Tennessee woman diagnosed with “Ghetto Booty” by doctor

Terry Ragland Ghetto Booty

A Tennessee woman has filed a complaint with the Tennessee Department of Health for receiving what she feels is an insulting diagnosis after seeking out assistance for her lower back pain.

In April, 55-year-old Terry Ragland visited the office of Dr. Timothy Sweo about pain she described as,  “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.” After reviewing his patient’s x-rays, Dr. Sweo’s official diagnosis was that Ragland suffered from “Ghetto Booty.”

Ragland was floored by what the Dr. told her and informed the office manager about what had happened. The manager apologized on the doctor’s behalf. She then claims she received a letter from the doctor in which he attempted to explain why he went Swe-over the line. In part it read, “I was trying to take a technical conversation regarding your lower back and make it less technical.”

WREG reached out to Sweo who refused to be interviewed on camera but did offer his explanation via a phone conversation.

“What I was trying to explain to that patient is that she has lumbar lordosis, which is a fancy name for the curve of the lower spine that makes the buttocks protrude more. In trying to explain that I said that she had ghetto booty and she didn’t like that apparently. That was my attempt to explain why she had the back problem. It wasn’t the whole problem but it was part of it and she got upset about it. You cannot cure lumbar lordosis.”

Sweo added, “I think I do understand why her feelings were hurt but I don’t understand what’s offensive about it.” Ragland disagreed, “It’s not endearing. It’s not loving. It’s not a compliment. It’s wrong in every aspect and it’s very demeaning.”

Sweo did seem to finally show a little contrition in regards to the circumstance. “That was probably inappropriate. She certainly felt that way and I won’t do that anymore,” he said.

Ragland is hopeful that she’ll be the last patient that receives a ghetto booty diagnosis from Dr. Sweo. She warned that if he continues it could be hazardous to his health. “The next person might not take it like I do and he might find himself in a very bad, bad situation,” she said.

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