Give the boys the same modesty considerations you give the girls.

          1. Apology accepted. I agree with your main point, and yes, I do whatever I can to guard the dignity of both boys and girls. I get frequently asked to do testicle exams on men, and always have chaperones whenever I examine females. I do everything in my power to let the female practitioners in our practice see any girls above preschool age if the exam involves a genital exam or breast exam.
            I appreciate your backing off, and I had to work to do the same. Unfortunately, emotions can ruin either side of a discussion.

          2. Dr. Rob I have read this post and others you have written and try to put them in context. Obviously they are written with alot of humor. I think this does however touch a point that has not been taken as serious as it is. There is a double standard in respect for modesty between the genders. Part of that issue is supported by the way we feel free to make light of the issue for males in a way that we would not females. I have heard a number of people express the opinion that such “humor” feeds the thought that men do not care, which is not true at all. There is a thread by a Dr. Orange on a site called Daily Strength where she wrote an article the 10 real reasons men do not visit the female Dr. and included “we will squeeze your balls”, we will stick our finger in your butt”, I do not believe she meant it with malice but if a male Dr. made flipant comments like that about female patients they would get roasted. There are two very telling threads one by Dr. Maurice Bernstein, the other by Dr Sherman (bioethics modesty an more significant issue, and patien modesty) with over 2000 posts each. If you get a chance look at them, they tell a lot about how patients feel, males are a big part of those post who discuss the double standard and how it effects them.Now in to the intent of the thread…we actually used the duck walk in the Dr. office to work into our college drinking games, now that was fun. try duck walking while downing a 16 oz er best wishe

  8. “Almost as fun as when I tell the boys about the hernia exam I have to do! 🙂 ”
    This is pretty disturbing, and coming from a female Doc.? Since when is humiliation funny?

  9. I’m amazed to have come across this article. I know this article isn’t really active now, but I feel like I need to give the perspective from a guy who experienced this as a kid. 15 years ago, (2000-2001) I had my senior year in high school physical at my normal pediatricians office, except my normal doctor was unavailable and a different doctor gave the examine who I had never seen before. It also was the first time my mother was asked to leave the room, which I thought was odd. In the past the doctor would just slide his hand into my shorts feel my scrotum for any problems, take a quick look in my shorts and that was it. I never had a problem because it was fast, the doctor explained what he was checking for to me and my mother, and as others have mentioned here, I was still clothed and felt like I still had my modesty. But this time was different, my mother was asked to leave, then I was asked to strip completely naked, then was told to stand before the doctor, turn around and bend forward to the floor. The doctor then spread my cheeks, and looked at rear for what felt like forever, then I was asked to do this duck walk while completely naked. The doctor never explained why he was asking me to do these things that had never been done in previous exams and at the time I still can remember feeling like this was not right and extremely humiliating. It also was the first time I had ever been fully nude in front of another adult outside of my family, which added even more impact to the situation. I can remember thinking that if he asked me to do anything else after this duck walk I was going to say ”no way”. I remember feeling extremely confused after the exam and not knowing if all that was supposed to happen. Years later I still remembered starting to wonder if that doctor had taken advantage of me for his own kicks. A few years later I was joking around with friends about high school stuff and the subject of physicals came up, I mentioned the duck walk thing and they couldn’t believe it. They were shocked i had to do that and said it was really odd. Still to this day it pops into my mind and I wonder if the doctor made it up for his enjoyment and that I was actually sexually assaulted in some way, which finally lead me to Googling it and finding this article. I’m actually relieved to finally discover that this was a normal thing that must have been new for physicals that last year of high school, but guess what…? I have NEVER been back to a general health doctor in the 15 years since then. The confusion of it all at that age created a mistrust in doctors that still subconsciously exists in my mind to this day.

    1. This is actually kind of chilling to read. While I do think the duck walk was included in exams for a reason (one that I have yet to embrace in my sports physicals), I do not feel like what you described was an appropriate exam at all. I do the hernia exam in as little time as possible and never make a patient be completely nude in front of me. The duck walk may have been the thing you focused on as far as creating mistrust, but I think there was plenty of other things that are red flags in my book.

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