In 50 states, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found patient sexual abuse by those they trust most – their own doctors. The AJC examined up to 15 years of records from agencies in every state responsible for disciplining doctors. Video by Ryon Horne

Sarah Silverman describes very uncomfortable ultrasound with 'arrogant' and 'gloveless' male radiologist

Actress’s encounter echoes findings from AJC investigative series ‘Doctors & Sex Abuse’

After her mammogram Wednesday, Sarah Silverman posted a disturbing story on Instagram.

The actress and comedian, who said she has dense breast tissue, needed an ultrasound and chest X-ray in addition to her mammogram. 

According to Silverman, “this radiologist — the same man I had last year — I do not like him and here is why:  

“He opened my gown and put gel on my breasts and smeared it around with his bare hands. Then he started talking to me about my chest X-ray (I also got a chest X-Ray) and was pontificating with my boobs just out and covered in gel and cold and finally I said “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 (expletive) with you.”

But that wasn’t the only thing that bothered her, she said.

“Okay so—he smears the gel on with his hands and NO GLOVES on and when he glides the ultrasound wand thing over my breasts he drags his fingers on them and it (expetive) bothers me. 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.”

View this post on Instagram

I had a shitty time at my mammogram appt today. I have to get an ultrasound after my mammograms because I have dense breasts (insert joke here) and this radiologist — the same man I had last year — I do not like him and here is why: He opened my gown and put gel on my breasts and smeared it around with his bare hands. Then he started talking to me about my chest X-ray (I also got a chest X-Ray) and was pontificating with my boobs just out and covered in gel and cold and finally I said “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 shit with you” Okay so — he smears the gel on with his hands and NO GLOVES on and when he glides the ultrasound wand thing over my breasts he drags his fingers on them and it fucking bothers me. 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” Look, I truly don’t think he was getting off on it, BUT it is his job to be aware that this is vulnerable for a woman. Wear fucking GLOVES - this isn’t a date. For him to be so arrogant that he didn’t even internalize the problem when I said something to him about it last year is obnoxious and probably a subconscious power thing if we’re getting deep. That was my last mammogram with this dude. Or any dude. Look. I’m a grown woman and I’m fine. But this guy does this with everyone and I know that personally it took many years into adulthood before I spoke up for myself. It’s uncomfortable and too easy to think it’s all in your head. And arrogant fucks like this doctor take advantage of women’s socialized instinct to not speak up. All this to say speak up. Trust that thing in your gut that tells you this shit ain’t right. ♥️

A post shared by Sarah Silverman (@sarahkatesilverman) on

Although Silverman made of point of saying she didn’t believe he was sexually abusing her, she said “it is his job to be aware that this is vulnerable for a woman.

“Wear (expletive) GLOVES — this isn’t a date. For him to be so arrogant that he didn’t even internalize the problem when I said something to him about it last year is obnoxious and probably a subconscious power thing if we’re getting deep.”

Although the actress said it wasn’t the case in her visit, many women have experienced sexual abuse at the hands of doctors.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s award-winning series “Doctors & Sex Abuse” uncovered instances of misconduct nationwide.

In an analysis of public records from every state, The AJC identified more than 3,100 doctors accused of sexual misconduct, including more than 2,400 doctors whose cases clearly involved patients.

“But the AJC also found those numbers represent only a fraction of the doctors who had sexual violations since Jan. 1, 1999. Many violations never came to the attention of state regulators. In other cases, public board orders — i.e., public documents issued by a state agency that discipline a doctor — weren’t posted on violations that did result in sanctions. So while the vast majority of the nation’s 900,000 licensed physicians don’t sexually abuse patients, no one knows the extent of the problem.”

After the #MeToo movement and public outcry over Dr. Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse of female gymnasts, The AJC revisited its original series to see if things had changed.

The new investigation “uncovered 450 cases of doctors who were brought before medical regulators or courts for sexual misconduct or sex crimes in 2016 and 2017. In nearly half of those cases, the AJC found, the doctors remain licensed to practice medicine, no matter whether the victims were patients or employees, adults or children.

“Even some doctors criminally convicted are back in practice, demonstrating that a system that forgives doctors — first exposed by the AJC in 2016 — has not changed.”

Doctors & Sex Abuse

» About our investigation

» A broken system forgives sexually abusive doctors in every state

» Repeat offender still licensed to treat Georgia patients

» Which doctors are sexually abusive?

» Medical profession condemns sexual abuse by doctors but resists solutions

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

Related Stories

X