Lumbar lordosis is the technical term for a curve in the lower spine, which can cause a protrusion of the buttocks. But when Terry Ragland of Jackson, Tenn., was diagnosed with the condition, Dr. Timothy Sweo chose to phrase it differently. "He said, 'I know what the problem is. It's ghetto booty,' " Ragland told Memphis news station WREG.
"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 at this doctor's office. She had been there several times before and said her experiences were good. But this is the first time she had seen Dr. Sweo.
"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," said Ragland about her lower back pain.
Ragland said Dr. 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," said Ragland.
Ragland said she told an office manager about what happened. Ragland said the manager apologized and a few weeks later she received a letter from Dr. Sweo himself.
In the letter, Dr. Sweo said, "I 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," said Ragland.
Ragland has filed a complaint with the Tennessee Department of Health. If her claim is founded, the Board of Medical Examiners officer will determine if there will be disciplinary action for Sweo.
Read more at WREG.
Jozen Cummings is the author and creator of the popular relationship blog Until I Get Married, which is currently in development for a television series with Warner Bros. He also hosts a weekly podcast with WNYC about Empire called Empire Afterparty, is a contributor at VerySmartBrothas.com and works at Twitter as an editorial curator. Follow him on Twitter.