Doctor Tells Patient with Back Pain She Suffers from ‘Ghetto Booty’

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.


"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.

[screengrabs via WREG, SportsOrthSpine]