My first visit to a physician in Europe…a simple physical required by my company to start employment. Totally routine, no problem! I was called from the small waiting room into the back, and was a bit surprised to see that I was in an actual office. The office of the doctor, with a desk and computer, personal pictures of his family, books, paintings, a hooked rug and a large window overlooking a garden. As I looked around I saw on one side the typical, sterile, patient table looking foreign in its plush surroundings.
The doctor briefly reviewed my paperwork with me, asking questions and checking boxes since I couldn’t read German enough to do it myself, and then he stood, smiled, and said, ”Please now, take all your clothes off.”
I hesitated with uncertainty and then smiled, thinking there must be a small language barrier, and that he would hand me a paper dressing gown and then leave the room until I was ready. As the seconds ticked by, we stood there staring at each other and I watched as a look of confusion and then uncertainty crossed his face.
“Please”, he said again, “Remove all of your clothes.”
With horror I realized that he intended to stand there and watch as I stripped down, and that there was no paper robe being offered. ”What?” I said. ”You want me to take off all my clothes?”
“Yes, yes, remove everything and I will do the examination.”
“Are you kidding? No way! There is absolutely no way I am going to stand here and get naked while you watch.”
“But I need to do the examination! You must remove your clothes.”
“Listen doc, I don’t really know if this is normal in your country but it is definitely NOT normal in my country. In my country you give me a gown and leave the room, and then you wait 5 minutes and then knock on the door and I confirm that I am ready for you to come in. Then you come in and do the examination. No strip tease, no female-full-monty. Now I know I am in your country here and not mine, but there is no way this is going to happen.”
“So I must find you something to use as a cover first, and then you will undress for the examination?”
“That works for me.”
The doctor gave an exasperated sigh as he looked at his watch and then left the room. I heard a noisy discussion and then some banging cupboards and doors up in the front. Then things got quiet and I waited. Five minutes later, the doctor came back into the room with a thick folded blanket that looked like it came from someone’s bed.
“This is all we can find. Please take off your clothes then cover with this, I will be back in 5 minutes.”
I quickly stripped, worried that the 5 minute rule would not be taken seriously and began to unfold the blanket. It was huge. California king-sized huge. I began to wrap it around and around my body and was soon covered in 6 layers of fabric from my armpits to my feet. Except for the bare shoulders, I was now more covered up than I had been with my clothes on. The doctor rapped on the door and I called him into the room. After 3 steps he faltered, taking in the massive coverage of my toga, shook his head and gestured to the patient table.
The next few minutes involved a strange dance of me in the toga and him, banging my knees with a hammer through the fabric, examining the folds of the fabric on my back while I touched my toes with one hand and gripped it closed with the other and lots of other cumbersome reflex and coordination tests. He made me jump around and follow his fingers with my eyes and at a certain point I became convinced that he was intentionally messing with me. I started questioning why I needed to do each exercise, what would it tell him exactly? Either he was messing with me or got totally annoyed having to explain everything in english because finally he gave up, signed my forms. told me we were done and left the room. I dressed as quickly as I could and bolted, vowing I would never, ever come back to the weird doctor who wanted me to get naked.
Many months passed, and I came down bronchitis. I found a new doctor and went in for my appointment. Low and behold, as I was called into the office I noticed a similar interior setup….answered the requisite questions and…? You guessed it! The doctor told me to take off all my clothes. I have no idea why I had to drop my pants for the doctor to listen to my breathing in my chest and my back, but I was so exhausted from my illness I had no strength to fight back.
Some months after that, I went to the chiropractor. Different doctor, same looking office, same insistence that I get strip down…
After that, the gyno…
After several years now, I know the drill. Wear conservative matching bra and panties, nothing too sexy, and just prepare your mind for a nearly-naked prance around someone’s office. It’s just how they do it here. Either that or buy your own paper dressing gown and wear it under your clothes. In case you find a store that sells them, please let me know!