Another rapist doctor has been busted – this time, Toorak dermatologist David Wee Kin Tong, who pled guilty on criminal charges for raping seven women and indecently assaulting another seven. The Victorian Medical Board had previously dismissed two allegations of misconduct. Tong was only busted after a police officer’s friend was assaulted.
For many victims it was their first time seeing a skin specialist, and they did not know what to expect, [the prosecutor] said.
She told Judge Geoffrey Chettle that Tong requested that the women submit to a full body examination and in most cases asked them to strip and lie on an examination table. He felt their genitals and in some cases took photos of them naked without consent, using his mobile phone. On some occasions he asked the victims to pose naked for “body mapping” photographs that could help with their diagnosis and then took pictures of their genitals and naked bodies.
Ms Quin said many of the victims had trusted Tong because he was a doctor. Some noticed Tong sweating, shaking and panting during examinations.
Defence counsel blamed the rapes on the defendant’s inability to relate to women because of his strict Pentecostal upbringing, his nerdiness, and a bad ending to a relationship when he was 21 – 29 years ago. Because you just know that somehow, this was going to be blamed on a woman.
For those visiting dermatologists and GPs for skin conditions: yes, it is normal and good medical practice for a doctor doing a full skin check to check on sites under underwear as well. Melanomas and other skin disorders and cancer can occur on covered skin. However, this should be explained clearly. Breast/genital examinations should be performed respectfully, with other body parts covered. You should have the opportunity to request a chaperone (practice nurse or a friend or relative of yours) present during the examination. Dermatologists do sometimes take photos of skin lesions to monitor changes, but not of your full naked body, and only with full and informed consent. You are within your rights to refuse any part of examination and photography.
And following up on the Graeme Reeves case:
There is talk of suing the NSW Medical Board
thinking of suing medical board for failure to stop Graeme Reeves from practising. No medical board has been sued for damages before in either Australia or Britain (our medical regulatory systems are derived from the British system).