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Chaperones During Genital Examinations: Theory to Practice-Reply

Richard M. Buchta, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(6):600. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460060017006.
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In Reply.—I appreciate the comments by Dr McAnarney. One of my main purposes for submitting my article was to elicit such a discussion. What is the role of a chaperone for patients in our present society? Is it the same role as in 1950? Is the role of the chaperone different in regard to minors vs adults? Is a chaperone mainly for the benefit of the physician or for the patient? These questions remained unanswered.

At least in my practice (and from my survey, in the practices of up to 30% of physicians who deal with adolescents), the preference for usage of a chaperone during a genital examination has moved from hypothetical into reality.1 I certainly do not advocate this "change in tradition" for everyone until further research to answer the many questions has been completed. However, I have become comfortable with this arrangement, and it has been


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