NEETZAN ZIMMERMAN Yesterday 1:58pm
Terry Ragland’s doctor says he was just trying to dumb down her back pain diagnosis when he told her she suffers from “ghetto booty.”
“I think I blacked out after he said ghetto booty,” the 55-year-old Tennessee woman told News Channel 3, recalling her shock at hearing those words come out of Dr. Timothy Sweo’s mouth.
Ragland’s condition is known as “lumbar lordosis” — a curve of the spine that causes a protrusion of the buttocks coupled with significant discomfort.
“I was trying to take a technical conversation regarding your lower back and make it less technical,” Dr. Sweo told Ragland in a letter meant to be apologetic.
Dr. Timothy Sweo
“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,” Ragland told the Memphis-based CBS affiliate.
Reached by phone, Sweo told the news station he doesn’t understand what was wrong with telling his patient she has a “ghetto booty.”
“In trying to explain [her problem] I said that she had ghetto booty and she didn’t like that apparently,” he told WREG by phone. “I think I do understand why her feelings were hurt but I don’t understand what’s offensive about it.”
“It’s wrong in every aspect and it’s very demeaning,” said Ragland, who has filed a formal complain against Sweo with the Tennessee Department of Health.