Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 14

M e d i c a l r e c o r d F e at u r e

Silence is Golden
- or is it?

by June Elcock-Messam, MD

F

or the fall edition of the magazine, I wanted to write about
Breast Cancer since Breast Cancer Awareness month is October
and I am a breast cancer survivor. I am a proud survivor of
two years even though my last cancer-related surgery was less than
one year ago. I was determined to write about this topic, but was
struggling emotionally so I took a break. I turned on the TV for
what I thought would be a relaxing moment. Within seconds there
was breaking news about all of the new sexual assault allegations
involving Harvey Weinstein. Oh no! Forget about a stress-free break!
I listened for as long as I could stomach before turning off the TV.
Not long after this, my headache started. The back and neck pain
followed. As a physician, I recognized my symptoms - an acute stress
reaction. But how many people have that insight to recognize how
the news of these awful events affect their lives on a day-to-day basis?
I love that the media is bringing new awareness to such a serious and
previously secret topic. However, I wish that they would provide
another segment following these heinous "breaking news" reports that
provide resources for people who are traumatized by these events.
Years ago, after graduation from Haverford College, I worked as
a Laboratory Technician at a prestigious University. It was a dream
job for me at the time. I was hired at a time when our lead researcher
was on a one-year sabbatical leave out of the United States. A part
of my responsibility was to supervise undergraduate students doing
work-study jobs in the lab. There were three students. I met my boss
finally after working months in the lab. He was brilliant, but loud
and socially awkward. It didn't bother me. I was learning a lot. He
then began to be verbally inappropriate. He started commenting on
the way I dressed and told me (in front of many of the doctors in the
lab) that he wanted me to wear my skirts shorter. I did not comply
which irritated him. He wanted me to wear high heels. Then he
complained that my clothes were covering too much of my body. I
was troubled and embarrassed that he said these things publicly in
the lab but no one else was troubled or offended and even though I
was troubled, embarrassed and offended, I didn't do anything because
he didn't touch me. Shortly after, one of the undergraduate students
quit. Then another was crying and not wanting to work in the lab. I
supervised these young women so I felt that I was not doing my job

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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18

Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 1
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 2
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 3
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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 12
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 13
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 14
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 15
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 16
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 17
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 18
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 19
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 20
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 21
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 22
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 23
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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 29
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 30
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 31
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2017-18 - 32
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