Woman files complaint for "Ghetto Booty" Diagnosis

Monday, July 15, 2013 - 2:58pm

TN woman outraged after doctor diagnoses her with "ghetto booty."

Terry Ragland went to this doctors office in Jackson looking for treatment for her severe lower back pain but left the visit with her a different sort of pain.

"It's inappropriate. It's sexist."

She'd been to the practice before having two knee surgeries. She called those experiences good. This time, she saw a different doctor, Timothy Sweo, to handle her back issues.

"I was hurting that day , so I had my eyes closed, just resting."

She was seen by a nurse, then doctor Sweo who sent her to get an x-ray.

When he came back into the exam room Terry says doctor Sweo had a diagnosis never seen in any medical book.

"He said, 'I know what the problem is. It's ghetto booty.' And I said, 'Ghetto what?' He said, 'Ghetto booty.'"

In shock, Terry asked what could be done to relieve her pain.

"He said, 'There's no cure for it, but I could give you something if you're having pain.'"

No cure for ghetto booty.

Terry reported the issue to an office manager who sincerely apologized.

A few weeks later this letter came in the mail from the doctor.

Saying, at one point, "I was trying to take a technical conversation regarding your lower back pain and make it less technical."

"It says to me that he doubts what type of intellect I have, how intelligent I am to be able to understand what he conveys to me in a medical term."

I wanted to hear from doctor Sweo himself.

He declined to go on camera but told me he did say ghetto booty.

It was his way of explaining to terry she had lumbar lordosis, a curve in her spine, that he told me quote, "makes the buttocks protrude more"... Going on to say her ghetto booty" wasn't the whole problem but it was part of it."

"That actually is a slur, a racial slur, ghetto."

Doctor Sweo told me if you look up the definition of ghetto booty "It mean just a protrusion nothing about black or white"

I looked up the term it doesn't exist in Merriam Webster Dictionary.

Sweo told me, "I think I do understand why her feelings were hurt, but I don't understand what's offensive about it" and then said "You cannot cure lumbar lordosis."

Terry filed a complaint with the state.

Her back pain is still there.

She hopes through all of this doctor Sweo learns bedside manner.

"The next person might not take it like I do, and he might find himself in a very bad, bad situation."

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