Warning: This article discusses allegations which may be distressing to some people.
A woman says she was left feeling "really exposed" after a work medical assessment, where she claims a doctor made her stay in just her underwear and bra for most of the appointment.
She's one of six witnesses who took the stand today against a lower North Island doctor who is accused of carrying out intimate examinations in inappropriate circumstances.
The man is facing a Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal charged with acting in breach of ethical obligations and or accepted standards of practice – with complaints spanning from 1998 to 2006.
They include multiple claims of rectal and or testicular examinations which weren't necessary, in inappropriate circumstances, or their purpose was poorly communicated.
The man is also accused of the same conduct for several visual examinations, including for the perineum area, as well as requiring some patients to bend over in their underwear.
The woman claimed she was asked to strip down to her undergarments, bend over and touch her toes.
After completing this, she claimed she wasn't allowed to put her clothes back on – despite her asking to.
The woman said she felt "taken advantage of", and gutted after the alleged 2005 incident, so raised the issue with a person who looks after staff welfare at her workplace as well as a more senior person.
However, despite speaking to those people, she said she never heard anything until 2017 when she received a phone call from the organisation asking about the appointment.
Another person from the workplace who claimed to have had a similar experience in 2002, told the tribunal yesterday that she wrote of her experience in a work feedback form shortly after, but said nothing happened.
A different patient who spoke today, was left in tears when one of the doctor's lawyers questioned the woman's recollection of the layout of the doctors office.
"The only bit that sticks out is what happened to me," she said.
This woman had an examination in 2004, and claimed that she was made to lie on her side and he asked her to push her bum out like she was doing a poo.
"I have never had a doctors examination like that since or ever before."
A man who had a significant number of medical examinations for work purposes claimed his assessment with the doctor was easily the most invasive he'd ever been through.
He told the hearing he was also asked to pull down his pants, lie on the bed and push like he needed to do a poo while the doctor examined him.
"It's always stuck with me as being a bit odd and unnecessarily invasive."
Another patient told the tribunal that during a 2002 appointment the doctor inserted a finger or two into her anus, up to about the first indent.
Following this, she claimed he briefly touched her genitals "like a peace sign" from behind.
His lawyer, Harry Waalkens, questioned whether the woman kept notes and asked why "on earth" she didn't report it earlier.
The woman said, what made it worse for her, was realising that the haemorrhoid check was not on the medical examination form which she went there to check off.
Today Waalkens told another witness that if she had told her partner she'd been abused in some way, she would have done something about it.
However, the woman said because she'd never undergone a full medical examination before she didn't know that an anal assessment wasn't part of this.
She told the hearing that it was only through speaking with others she worked with that she learned they didn't have the anal examination she alleged happened.
Twelve patients will speak this week, before the doctor's legal counsel begin their defence on Thursday.
Where to get help
• If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
• If you've ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone call the confidential crisis helpline Safe to Talk on: 0800 044 334 or text 4334. (Available 24/7)
• Male Survivors Aotearoa offers a range of confidential support at centres across New Zealand - your closest one here.
• Mosaic - Tiaki Tangata: 0800 94 22 94 (available 11am - 8pm)
• If you have been abused, remember it's not your fault.
• Wellington HELP has a 24/7 helpline for people who need to speak to someone immediately. You can call 04 801 6655 and push 0 at the menu.