Getting Naked With The Doctor

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!

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Categories: Berlin, City LIfe

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36 Comments on “Getting Naked With The Doctor”

  1. Marcel
    September 8, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    First of all: I’m from Berlin. I’m a guy though.

    Wow, that’s an interesting read. It never felt so unusual to me to get naked in front of a doctor. How should he be able to examine without you being naked at least at the parts where you got examined anyway? Even more if its a skin doctor. It would be pretty weird if he checks through fabric.

    Usually doctors don’t want me to strip all naked in all cases, usually just where they need to take a look at. And in a lot of cases the doctor leaves the room while you strip to check for other stuff in the meantime. What I totally don’t understand is why he acted like it’s so weird that you don’t want to be completely naked in front of him. In most of the cases I ever needed to strip naked they would give me something to cover my genitals and/or ask whether its okay first. It’s just plain rude if they don’t, even if it sounds natural that you NEED to be naked for a good examination.

    But yes, I had some weird experiences once as well. When I was a 12 y.o. boy I left a skin doctors office when he ordered me to strip completely and it didn’t make sense to me at all why. I complained, he said “anyway” and left the room. I left the building.

    Additionally I had to strip completely in front of two female doctors when being examined for military service, even for examination of the genitals. That was very embarassing and looking back I should’ve just said “no”.

    If a doctor would be rude at me and just want to me to strip completely without any respect I would give him hell as well. I don’t expect him to give me something to dress in for the examination (I even wouldn’t wan to), but I expect polite asking and no unnecessary stripping.

  2. SandyInBerlin
    September 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    Thanks so much Marcel for the thoughtful comments and sharing your experiences. I just try to “roll with it now”, I guess it builds character?

    In fact, these experiences did help me have the courage to stay the course when I went to the Krystal Therm and only upon arrival discovered that it was “textile frei tag”.

    But that is a story for another blog post ;D

    • Marcel
      September 11, 2011 at 8:09 am #

      Haha, well, yeah, but don’t worry, even though there are people who are pretty crazy about nudity, pretty much everyone I know and me is not that way at all. In general it seems from your blog postings that in the US it is way more conservative. It’s really is not that big deal, when someone strips, even if a lot of “us” don’t like it so much.

      I never liked Freikörperkultur. It feels even kind of “old fashioned” to me. It’s a revolution from the past. Even way before my birth.

      But I think it’s a great thing that people who want to break the chains of shame can actually do it. somewhere. or not.

  3. October 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    I was laughing out loud at this. So funny. I haven’t been to a doctor here yet and now I am glad I haven’t. No freakin way would I undress in front of a male doctor. No Way! Unless he took his clothes off too, then we would be even.
    That’s just weird? Isn’t it weird?
    And I haven’t been to a gyno yet but my friend told me that they stick their finger up your rear end to check your reproductive organs. Ummm, if I’ve already had a kid, can I skip that bit?

  4. Torsten Curdt
    November 25, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    Sorry for laughing. I remember an Australian friend of mine when he went to a Sauna for the first time in Germany. Hint: it might not be for you if you feel uncomfortable even with underwear on in front of others :)

    Hope in couple of years you can file these experiences just under “culture shock” and laugh about them.

  5. December 1, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    I have bee forewarned, but reading your posts & others has me dutifully horrified. I go to the gyno next week. I am taking the husband with me for his German skills, but it may be even more awkward with him in the room.

    Glad you told your tale of survivial, hopefully I can survive the mortification as well.

  6. Brianna
    February 1, 2012 at 12:21 am #

    I’m only 11 and the made me undress.I got really scared as it gave me,nightmares,worries,and less confidence.I hope in the next few months I don’t have to get naked again.My doctor is a female and she grabbed my chest, looked at my vagina, and looked at my bum. If I could say I don’t want to undress, they would try and get my parents to check me out also.Bad thing is my dad was with me. So if someone who reads this could email me saying how to avoid undressing infront of a doctor that will be nice–I felt violated in so many uncomfterable ways that I couldn’t belive it.When I told my mom if the doctor made me uncomfterable I lied and said no. That very night I cried hoping I would never go back again. I mean what if they stick their fingers in me? I don’t like being touched in my private areas. So I know exactley what your going through. MY EMAIL— r0ckCandii@rocketmail.com ,tell me if they do tell you to undress all the time because I’m too young to be touched there. I’m only 11 going on 12, I’m shy and hate people around me. Oh please email me!

    • SandyInBerlin
      February 2, 2012 at 12:21 am #

      Hi Brianna,
      if you feel uncomfortable at any time, it is always your right to say so, and also your right to ask them to stop. Just because they are adults does not mean you ever have to do something that makes you feel like that. And your doctor should understand. However, there are normal tests that every young woman does eventually need to have to ensure she is developing in a healthy way. But you should have a doctor that you can talk to first, before any examination is done, and talk to her about your concerns. They are trained and understand this. If you don’t want to see your doctor again, you should talk to your mother about this, and ask her for a new doctor that you can first just meet with and talk to before you have an exam. Don’t be shy to ask, you have the right to do so — t is your body. Let me know how it goes.
      Kind regards,
      Sandy

  7. Judt
    May 27, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    Sandy, I am Judy. Great story about German medical practice. Americans are so uptight about the naked body. In the early 70s (when America was a free country and I was young) I went to a doctor with the same approach to patient modesty as the ones you described. It was in the “Greenwich Village type” section of the city on the second floor of an old building. He was foreign with an accent. His office was very much as you described. He was cheap, required no appointment and generally treated by injection so no prescription was usually necessary. Today he would probably be considered a “Doctor Feel Good” This was before all the medical law suits so if you didn’t like a doctors practice you simply went somewhere else.
    In his accent he would instruct you to take off all your clothes. A friend had recommend him so I knew what to expect. No gown or sheet was provided. After the exam he would instruct you to lay on your stomach and went about preparing your injections
    He was totally professional and he personally did absolutely nothing for me, so it was a perfectly safe environment. However, there was a certain excitement about being instructed by an aloof male to completely undress and then be told to lay there buck naked awaiting the needles. The excitement was always was always just my little secret.
    Have we got to the point that we cannot enjoy our sexuality without having sex

    • February 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

      Judt, thanks so much for your comment. I can imagine the excitement was triggered by the fact that we are so uptight about nakedness, and the fact that it just is not allowed most places we go. Forbidden fruit, so to say. Over here, nudity is so natural and commonplace I can understand why it isn’t a big deal. But getting over decades of conditioning to think differently is definitely a struggle!

  8. Arthur
    November 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    That happened to me once, too. I was in Berlin and needed an x-ray due to problems with kidney stones. The resorption escorted me to the x-ray ro and told me to remove alley clothes. I did, but there was no gown to pit on. I’m standing there buck naked and the receptionist walks back in and tells me the will be in soon.

    • Arthur
      November 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

      That is the “receptionist escorted me to the x-ray room.”

      • Arthur
        November 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

        Ok. I really shouldn’t type these messages on my iPhone. The auto-correct is terrible.

        • February 4, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

          LOL! Oh my goodness. That is embarrassing. Hopefully there were no casual passersby in the corridors. Thanks for sharing Arthur!

  9. Tom
    December 12, 2012 at 2:05 am #

    I remember a school doctor that came in and escorted studants to a back room were they was all individually processed, me being the last on the school register was the last to go in, they only did about 5kids a day and I was the 30th (last) the other kids was saying how they make you get undressed fully naked and they prodded your genetals and weighed you, I was very scared by this prospect as I am a very shy person who would never get changed publicly, If there was no changing rooms(cubicals) to get changed in at swimming pools etc… I would go into the toilets to get changed, but this wasn’t the case. They was gonna strip everyone down fully naked even if they liked it or not. So I did abit of investigating. Knowing I was going to be the last on the last day I enquired to my teachers saying: “how long are these doctors going to be distracting our learning?” My teacher said they will be gone on Friday. Bingo! I now know the date I will be having my intrusion of privacy. (I was around 10 at the time) so Thursday night I started my plan to avoid school Friday, I didn’t eat any of my food at dinner time and later that night I sneaked downstairs and mixed some salt with water, drunk it and went upstairs. 5mins later I throw up all over my bedroom, my mother saids, aww poor thing you will have to miss school on Friday. (A sigh of relief goes through my head) my mission was complete. I will remain private.

    At that age they wouldn’t have let me express my individuality and let me tell them that I will not take my clothes off for anyone, I’m now 17 and looking back at that as my victory. Why do they need to embarrass us like that? I’m a fully grown healthy 17 year old and have never taken my clothes of for anyone to probe me. So why is it necessary?

    I was reading your story and cringing, at the thought of these doctors wanting to do stuff like this. Why is wrapping sheets around you that end up thicker then your original clothes going to help? Good on you for not letting them strip you down.

    Call me crazy but I would take my chances with stuff like prostate cancer before I let a doctor probe around in my private areas. Although saying that I feel for you females having to give birth in front of a literally live audience and having to have smear tests(a biopsy of the female reproductive organ) and mammograms(checking for breast cancer).

    • Tom
      December 12, 2012 at 2:09 am #

      Also sorry for bad gramma/spelling my iPad auto correction is going crazy and changing my words to some wield things lol, like Arthur said:”the auto-correction is terrible”

      • Tom
        December 12, 2012 at 2:12 am #

        Additional information: my experience was in England(united kingdom)

        • February 4, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

          Thanks so much for sharing your story Tom. I can understand much of what you say, although I have to admit I do believe that necessary examinations should be undertaken with sensitivity and care at appropriate times! (prostrate cancer is no joke!)

    • Em
      December 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

      @Tom~ I agree with you. I really don’t believe pelvic exams are necessary, and I do not take off my clothes for anything like that and i never will.

  10. Em
    December 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    I never take off my clothes for a doctor, especially not to look down there. It’s your body and your decision.

  11. Juan
    January 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

    I really don’t know what the big deal is by a patient being buck naked for a medical examination in front of a medical doctor whether male or female, in fact I think its a good ideal; a doctor should see the patient’s entire body from head to toe, as he or she will be able to spot any skin discoloration, bumps or other abnormalities that one cannot see on oneself.

    I disagree with nowadays shy male and female doctors that because of people overly suspicious threats of lawsuits or even negative comments about doctors, doctors do not ask a patien to totally undress, and they now just concentrate in typing information in the computer and reading blood tests results, while dedicating very little often no time to actually examine a patient’s entire body.

    I remember they days that in a complete physical examination they had me totally naked standing up 30 to 45 minutes and would make me walk back and forth, bend over touch my feet, flex side to side and would force me to cough, with one of the doctor’s hands pressing my groin area, the doctor female or male would separate and feel my testes for bumps, and would also do a digital proctate exam.

    I always felt that this was totally normal and proper and I would never even think the doctors were commiting any impropriaty, I would just pray that the doctors were thorough, would not miss anything and found find me plenty healthy, unfortunately, this was not always the case, as when they discovered a cancereous mole in my pelvic area that was immediately removed that saved.

    • February 4, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

      I guess it is a matter of culture and upbringing Juan. In any case, I think people should have a choice, and in case they don’t want to expose themselves unnecessarily, they shouldn’t have to do so.

      • John
        February 4, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

        True, Sandy, people should have a choice and that if they don’t want to be seen buck naked by a medical doctor, not to go to the doctor, which you must understand I don’t recommend, it could cost somebody’s life. If a patient refuses to be seen by a doctor of the opposite sex this patient would be discriminating against a doctor on the base of his her sexual gender. Again, people should have a choice to been seeing by a doctor or not.

        However, in my youth I paid my college by working hospital security and because of my body built and strength I would be assigned to ER and in ER even none doctors get to see naked bodies of injured people that due to pain are out of control and I would assist doctors and paramedics physically restraining this patients quite often their clothes are removed by cutting them with scissors. My point is we shouldn’t be so concerned about somebody seen us naked. We are all God’s creation and we are all beautiful in our own way.

  12. mary80
    February 2, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    Male or female doctor what’s the difference. Why are you so uncomfortable with male seeing you in the buff? Why the gender is an issue? Were you afraid he might harm you – it’s nonsense. Sex actually doesn’t determine anything – you might have as well female doctor attracted to you staring at you with searing eyes and lustful smile and in different situation male doctor carrying out necessary examination without ANY sexual context – it depends on the person not on the person’s sex, don’t you think? I mean what would have happened if he actually had seen you naked? Were you afraid of his reaction or yours? Why did you assume no man should see you stripped to the bone? Is it related to your religious believes? There are nude beaches, saunas where all are in the buff what then? You go there covered head to toe? Still can’t understand it.

    • February 4, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

      Hey Mary, excellent points. Where I come from nude beaches are generally prohibited and we wear bathing suits in the sauna unless they are same sex only. It is not a matter of religion, it is a matter of privacy.

      • mary80
        February 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

        As for the term “privacy” there is something I can’t really understand in behavior of some men and women. First off there are double standards depending on if the persons are the same or opposite sex, so if you are a naked woman and other woman is looking at you it’s all right you have your privacy but when it’s a man looking at you you no longer have your privacy. What’s more funny we often talk about privacy in public restrooms, lockers etc. At the swimming pools or communal showers some women take shower in swimsuits – their sense of privacy takes over a care about their own hygiene. It makes me wonder: If you don’t want to take off your bra because you think your breasts are too small I (and other women and men as well) can see it, ‘cos bra doesn’t cover size or shape of a boob it only covers the skin. And how different is the skin of a breast from the skin on your belly that is not covered? So why are you so reluctant to take it off? Maybe it’s for the nipples – well people have noses of different size, eyes, ears and so on, why is covering nipples so important to you?. Imagine a girl of 16 with small breast and imagine a man well-fed or obese with chest similar to woman’s breasts, when he has no shirt on it’s normal, when she has not shirt or bra on it’s indecent even though she has breasts similar to her male peer (or even the same) only because she is female. When some woman thinks she has a large bottom anyone can see it no matter if she has her pants on or not so why is she so unwilling to strip naked? So the bottom line is I don’t see anything wrong with men and women seeing each other naked in some situations provided that they act and behave properly.
        And the closing thought: having one’s clothes on doesn’t guarantee proper people’s behavior in many real life situations (rude remarks, quarrel, assault, rape, stalking, mobbing, killing etc. take place every day despite having one’s clothes on).

        • February 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

          Thanks for the comments Mary. All relevant and interesting points for consideration!

    • February 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

      An additional comment to both Mary and Juan – because I have the view onto how people come to this blog, the search terms that are used, I can assure that dozens of people every day land here because they do think there is something lurid and sexual about the whole experience. I realize that this is definitely not normal, but still…

      • Soccerguy
        June 9, 2014 at 8:26 am #

        At least you guys got a heads up. I haven’t been since my basketball physical back in high school that went so awkward.

  13. February 9, 2013 at 2:19 am #

    All you people standing up for the doctors, it is not about being naked, it is about undressing in front of the doctor. This is humiliating and dehumanizing. I hate to use this analogy, but have you ever heard of the concentration camps? Part of the control and torture was to have the people strip in front of the guards.

    Sandy, simply express that you expect the doctor to honor your wishes for human dignity.

    I suffer with a medical phobia all my life, i have not fully undressed for a doctor since i was 10! I refuse to do it.

  14. CR
    February 24, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

    Sandy, I read your concerns at the top of the articles. I am an american male and had a physical exam, with a female doctor, last year that was quite the opposite as your experience. When I made the appt, I asked for a complete physical. Mainly because it had been a long time since I had a physical. It had been 20 years since I had most parts of a physical exam done. The only article of clothing that was removed my shirt. This was for an ekg. She asked me several questions, listened to my breathing, and tested my reflexes. After she had left, a phlebotomist came in and took a couple vials of blood. I left the office feeling cheated and like my doctor did not care much about my overall health. I have heard that doctors office in europe tend to be less concerned about modesty. I wish that all doctors, no matter the country, would ask what the patients modesty level is. I consider modesty important, but even more important is my health.

    CR

  15. August 11, 2014 at 11:58 pm #

    They are all embarassing but perhaps this takes the cake. A few years ago underwent some physical trauma and in the process both my testicles had to be removed. A while later I went travelling through Europe and at some point realised my testosterone patches had been misplaced. Doing without them was not an option — irritabilty, feeling weak, etc. So, I headed off to a doctor for a prescription for more patches. Unfortunately, testosterone is a controlled substance and the doctor (a woman) felt it was necessary to confirm that I was indeed missing my pair of balls. She duly told me to undress and proceeded to check my “empty sack”. One light-hearted comment later (“okay, good, I see you don’t have balls) and I had my prescription. Luckily, by that stage I was used to that area being poked and prodded.

  16. August 17, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

    This is all about culture and how we were raised about nudity. In Germany, nudity does not mean what it means here:sex. Nudity is just a bare body, and the MD needs to examine all of it, and it is easier if the patient is 100% nude. I am just an RN and I have assisted docs with exams and such, and have done procedures of various kinds on both naked men and women. This is just a job to be done, and nudity just means that nothing gets in the way. The German docs are not perverts, they are just doing their job. One thing most people do NOT know is that our skin is an organ. It is the largest organ our body has and it needs to be examined as well. I went to a urology doctor for ED. I thought is was a male surgeon, but it was his female surgical fellow. She asked me to strip from the waist down, so she could examine my penis and testicles in detail. I was embarrassed about 5 seconds, as I realized she was just doing her job. She was very thorough and kind. My next visit, I had to do the same for a penis ultrasound. Her female assistant held my penis while she gave me two injections to cause an erection. Then the ultrasound of the penis began. Later after the surgery, she had to examine again, and later she taught me how to inflate the prostheses in my scrotum. That was unusual, but okay. I am just glad everything worked. In the past year, I have had two total skin exams from a female derm doc. I was completely naked for each exam. This just made sure nothing got in the way and it just went quicker. So I am not embarrassed by nudity at all in a medical setting. Same way with massages, I am naked under the sheet,and the therapist exposes the part she is working on. Again no big deal.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. An Expat's Account Of Getting Naked At A German Spa. | cherylhoward.com - September 4, 2012

    [...] Sandy in Berlin – http://sandyinberlin.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/getting-naked-with-the-doctor/ and [...]

  2. Just Because I’m Cool With The FKK Doesn’t Mean I’m A Nudity Freak! | Sandy In Berlin - October 30, 2012

    [...] kind of nudity freak, but you might at first have a different impression once you realize I have more than one blog post about the subject.  I am still shocked and embarrassed every summer at the plethora of tits and [...]

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