Doctor diagnoses woman with 'ghetto booty'

Published On: Jul 16 2013 10:17:10 AM EDT
Updated On: Jul 16 2013 10:43:04 AM EDT

A Tennessee woman is filing a complaint she says the doctor she went to see for back pain gave her an insulting diagnosis.

"He said 'I know what the problem is. It's ghetto booty,'" Terry Ragland, 55, told Memphis TV station WREG what Dr. Timothy Sweo said to her in April.
"I think I blacked out after he said ghetto booty. I think my mind was just stuck on the phrase because I couldn't believe he said that," said Ragland.

Ragland said this was not her first time seeing someone at Dr. Timothy Sweo's office, but it was the first time she had seen him.

"It's one of those things where my hip seems to slip, like it's slipping out of place a little bit. It's painful when you get up to go walk it kind of slips, you know," she said about her lower back pain.

Ragland said Sweo sent her for X-rays, then came in and gave his diagnosis.

She said she was in shock as she asked what the treatment would be.
"He said there's no cure for it but I could give you something if you're having pain," Ragland told WREG.

She told an office manager, who apologized. A few weeks later, she received a letter from Sweo himself.
In the letter, he said he was "trying to take a technical conversation regarding your lower back 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," Ragland told WREG.

Sweo declined to be interviewed on camera.
But he did admit to using the term as he was trying to explain to Ragland that she had "lumbar lordosis," the medical term for a curve in her spine.
"I think I do understand why her feelings were hurt but I don't understand what's offensive about it," Sweo told the station.

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