Medical Chaperones for Sensitive Exams

Thursday, June 1, 2023

The Oregon Clinic values the safety and dignity of our patients. As part of our commitment to creating a respectful, comfortable environment, we offer trained medical chaperones for sensitive exams as well as upon request. Our medical chaperones help ensure sensitive exams are safe, comfortable, and professional.

If you ever feel uneasy or need more information about what will happen during your exam, please ask the team at your clinic. We are here to help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we offering trained medical chaperones for sensitive exams?

As of July 1, 2023, an Oregon Medical Board licensee must offer a trained chaperone to be physically present for all genital, rectal, and breast examinations.

What is a medical chaperone?

A medical chaperone is a trained employee who is available to be present during sensitive examinations, or upon request. They are trained patient advocates and impartial observers who support the professional environment.

The medical chaperone’s role is to ensure the patient and physician/practitioner’s comfort, safety, privacy, and security during these exams or procedures. The medical chaperone will stand in a location where they can observe what is going on and assist as needed.

Can I decline to have a chaperone present for my sensitive exam?

Yes. Adult patients and patients who are 15 years and older can decline a medical chaperone. Parents or legal guardians can decline on behalf of minors prior to age 15.

However, if your physician/practitioner would like to have a medical chaperone present and you decline, they can choose to defer the exam or refer you to another physician/practitioner.

Can I request a chaperone of a specific gender?

If you prefer a medical chaperone of a specific gender, let us know. We will do our best to accommodate your request but cannot promise we will be able to assign a medical chaperone of your preferred gender.

What can I expect during a sensitive exam?

For ALL sensitive exams, you should expect:

  • An explanation of the exam, including why it is needed, what the physician/practitioner will do, and what it may feel like.
  • Privacy to undress. You should NOT be asked to undress in front of a physician/practitioner or other staff member.
  • You should be offered a covering (gown or sheet/drape) if your body is exposed.
  • The physician/practitioner should NEVER make sexual remarks, hints, or jokes.
  • You have the right to refuse any portion of an exam or stop it at any time.