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ENG-1 Medical - Inappropriate examination?

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  • ENG-1 Medical - Inappropriate examination?

    I am no longer in the merchant navy but around 4 years ago I joined and began my cadetship.

    Obviously as a part of the recruitment process I went through the ENG medical. I am a female and had a male doctor complete the medical. During the medical he asked to examine my breasts, and felt them, he was quite insensitive about it but being young and not really knowing the process I just went along with it, but it’s made me feel uncomfortable ever since as I don’t believe this was really appropriate? I can’t remember if he offered a chaperone or not.

    This is obviously quite uncomfortable to talk about. I just wanted to know if this was ‘normal’ for this kind of medical or whether it’s something I should notify the MCA regarding?

  • #2
    I can’t imagine why he would need to examine your breasts. You should report this, if he did nothing wrong then nothing to worry about. If he is taking liberties then how far does he push next time? Please report the incident.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Guest View Post
      I can’t imagine why he would need to examine your breasts. You should report this, if he did nothing wrong then nothing to worry about. If he is taking liberties then how far does he push next time? Please report the incident.
      Do I report it directly to the MCA?

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      • #4
        I'm not female but I don't see why this would be necessary. The closest us blokes get to that is listening to your chest through a stethoscope.

        I'm sure the MCA would be interested but more widely I presume there's a medical body you can report this to and if he has inappropriately examined you then surely that constitutes sexual assault and you should also report it to the police.

        Sure some of our female members will be along shortly to offer more advice. I mean maybe its a perfectly normal part of the medical for women but I'd be a bit surprised.

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        • #5
          Thank you for your replies, I will look into the best body to report this to, in the meantime hopefully some female members can shed some more light.

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          • #6
            Some ENG1 doctors are thorough and go above and beyond on their health check. Obviously the doctor you visited likely considered checking for lumps appropriate, just as some doctors for men consider it appropriate to hold their testifies and ask the patient to cough to check for hernias. I’ve had ENG1s where I didn’t even have to take my base layer of clothes off, but I’ve also had ENG1s where I’ve been in just underwear for 20 minutes whilst they check everything under the sun. If you were due to sail with an American company it may have been requested by your company that your breasts were checked as Americans shipping lines are obsessed with chest issues being noted before you sail with them so you can’t turn round and sue if you “develop” the issue at sea. I once had a chest X-ray following an ENG1 for this reason.

            You are are welcome to take a chaperone to any appointment.

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            • #7
              Page 37 has the process for complaints. You can also see what they are supposed to be checking for during examinations. From what I’ve read the whole reason for the medical is to check you are fit to carry out duties, and if you have a disease illness to what extent that causes you or others a problem at sea.
              Had you said I get lumps from time to time, the Doctor would be doing his job to check in my view, regardless if it were a medical or not, but I would expect any Doctor to say I’m going to check to see xxxxxxx if that’s ok, otherwise, hmmm I can see why you felt uncomfortable. Read through this and the various other notices they mention. If nothing else you can say I can’t find any mention of this type of check being needed, so why was it done. Of if there is mention did it match what you experienced.

              https://assets.publishing.service.go..._AD_Manual.pdf

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Midge View Post
                Page 37 has the process for complaints. You can also see what they are supposed to be checking for during examinations. From what I’ve read the whole reason for the medical is to check you are fit to carry out duties, and if you have a disease illness to what extent that causes you or others a problem at sea.
                Had you said I get lumps from time to time, the Doctor would be doing his job to check in my view, regardless if it were a medical or not, but I would expect any Doctor to say I’m going to check to see xxxxxxx if that’s ok, otherwise, hmmm I can see why you felt uncomfortable. Read through this and the various other notices they mention. If nothing else you can say I can’t find any mention of this type of check being needed, so why was it done. Of if there is mention did it match what you experienced.

                https://assets.publishing.service.go..._AD_Manual.pdf
                Thank you for the link, having checked it it states at point 3.8.10 that breast and testicular examinations are not a necessary part of the examination. He didn’t give a reason to do it, but being a young 18 year old woman I didn’t really feel confident to question it it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Suggest getting in touch with some other ENG registered doctors and asking them. I suspect the doctor shouldn't have done that, but if it is something that was just him doing his job, there could be a lot of unecessary stress for him if reported officially. I'm sure they'd be more than happy to discuss.

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