Imagine being raped by your senior resident: What would you do?

Do you report it to your supervisors?  Go to the police?  Go to a rape crisis center?  Or would you try to carry on the next day because you are the only one who has certain duties that need to be done? Or do you keep quiet because you are afraid of the negative publicity and treatment that might befall you, your department, and your medical center?

This is not an idle question. This is not a suggestion for a made for TV movie. This is real life drama for some, and nightmare for at least one, now being played out in the courtroom four years after the “incident.”  And Dr. Cynthia Herald, former anesthesia resident, was right.   After being raped by another resident, she reported that rape to officials at the Health Sciences Center.  They listened and even had the meeting recorded professionally with a “court reporter” present.  But that “record” was shredded. As was any hope that this woman, who dared to report her concerns to “officials,” would ever finish her program.

And within a short period of time she went from a  victim to a villain.  Not surprisingly she sought professional counseling.  She received medication to help her through the nightmare.  Her excellent professional performance recorded in the first year continued.  The night after the rape she attended the anesthesia pre-op clinic because she was the only one available.  She was committed to carrying-on.

And then, she was accused of being impaired.   Urine testing failed to confirm this, however they claimed that the test that they performed was done “incorrectly.”  Nonetheless she was abruptly relieved of her duties and terminated.

She is in court with her claims of wrongful termination.

So Dr. Herald goes from rape victim to villain–an impaired physician merely for taking prescribed medications.  She is abruptly removed from her duties and a series of almost farce-like incorrect procedures in order to “prove” that she is impaired.  And then she is terminated.  Her first year of residency was stellar and until the rape she was doing very well.  But the university had to get rid of her.  Too much liability.

It takes incredible strength of character to stand up and fight for your rights.  Dr. Herald could have felt shame that she didn’t do this or didn’t do that after the rape incident.  She could have believed their allegations and let them terminate her without at least a fight. But she didn’t.

It is unlikely that she will ever work again as an anesthesiologist.  And perhaps even as a physician.  Pre-medical preparation, four years of medical school, and two years of training all gone.  And then waiting for the system to take up her claims, another 4 years.  This is beyond outrageous.

Could there be another side to the story?  There is always another side, but as it is emerging in testimony, it is not very flattering or convincing.  Why is the university trying to keep out evidence about the behavior of the alleged rapist?  Why have they previously threatened potential witnesses in other cases when they have found themselves in court?

It is very important for women physicians, especially those lower in the pecking order, such as residents, to be very careful.  Be mindful of the hierarchy, of the rules (written and not), and of the way some institutions and organizations favor the group over the individual and favor form over substance.   Issues of professionalism, accusations of being a disruptive physician, or making claims of unfair treatment can all end in a nasty way.  A victim can easily become the villain.  Let’s hope that for Dr. Herald, she rises to victor.  Good luck, Dr. Herald.

Linda Brodsky is a pediatric surgeon who blogs at Women MD Resources.

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  • Laura

    Shouldn’t she have gone to the police since a crime was committed against her? The police would be less likely to cover things up because they are outside the university structure. I feel terrible for what this woman has gone through. Hopefully her day in court will vindicate her, expose an egregious and abusive university, and bring her some healing.

    • LBENT

      Of course we all think she “should have”. But think, what would you do? It isn’t easy. Whom do you trust? She lost in court, but that doesn’t make it right.

      • Cyndee Malowitz

        There are few things in life that are fair.

        • Jenna

          It’s not “fair” for a male doctor to be labeled a “rapist” in the blogosphere when he has been denied the right to defend himself against such an accusation in a court of law.

          I’m sorry, but as hundreds of cases have shown, sometimes women DO lie. Any woman who’s going to accuse a man of rape should see him in court.

          • Cyndee Malowitz

            I agree!

  • disqus_f4OBIScMpr

    Anyone who feels that they are the victim of a crime must report that crime to the police, and let them investigate.

    This is how the justice system in our country works.

    If you don’t report an alleged crime against you to the police and let the justice system deal with it, you can hardly cry years later that “justice hasn’t been served”.

  • Jason Simpson

    Residencies have to go thru a lot of very specific maneuves to get somebody fired. If the program really did what the article claims, then yes they deserve to be sued into oblivion.

    But I’m guessing there’s probably more to the story that we are not hearing.

    At any rate, I agree with guest. A crime gets reported to the police, not the organization under which it happened.

    If a girl at McDonalds is raped by her boss, does she go to McDonalds corporate headquarters to report it? Of course not, she goes to the police. Why in god’s name would you report it to the corporate headquarters? That makes zero sense.

    • LBENT

      You are correct, you are not hearing the whole story because the court would not allow a lot of evidence into trial.

      • Guest

        Inadmissible evidence is usually inadmissible for a reason.

        • Guest

          Good lawyers. Our legal system is a piece of feces.

        • EmilyAnon

          There was such a trial going on locally in my town, and the perp’s past history of violent rape convictions was inadmissible. Yes, a perfectly good reason by the defense, the jury was made to think the current rape was just a one-off.

  • DQUser

    Something seems fishy about the woman’s story. On balance I think employing her could be a liability so a prudent employer shouldn’t take the risk. I find for the employer.

  • MelissaAnne

    Many women DO NOT report their assaults to police as they don’t want to go through a criminal trial. This Many women DO NOT report their assaults to police as they don’t want to go through a criminal trial where they are often revictimised. That is perfectly ok. The commenters below are evidently ignorant of the ramifications and trauma inherent in experiencing and dealing with an assault. She went to her superiors in the hospital likely because she did not want to work with the petpetrator – any good company has a legal obligation to protect their staff from sexual harassment and abuse. They FAILED her. is perfectly ok. The commenters below see evidently ignorant of the ramifications and trauma inherent in experiencing and dealing with an assault. She went to her superiors in the hospital likely because she did not want to work with the petpetrator – any good company has a legal obligation to protect their staff from sexual harassment and abuse. They FAILED her.

    • Guest

      We have a legal system for a reason. If you’re going to opt out of using it to obtain justice, don’t be surprised when you don’t obtain justice.

      • LBENT

        The legal system is difficult and does not really solve the problem. Whatever “mistakes” Cyndi made, she made difficult choices. What would you do is the question? I don’t know what I would do.

    • TJM

      If there was no evidence that she was indeed sexually assaulted, and no police report, then perhaps the man she accused could claim that the university was unjustly punishing him for something there is no evidence of. Otherwise any woman with a grudge against any man for whatever reason can just wreck his career.

      Administrations have to be fair to both their female AND their male students.

  • Marian P

    She should have gone to the police. Evidence could have been collected at the time. This is the thanks she gets for keeping the event out of the courts and trying to protect her program. I am pretty scared about the perpetrator performing anesthesia on women, much more than I am concerned that this “impaired ” woman taking her antidepressants or anxiety meds or whatever it is will be a problem.

    • GT

      “I am pretty scared about the perpetrator performing anesthesia on women”

      Alleged perpetrator.

      • Marian P

        Fair enough.

  • Daniel

    Medical schools and residency programs in this country are *not* primarily interested in protecting patients. The institutions’ reputation comes first. People who don’t figure out the importance of subjugation and reputation in medical education are forced out, with prejudice, with much less difficulty than one would think possible.

    So, although she should have gone to the police (as others here have pointed out), it’s understandable that she didn’t. If she had, she would have been seen as a trouble maker and forced out. She ended up being forced out anyway, so talking to the police would have been better, but she didn’t have the benefit of hindsight that we now have. Also, her judgement was likely impaired because of the stress and trauma from her rape and from the way medical education is conducted.

  • Cyndee Malowitz

    I would have shot him, but that’s just me.

    • Suzi Q 38

      Easy to say, but not a bad idea.

      • Cyndee Malowitz

        Unfortunately, that’s what makes her story less believable. I’m not trying to blame the victim, far from it, but when are women going to get tough? She should have fought – biting, kicking, slapping, scratching, anything to leave evidence. Then she should have dialed 911. Now, she’s on the stand and everything is suspect, because she’s suing for money.

        Furthermore, just because Ativan was prescribed doesn’t mean it was okay for her to take it when she was working. I know that I wouldn’t want to be put under by someone taking a number of medications, including Benadryl, which is OTC.

        • Guest

          I understand what you are saying but I wonder if I would fight either. I might fear it could get much worse – that instead of just raping me he’d physically assault or even kill me.

          However, I do agree that not going to the police was a mistake.

          • reneeh63

            I agree with you…but let’s remember that
            rape is also physical assault.

          • Guest

            True, thanks for pointing that out. I guess I was considering rape to be a sexual assault and further abuse or battery to be a physical assault. But you are correct.

          • Marian P

            Usually, rape crisis centers tell women to follow their instincts-to fight if they feel the guy may back down, to run if at all possible, not to fight if they feel that will increase the chance of being killed. They also tell women that whatever they decided to do was most likely right. With a resident who was probably unlikely to kill, a little DNA under the fingernails might be a good thing.

        • buzzkillerjsmith

          As guest said, getting tough is high-risk, especially if the women is a long way for potential rescuers. It could get you killed.

          That said, I doubt there is a one strategy fits all approach to this. Contacting experts like a women’s center before something like this happens to get more detailed information on the best approach is a good idea for women who think they are at high risk. They might do this college campuses. I’m not sure.

        • Remedios Moscote

          ‘She should have fought’. How dare you. Honestly. How dare you. A lot of women who have been raped are absolutely frozen with fear, terrified that if they fight back things could get even worse. Who are you to judge how somebody should act during a rape?

          • Noni

            I have thus far agreed with everything you’ve posted, and this is no exception. Only in sexual assault of a woman is there an actual expectation of how the victim should have dressed, should have behaved, should have fought back. It’s terrible and offensive.

          • Cyndee Malowitz

            She should have shot him. Women need to quit being victims and learn to be SURVIVORS.

            BTW – did you not read about the case? The jury thought it was odd that she brought up the rape case at this point in time…when she was suing the university for money. You don’t think that’s suspicious? If she was embarrassed to report it back then, then why now…now that it involves money? I agree with the jury.

          • Guest

            “She should have shot him – hunted him down and killed him. Women need to quit being victims and learn to be SURVIVORS.”

            Vigilante justice and revenge killing is not the answer. Not only does it bring you down to the level of the perpetrator, it’s not well tolerated by the criminal justice system. You WILL go to prison.

          • Cyndee Malowitz

            I guess that depends on where you live. In Texas, this would work. Besides, it’s your word against his and well…the dead can’t speak.

          • Guest

            I do not think that in TX you can kill someone after the fact and get away with it.

          • TJM

            No, you can’t. You can defend yourself with lethal force to stop the commission of a forcible felony (like rape), but once the threat has ceased, you cannot just go and shoot them. Any responsible shooter/CCW permit holder respects this. Responsible CCW holders hate vigilantes as much as anyone else does. Vigilantes wreck things for all the responsible law-abiding supporters of self-defense and the second amendment.

          • Cyndee Malowitz

            I couldn’t agree more!

          • Cyndee Malowitz

            Remedios – I’m not judging anyone. I think it’s highly suspect that she didn’t report the rape to police, but had no problem brining it up when she sued the university for money. I find it even more surprising that she was able to go to work every single day and face the alleged rapist. So, you don’t fight or report the rapist, but you’re willing to see them every day at work and hope that Ativan is going to help resolve the problem?

        • Jonathan

          It is obvious you have never been raped. Many women are too mentally fragile to report or even seek treatment after a rape. Judgemental comments like yours are why women chose to go home and burn and scrub off all the evidence in a shower instead of reach out for help. If your daughter was raped, would you tell her what she “should” have done? Or would you see her as a fellow human and understand that she did what she could at the time?

          • Cyndee Malowitz

            Oh give me a break. Did you not read the story? The rape was brought up AFTER she sued Univ of NM over being dropped from their residency program. I agree with the jury – why bring the rape up now? I’m not surprised she lost her case.

            I can assure you that the women I know are survivors. We would have hunted him down – we would have shot him. Carry a gun – it’s the great equalizer.

          • TJM

            If you’re going to go after money because you were allegedly “raped”, you need to (a) have some evidence that you were raped (rape kit) and (b) report that crime to the police. And if you’re going to accuse someone of “rape”, they have the constitutional right to defend themselves against those allegations in a court of law.

            I can’t get money off my insurance company simply by claiming that I was “robbed”, I have to actually submit a police report, and if there IS no evidence I was actually robbed, I can be charged with making a false report. I can’t go around telling everyone that you bashed and raped my daughter; that’s slander unless I have some evidence that you really did it.

            Women are no more or less prone to lying than men are. This is equality. Deal with it.

      • Cyndee Malowitz

        The ALLEGED perpetrator. We’re all innocent until proven guilty.

      • meyati

        The police are part of the university- report to police, who report to the Provost marshall, who reports to the UNM president, who reports to the board of regents, and they decide if a crime was committed. UNM doesn’t use city, county, state, or federal courts.

    • buzzkillerjsmith

      You gotta do what you gotta do, but If you shoot him there is a non-negligible chance you will wind up in prison where you will be raped by other prisoners or by male guards.

      In addition, rape can happen fast, very fast, and women (or men) can be so stunned that they don’t have the time or the ability to do much. And it is remarkable how much stronger and more physically aggressive men are than women, even if they are roughly the same size. Women who have not been abused often do not realize this.

      • Cyndee Malowitz

        The last time I checked, shooting a potential rapist was legal…at least it is in Texas. One of the few reasons I like living here.

        • Suzi Q 38

          I like that about Texas, too.
          I remember a T-shirt that said:
          “You don’t mess with Texas.”

        • buzzkillerjsmith

          Potential rapist sure. Like potential robber or batterer, etc. I guess I was talking about going after the rapist after the crime.

      • Suzi Q 38

        True.

    • http://www.dpsinfo.com LaurieMann

      In retrospect, she should have gone straight to the ER of another hospital. But you’re not always sure what to do right after you’re raped. Calling the cops might not have been best as they probably would have taken her to the ER of the hospital she was working in. Sadly, when rapes happen in a professional environment, many women chose to try not to make waves. I wouldn’t shoot any man who tried to rape me, but I’d probably injure him in the worst way I could think of.

  • Suzi Q 38

    As usual the victim is the person that the university makes out to be the villan.

  • buzzkillerjsmith

    We get a fair number of rapes around here. No great answer here. Rape often leads to continuing abuse of the victim by those that are supposed to help.

    But to make the best of a bad situation, first call 911, then see your doctor or go to the ED for a rape exam, which are mostly done by women docs and NPs, at least in these parts. Consider calling the rape crisis line.

    Notifying the residency program should occur latter, maybe even in a day or two depending on the situation Be worried that they might try to bury the whole thing as the military does routinely.

    • Guest

      This alleged victim had far easier access to civilian medical and law enforcement resources (for the purposes of reporting the alleged crime and obtaining a rape kit) than women in the military, especially those stationed o/s, do.

    • Suzi Q 38

      Good advice.

    • Marian P

      Do not go to a Catholic hospital, they will refuse to give you the “morning after pill”. Actually now that it’s OTC every woman should probably provide herself with it just in case the ER or some religious nut of a pharmacist refuses to give it to her. BTW it does not work by preventing implantation, it prevents conception and is not an abortion drug.

      As to the University, Universities have a terrible track record of protecting the vulnerable ( think Penn State). Going directly to the police then a secular hospital is your best bet. Absent that you have no evidence. I know nothing of this woman, but if she only brought up the rape after they tried to get rid of her she had no leg to stand on.

  • Guest

    If all we have is the word of one person who didn’t bother to go to the
    police or even get a rape kit, all we have is an alleged crime, an
    alleged victim and an alleged perpetrator.

  • http://www.dpsinfo.com LaurieMann

    Men in power always protect other men in power. Disgusting. It’s why the military is so fucked up over rape in the military and I’m not surprised there’s a similar problem in some parts of medicine.

    • Gus

      The person who does the best job of protecting a rapist is the rape victim who doesn’t bother to report it. She’s just ensured that he will get off scot free, that there’s a zero percent chance of him being arrested, tried, and punished if found guilty.

      • Cyndee Malowitz

        and you can bet he’ll do it again, because he got away with it the first time.

        • Gus

          That’s why I’m supportive of all the work police departments have done to try to make the process of reporting and following through less traumatic, and of the SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) programs in ERs. But victims have to step up and do their part too. The first step to being taken seriously as a victim of crime is to report it and get the crime documented. Anything less just serves to diminish the crime, and enable the criminal to strike again.

          • Guest

            This is true, but let’s not pretend that reporting rape is easy for a victim. There’s no shame in admitting you were the victim of a robbery or battery. Throw in sex and suddenly the victim is to blame in some way. Having taken a college roommate to the ER after a rape I was disgusted by the insinuations the examining nurse made to my friend and excuses she made for the rapist.

            When women report rape they open themselves up to undeserved scrutiny and judgment. And sadly, unless they do this, perpetrators can strike again and again.

          • Suzi Q 38

            Yes, but she took it all the way to court.
            why not go to an independent police department as well?

          • Guest

            No money in it?

          • Suzi Q 38

            sad.

          • Guest

            Sorry, I thought we were speaking in generalities. In this case bringing it up at a trial in search of financial compensation begs the question: why didn’t she go to the cops?

            In general though I can totally understand why women don’t report their rapes.

          • Suzi Q 38

            Yes, if they did not care to prosecute or to catch the perpetrator.
            If I want to try to make sure it doesn’t happen to another person, I would report it to the police.
            At least they have to take samples and can do a DNA match.

          • meyati

            Because UNM is state property with its own police department. The city, county sheriff, and NM State police will have to tell the victim to report it to the campus police. Some gang rape victims tried to sue UNM and NM because they were told to go to the campus police, but they lose. The judge ruled in favor of UNM, but told UNM to be more sensitive. UNM-get raped-report it to the campus police, they report to the provost, who reports to the president, who reports to the Board of Regents. Then there is a decision if it is a rape or not. Quite often the coed has a nervous breakdown, transfers to another state, and the rapist becomes a UNM graduate with high recommendations.

          • Suzi Q 38

            Horrible practice.

      • anon3

        It’s a sexual encounter. Would you put your sex life in the public domain and speak about it openly with strangers who got to ask you anything and everything about what you did, if you had an orgasm, etc? Sex with someone who is disgusting to you? Ugly? Who humiliated you? If you are a virgin? If you were abused as a child? If you let him do it because you were scared if you tried to fight him off he would hurt you more and kill you? If you tried to move but couldn’t, and everyone keeps saying to you “why didn’t you push him off or punch him” when he was holding you by the throat and you were barely able to breathe? Have lawyers say you’re a liar and ask you about porn and your underwear and so on? A rapist is responsible for his own crimes. IF he rapes again, that woman can still report him, it is not the first woman’s responsibility and doesn’t change the chances of him raping again, as most rapists DO rape again, including when they get out of jail.

        • Guest

          If you’re willing to speak openly about your rape when there’s money to be made out of it, but not to protect other women from suffering what you suffered, you’re kind of morally askew.

          • Cyndee Malowitz

            You just hit the nail on the head…she brought it up when there was money to be made. That’s exactly what the jury thought too.

          • anon3

            I forgot the story now, but why would you say she was speaking up solely to make money out of it, rather than having changed her mind due to some other reason like the passage of time? Anyway, are you jealous that someone could be getting money for being raped? Otherwise I fail to see what the problem is. I personally don’t agree with someone suing for money due to sexual assault, but I don’t think it has anything to do with morals, I just think it makes no sense and shouldn’t be done. Although one of the main reasons for suing and trying to get money is actually because it is good revenge on the person.

  • Cyndee Malowitz

    Dr. Cynthia Herald lost the case. The jury felt that the only reason she brought up the rape incident was because she was trying to distract them from the issue involving drug abuse. Apparently, she had made several mistakes in the OR and they found she was impaired. Supposedly the university offered rehab, but she wasn’t interested.

    • Gus

      I just saw the full story as well: Anyone interested, google “UNM Health Sciences Center cleared of rape retaliation claim”.

      • LBENT

        You don’t know the whole story. The jury was not allowed to hear important evidence. The university did not follow proper procedures. I think you missed the point that this kind of situation puts a resident in. She was screwed either way.

        • Suzi Q 38

          I agree. All of what you say happens in many cases.

    • Guest

      I suppose no one will ever know the whole story, but regardless it’s one with a pretty sad ending.

      I actually did med school at UNM, and I recognize some of the names involved (not Dr Herald but the anesthesiologists from UNM described in the Tribune article). Great people. UNM is a pretty sensitive, touchy feely place as far as institutions of medical education go. I’d be shocked honestly to hear they were so dismissive of a sexual assault.

      • meyati

        Pimping Professor Case Nabs University President, Prostitute …gawker.com/5814954
        Today, New Mexican authorities arrested former University of New Mexico President F. Chris Garcia (pictured at right) for promoting prostitution, …
        The point is that UNM seems to have a history with sexual assaults and improprieties. I was a reporter at UNM, There was always a great disparity between what UNM reported to the feds and NCA, and what was on the records of the rape center. Yes, not every victim wanted to make a report to the police-but the rape center had that difference in their records. I had many moral professors and classmates, but obviously the legal system isn’t that great in NM. The state legislature addressed the issue of electronic pimping, making it illegal. The president just made sure that his stable was over 18. The state made a huge payout to get rid of him.

    • LBENT

      I hope you have some facts to back up your “supposedly”. statements. What mistakes? Were you there?
      Three experts testified she wasn’t impaired. The university did not follow policies and procedures. She did seek help. They “got her” b/c she wouldn’t admit she was impaired, because she wasn’t.
      They shredded the testimony that she gave them.
      I hope you never are faced with the question of “What would I do?” This is not an article to condemn Cyndi Herald but a real life difficult question of what is a woman in a powerless position in the great House of Medicine to do when something like this happens?
      What mistakes would you or I make?

      • Cyndee Malowitz

        I’m sorry this happened to your friend. She can move to Texas and get a job as a general practitioner – all is not lost.

        Polygraph tests are admissible in NM courts. Did anyone bother to take one? I do think it’s suspicious that evidence was shredded and I’m assuming that was addressed in court.

        Also, I was wondering if the alleged rapist’s name was mentioned in court.

  • Laura

    There have been interesting themes in these comments. I don’t understand the trauma of rape and how many rape victims respond, like by not going to the police. In hindsight, this poor woman had SO MUCH to lose that bringing it into the court system would have been the best option. Also, couldn’t she have eventually, possibly, hopefully switched to a different residency program elsewhere like in another state? Not easy to do necessarily, but if the justice system had been involved from day one, perhaps in time she could’ve finished her residency elsewhere. At any rate, I feel terrible for this woman and really do hope that her skills and training will be used somewhere someday.

  • karen3

    1), go to the police. 2) Get a restraining order. Anyone who thinks any person in medical administration has a shred of conscience will pay for that mistake,

  • meyati

    The more crime there is, the less money a university gets from the feds. In the late 1990s, there was a lawsuit by female students about this, crime, especially rapes, not being reported to the NCA and DOJ. Then this would tarnish the medical school and administrator’s reputation. My university reported so many rapes for one year. A woman’s group painted red hand prints at the place of the rape-the date (which was in that year), and reported 2 police. There were easily 3 times the number of rapes than what the university reported. I’m not a feminist, but women are second class citizens on campus grounds, which a teaching hospital is, and in the military.

    • Guest

      It’s not up to your employer or your teachers to report crimes against you. It’s up to you.

      If you are a victim of crime, you report it to the police. This is both your right, and your responsibility.

      • Cyndee Malowitz

        You are absolutely right. If the university is going to lose federal funds due to high crime rates, then of course they’re not going to report it.

        • meyati

          Thank you Cyndee for understanding the economics about this. I never said that I was raped. I said that I found out that the medical school and university authorities find ways to under-report rapes and other assaults. I was a reporter for the university rag, and wrote articles about this. -Guest has the mentality of making the victim the villain and 7 readers with poor reading comprehension agreed that rape victims are guilty, because the campus administration covered their rear ends by underreporting-Look at Penn State.

  • 1themecca

    I was sexually assaulted by a medical resident many years ago. I never reported it, as the support for nurses in this particular ‘teaching hospital’ was abysmal. I doubt my claims would have been taken seriously. I have never forgotten it. I wish I had had the guts to report, as he has probably gone on to continue his ways….

    • Noni

      I am so sorry to hear that. The medical environment is rampant with sexual harassment and sexual assault; it’s sickening. Under the threat of losing your career and everything you’ve worked for women all too often keep silent.

      I am so sorry that happened to you.

      • Cyndee Malowitz

        I can assure you that not all women are submissive, subservient, afraid to rock the establishment. I would have gone after him – criminal charges….far worse. I must be from an entirely different breed – we’re survivors.

        • karen

          ughh shame on you for speaking to a sexual assault SURVIVOR in such a way.

          • Kobukvolbane

            CM’s attitude is beyond self-righteous. What an attitude.

  • womenshoops

    It is shocking to me that these comments appear on a medical blog site (not that I assume that everyone here has a medical background). The complete failure of many of you to understand the biological and psychological effects of trauma is unfortunate. Go to, for instance, EVAWIntl.com, and look at some of the materials there, to educate yourselves so that you can understand and treat victims of sexual assault. Victim-blaming and rape myth endorsement of the kind Ms. Malowitz espouses is one of the primary reasons victims do not report, or go to law enforcement. Reading the story from ABQJournal, the idea that the rape allegation was a sham seems odd: she complained of the rape in 2009, and was alleged to be on drugs in 2010. How is the report connected? Probably self-medication due to the fact that the hospital treated her like a pariah the moment she made the complaint. The story does not suggest that the hospital claimed she used drugs prior to 2009.

    • Guest

      She did not have a rape kit done, she did not report the rape to police. In the absence of any evidence (and the only reason there IS no evidence is because she declined to provide any) there is no reason to believe that a rape actually occurred.

    • Cyndee Malowitz

      I’m NOT blaming the victim. I just thought it was odd that she’s not suing the person who she claims raped her. If she’s going to bring up the rape now, when she’s seeking money, then why not take it all the way? Go after the alleged rapist – get his name out there – sue him – go after his career. Furthermore, polygraph tests are admissable in NM courts – did she take one? Was the alleged rapist made to take one? Did anyone take one?

    • Cyndee Malowitz

      I never blamed the victim, far from it. The number one problem I have with this case is the fact that she didn’t report a crime, but brought it up when she was suing for money. Did she take a polygraph test? Did she sue the alleged rapist? Did he take a polygraph test? Polygraph tests ARE admissible in NM courts.

      • Katie RN

        She did report it to Health Services. Having been a part of rape crisis, it continues to amaze and frustrate me, that victims are repeatedly victimized. Sad.

        • Cyndee Malowitz

          Does she have PROOF that she reported it? That’s where the problem lies. Yes, it’s very possible the university shredded the evidence, but did they admit to doing that? Did the doctor get a copy of the report? If not, then why not? In the absence of all this pertinent evidence, I side with the jury.

      • Tom

        That’s factually incorrect. She brought forth the rape allegations with the residency faculty prior to launching the lawsuit. The description is in the Albuquerque Journal news paper.

  • bill10526

    Too many comments hereto have an agenda attached to them. To say that women use rape to avoid other troubles is true as shown in the Basketball star’s case. Always the case, not so, as illustrated by men who use rape as dessert to a burglary.

    Can one tell whether a rape charge is valid in the in between case that this seems to be? I don’t think so. Take General Petraeus for example, who had a sexual relationship with his lady biographer. She could have claimed that the General demanded sex for access and had a good case. He could have claimed that she used her womanly wiles to get access to him. It was probably just two healthy persons who shared a fitness fetish getting carried away with each other.

    • Kobukvolbane

      You are comparing an affair with rape? Wow. That is so bizarre. This pretty much says it all. I guess if I were raped by my senior resident, I would remember the cruel comments on this article, and I wouldn’t report it. The rape would be horrifying and humiliating, but then the repercussions would be as bad in their own way, with everything being made public, and people sneering and making snide comments questioning my integrity. Wouldn’t be interesting to know how many unreported rapes take place vs how many false charges of rapes? As a victim of a rape back in the 1970s, which I did not report, I find this attitude chilling.

      • bill10526

        You illustrate a problem with our public perception of rape, categorizing all rapes the same.

        There is the violent stranger rape that has a strong assault component. That is a serious crime. But rape charges fall along a spectrum from the assault rape to a false charge. The in between cases include buyers regret as in the Tyson case, spite, fantasy as in the Minnesota case involving a football player, suggested recalled memories, and statutory rapes that would have been natural relations in the 17th and 18th century when the marriage age was low.

        The current political climate led to the recent Strauss Kahn debacle. Anti-rape activists have done far more harm than good, in my opinion.

        • Kobukvolbane

          “Anti-rape activists have done far more harm than good…” and you are basing that on….? “Violent stranger rape is a serious crime…” What about violent date rape, or violent spousal rape? What if you meet someone, trust him, and, after you have known them for a few days, you are alone with him. He rapes you, leaving your rectal vault torn up and ragged. This happened to a patient of mine. Exactly how would you classify that rape? “She should have known better”? Obviously you value the life of a man more than the life of a woman. That is all.

  • Tom

    This story is referencing the UNMH anesthesiology residency program in Albuquerque, NM. Very sad.

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