These Bad Doctors Threw Professionalism Out The Window
When it comes to our health and well-being, we generally assume that we can trust all doctors—but unfortunately, not all doctors are created equal. From a complete and utter lack of bedside manners to remorseless wrong diagnoses, here are some of the most unprofessional doctors ever.
1. A Waste Of Time
I went to the doctor’s to get my chest checked. He basically just held and caressed me in a seemingly unprofessional manner, but at the time, I didn’t realize it. Due to my chest causing me a lot of physical pain, I asked him about my options regarding a reduction surgery. His response shocked me. He got visibly angry and told me to never even think about it.
He even went as far as to call them “beautiful and tender”. He was well in his 50s, and I was 18 or 19 at the time. So basically, I paid like 50 dollars for Master Roshi to ignore my health issues and leave me no choice but to find another doctor who actually wanted to help me find a solution.
2. Not So Hip
My grandfather-in-law has severe dementia. He lived alone but my mother-in-law and I visited him three times a day to make sure he eats and takes his meds. A few weeks ago, he couldn’t get up in the morning and he said his hip hurt, so we drove him to the hospital. But because of the pandemic, she wasn’t allowed in the ER, leaving him sitting alone there for four hours.
Guess what he told the doctor when he asked him what was wrong? “I don’t know”. Of course, he doesn’t. He has dementia. He just sat there, not knowing what was going on. So the doctor calls my mother-in-law and told her he was fine and that he could go home. My mother-in-law was skeptical, so she asked him point-blank: “Can he move? Can he go to the toilet alone?”
The doctor simply replied, “Yeah, he’s fine”. He then gave the order to load my grandfather-in-law up, but here’s the thing—two guys had to carry him in a special chair because he couldn’t even manage to walk the short distance into the house. All of this transpired on a Friday, and we proceeded to spend the weekend at his place to look after him.
On Monday we brought him back to the ER and guess what? No, really guess what was wrong with him. He had broken his hip. This man walked around for three days with a broken hip. But, sure. He’s fine.
3. One-Minute Diagnosis
I took my mom to see a neurologist as her primary care physician suspected she had Parkinson’s. After waiting almost an hour, the neurologist came into the room, took a look, told us she had Parkinson’s, then told us to watch some YouTube videos describing what Parkinson’s was before leaving the room. The whole encounter was under a minute.
The worst part is that they still charged insurance…but luckily, my mom is on Medicare, so it didn’t become crippling debt. I did not report the doctor because I just didn’t have the bandwidth.
4. All Pain, No Gain
When I was 13, I was rollerblading and I dislocated my knee. I didn’t have a cell phone, and I was in a secluded residential neighborhood alone at like, 1:30 in the afternoon on a weekday. So, I just laid there for a couple of hours until an adult found me and I called my grandma. Because I’d been laying there so long, by the time I got to the hospital, I was still in a lot of pain, but I had pretty much calmed down.
My knee had popped immediately back into place, so it was not visibly dislocated. They took my blood pressure, and it was normal. Between my lack of tears, my normal BP, and the fact that my knee was only swollen, the doctor refused to do any imaging. He told me nothing was wrong with me, and then lectured me about wasting the ER’s time.
He told me if I had truly suffered that injury, he would be able to see it and that I’d be howling in agony. His mistake will haunt me for life. I kept going to the doctor to have it looked at though because it kept hurting. Every six months for two years, I was still in a lot of pain. The doctor refused to ever do any imaging and just kept telling me there was nothing wrong.
At the year-and-a-half mark, he told me that I was never getting my hands on pain pills and he even went as far recommend that I see a mental health therapist. Turns out, I have a connective tissue disorder that both makes injuries like mine more common, and also causes me to have low blood pressure, meaning that my “normal” BP in the ER was actually an elevated one for me.
I was 15 when I finally got them to see something was wrong, and I was referred to PT. My knee never went back to how it was before the injury, and the PT told me I could have regained all my strength if Id pursued PT right away.
5. The “Pill Seeker”
I went to the doctor’s because I had a UTI. I was in my 20s and I was well aware of what UTIs felt like and when I needed treatment. The doctor gave me a long lecture about pill-seeking and how the overuse of antibiotics creates superbugs. After I left, I got a call from the nurse, not the doctor, who sheepishly told me that my test came back positive for a UTI and that they would send antibiotics to my pharmacy.
6. I’m Right, You’re Wrong
I had just finished a scan and I was told to wait thirty minutes to two hours for the results while being in the most excruciating pain in my life. In the meantime, the nurse walked in and went on and on about how it was probably just a UTI and I’d be out in no time. Never mind the fact that the doctor didn’t think it was a UTI at all, but she then got an attitude when I told her it definitely wasn’t a UTI.
Thirty minutes on the dot, the doctor ran into my room. He looked as white as a ghost. He told me I was going into surgery in five minutes. My intestines were twisted at a valve, and I needed that part removed immediately. The nurse came back in to help move me for surgery. At least she apologized to me then.
7. The Judgmental Nurse
A couple of years ago, I had to get blood drawn at a lab. When they called me in, I sat down in the chair and laid my arm out on the table so they could draw the blood. At that point, some old self-harm scars on my arm were still pretty visible (and it’s something I’m very self-conscious about). The phlebotomist gasped when she saw it, and she made a disturbing remark.
“How ugly! What could have ever made you do that to yourself?” She just stood there, expecting an answer. Her tone was not of genuine concern, but more of disgust. I told her it was private and then asked if she could just start the blood draw. I had to repeat that multiple times before she actually started. While she was doing it, she continued on telling me that I’m “too young to be depressed” and that the scars were “such a horrible thing to do” to myself.
I couldn’t get up and run out the door because there was a needle in my arm. My face was so red and I had tears in my eyes. I became so embarrassed and upset that I couldn’t say anything. I just waited for it to be done, and ran out the door. I found an online feedback form for the company and left a complaint there, plus a voicemail on their customer service phone line.
I got no response, but I just hope someone spoke with that person about it, and that no one with self-harm scars is made to feel as embarrassed and ashamed as I was.
8. Stirring Up Drama
A doctor once examined me because I had an irritation “down there”. He sent away samples for tests. While waiting a few days for the results to come back, he told me I had an STD. I had been with my wife for 10 years at that point, so you can imagine what the next few days were like. We both fought over who gave the STD to who—just imagine the strain that put on our marriage with all of the implications and accusations of being unfaithful, deceitful, etc. All the anger, the hurt, the emotional damage, the betrayal…
Turns out, I had a bladder infection.
9. Hard To Ignore
“Nope, I can’t feel any lump,” the doctor told me. Still, I was convinced I felt a lump and that the doctor just couldn’t feel it. It ended up taking way longer than acceptable to get an ultrasound, roughly six weeks, and yes, it turned out to be cancer. I’m all good now, but that doctor was all nonsense. Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer for men aged 20 to 35, so it annoys me how quickly he just dismissed my issue.
The lump itself felt like a small bead, so it was hardly noticeable. I also didn’t feel any pain, so it might have been more difficult to diagnose, but that doesn’t excuse the doctor’s unprofessionalism. I had to insist that I felt something when visiting the doctor and if I hadn’t, I don’t think I’d have gotten an ultrasound. If you feel something isn’t normal trust yourself.
10. Those Jokes Aren’t Funny
I’m a psych nurse and was escorting a resident from a mental institution to the public health department for a vaccine. The doctor asked for his address, and they replied with the name of the mental institution. The doctor then quipped, “Oh, is that where all the dangerous lunatics live?” with a big stupid grin on his face. Oh, but the worst was yet to come.
Bear in mind that this particular patient was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia AND had tried to end someone in the past. I was just like, what the heck, man? “Did he actually say that?” The patient just ignored it. The doctor gave him the vaccine injection in his arm and then said, “I just injected you with poison; what do you think about that?” with another stupid grin on his face.
I thought to myself, “If this patient starts punching the doctor, I’m gonna let him land a few punches before I intervene”. Nothing happened. I got out of there quickly, then later checked in on the patient. He was fine—he thought the doctor was just making stupid jokes which weren’t about him because he wasn’t mentally unwell. I made two complaints about the doctor—one to his boss and one to our chief psychiatrist.
11. Waiting For Nothing
I had an appointment where the doctor just never showed up. I was in the examination room for about 45 minutes when an MA walked in and asked me what I was doing there. When I said I was waiting for the doctor, she replied, “The doctor already left! We’re closing”. Instead of calling the doctor back, they made me schedule another appointment. I found a new office instead.
12. Small Town Stereotype
During a consultation, the doctor refused to consider surgery as a treatment for my issue on the basis that he has the same condition and he could exercise just fine. Oh, but that wasn’t the worst part. He then proceeded to tell me that I didn’t need to pursue physical wellness because I looked okay, “especially compared to the average person” from my town, he added.
I left work and drove an hour to see this doctor, only for him to refuse to help me out and then insult my hometown. I disputed the $300 consultation bill on the premise that there was no service given and they dropped it.
13. Zero Manners
The doctor told me that if I wanted to pursue treatment and get a spot in the ward, I’d need to shave all my hair off. It’s worth noting that the treatment had nothing to do with my head. She had no bedside manner at all and she was rude to the other medical professionals. I told the nurse I was having doubts about agreeing to stay in the ward, but she convinced me to give it a try.
The first thing the doctor greeted me with on that first day was, “Hi, remember me? I’m that doctor you hate”. What the heck kind of way is that to talk to someone who is sick and mentally distressed?
14. Shame On You
I had developed diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, as a result of having type 1 diabetes combined with a severe stomach bug. I hadn’t eaten in days and I was having horrible diarrhea. When I was getting treated in the ICU, I had an accident and made a mess in the bed. I wasn’t allowed to get up on my own and no one was answering the call button, but I don’t blame anyone for that—people are actually dying in the ICU and I just needed frequent monitoring for an insulin drip.
The CNA had a new person shadowing her and when I got up, the newbie audibly gagged and acted super grossed out, swearing under her breath while changing the sheets. I get it, poop is gross, but I was already super embarrassed and ashamed. The main CNA told her to leave and apologized to me for her reaction. I just asked that she not come back, which they respected.
15. Religious Reasoning
My mom had some symptoms and she was sent in for a scan of her brain. It sort of looked like she might have a tumor or some fluid in her skull or something. When giving her the results, the doctor said something that made my blood boil: “Maybe this is God’s way of saying it’s time”. My mom, who was in her 50s at the time, was absolutely livid and she went off on them—”God has nothing to do with this,” she told them.
Turns out, she was fine. Her symptoms were related to something else, and the ambiguous scan results could have been due to machine error or human error.
16. My Breaking Point
“I honestly don’t know what to do with you,” said my psychologist at a mental health clinic on an airforce base who proceeded to never schedule a follow-up appointment with me again. I was 19 and diagnosed with clinical depression. The dude had a Ph.D. in psychology and he was supposed to know what to do with me. If he couldn’t handle me breaking under the stress of college, then I really wonder what the heck he tells veterans.
17. Thanks A Lot, Mom
I was 17 when I found a lump in my breast. I was terrified. My mother took me to her gynecologist because she didn’t trust mine, who she’d never met. The doctor examined me and told me I had something called fibrocystic disease. He said hormones make it worse, and since I was on birth control, I asked him if I should stop taking the pill.
He said I shouldn’t be on the pill in the first place and walked out of the room without saying anything else. He didn’t give any explanation of what fibrocystic disease was, nor did he give any further instructions for care. I waited about 20 minutes for someone to come back to tell me to get dressed. Then, fifteen minutes later, a nurse came in, looked at me, and said: “You can get dressed now”.
I said, “I AM dressed”. She looked at me again, then turned around and walked out without a word. I left and never went back. I ended up looking up fibrocystic disease at my college library but I really couldn’t tell how bad it was or what I should do. I ended up going to a different gynecologist. Turns out, I didn’t even have the fibrocystic disease…I just had fibrous breast tissue.
I ended up having that lump removed because it caused so much pain. I haven’t had any lumps or pain since. That first doctor can go screw himself. Oh, and my mother, who is the one who put me on birth control and still said the doctor was right, can also screw herself. Nothing like feeling cared for and supported by your parents and your doctor…
18. “Standard” Questions
Unprofessional, but funny. I had taken my 92-year-old mother to a re-check appointment with her primary care physician. A new medical assistant was dutifully getting her history by reading off a checklist. When she asked when mom’s last period was, I looked at mom a little nervously: She was VERY old school, very dignified, and would typically never acknowledge to her sons that she had female parts.
I saw a rare twinkle in mom’s eyes as she calmly replied, “Well, I can’t give you an exact number of months, but I’m pretty sure it was sometime in the late 1960s”. The assistant had the good grace to laugh with us, apologize, then read the next question. “Do you think you might be pregnant?”
19. Holding It In
I was hospitalized after being in a bad car accident. Unfortunately, due to the surgery and general trauma, I had a hard time going #1. I could feel the urge to go, but I just could not get the muscles to relax. On the first day, they were just doing in-and-out catheters whenever I said I had to go. It was uncomfortable, but I managed…that is, until I got to the night nurse.
I told her at around 8:30 pm that I needed help, but when she did a bladder scan, she told me that there was “not enough fluid” for her to do the catheter. At 10:30 pm, I told her again and she was like, “I did the bladder scan, you’re fine”. I finally got her to do the catheter at 4 in the morning and she proceeded to take 1.3 liters out of my bladder.
20. The Start Of It All
When I was in junior high, I tried out for the basketball team. I had to take a physical and it had to be done by the school’s doctor, not my own. I went in to do the physical and I had to get naked. The doctor saw that I had an inverted chest bone and said, “Wow. That is freakish. You can’t be on the team with that thing”.
I knew that my chest bone makes it look like I have a hole in my chest, but I had never been self-conscious about it until that moment. Because this examination was taking place in the boys’ locker room in front of other kids wanting to try out for the team too, everyone started laughing at me and calling me names. I grabbed my stuff and left.
My mother took me to our regular doctor who assured me that there was nothing wrong with me and that there are plenty of people who have chest bones just like mine. It didn’t help but I appreciated that she explained it to me. However, gym class was never the same again. I stopped taking off my shirt in front of others. I was harassed and bullied by my entire class for years to come because a doctor made a comment that he shouldn’t have made.
21. Reluctant Or Just Ignorant?
I went to the doctor with a very painful UTI. The doctor said that if I kept wearing skirts as short as I did in these temperatures, my “lady area” would obviously keep “suffering from a cold”. I needed to go home, change, and wrap a blanket around myself to warm it up. She reluctantly agreed to take a sample, which ended up showing blood and a lot of protein.
She prescribed me some antibiotics after much debate, then gave me the skankiest look as I walked out. I swear I’m not making it up.
22. Something’s Really Wrong
I messed up my hip a few years ago. I went to urgent care and they told me it was a strained lap band. I told this to my sister—an athletic trainer—and she told me to lie on my side with a pillow between my legs because that would help with the pain. It did not. In fact, it hurt so badly that every muscle I had was locked up. My husband had to push me onto my back.
I made an appointment Monday morning, and when I came in, I told the doctor what I was going through. She rolled her eyes. “It’s a strained lap band,” she told me. “You’re overthinking this. It will be fine if you rest”. I repeated the bit that my sister told me, and she basically implied my sister was out of her league in dealing with that type of injury. She said she was just making me paranoid.
I fought her on it a bit and she finally agreed to examine me. And let me tell you—I have no idea what she did, but whatever it was, it was not gentle and it hurt so bad that I actually yelled and started crying. Then she had the nerve to look at me and say, “Oh. That’s not your lap band”. Lady. I was so upset that I actually put in a complaint.
Turns out, I’d torn several connective tissues and chipped off a few pieces of the bone. I ended up on medical leave for almost four months. Yet, according to this doctor, I was just being a dramatic hypochondriac. Right.
23. The Quack Doctor
My mom never went full anti-vax, but she was very into holistic-type medicine and other nonsense. When I was in the fifth grade, I needed a vaccine for school so she sent me to some holistic place. The alleged doctor seemed like she was very nervous from the start of the appointment. She stuck the needle in my arm, and let out a quiet “Uh oh”. Then she collapsed to one knee on the ground.
The needle was still stuck in my arm, gently bouncing up and down. The “doctor” stood back up and apologized for almost passing out. She said she had never been given a vaccination before. I was kind of surprised I was still alive at that point, and I was curious about what was actually injected into my arm. I Googled the doctor later and she did have “MD” listed next to her name on her website, but now I’m suspicious that stood for “mock doctor” or something.
24. I’m NOT Crying Wolf
I had a period that lasted 20 days after a miscarriage. It wasn’t slowing down. I went to the doctor on the ninth day. He told me I wasn’t having a miscarriage. He was also standing in the hallway next to the waiting room and he yelled it at the top of his lungs before walking away. I went to another doctor on the 18th day. He told me to calm down and it would just magically stop. I was calm.
On the 20th day, I went to yet another doctor. This time, I was given medication to clot my blood. The period stopped on the 22nd day. I thought that would be the end of it, but it got worse. A month later, I had excruciating pain in my left ovary; so much pain that I’d puke and pain killers didn’t do anything. I went to the hospital 12 hours after the pain started.
The doctor there didn’t run any tests or ask me any questions. He never even conducted an examination. Then, he went on a rant about how women are hysterical and run to the emergency room for anything. Apparently, passing huge blood clots does not constitute an emergency.
25. Brushing It Off
I was given a condescending lecture on how I shouldn’t have come in if I just had a cold by both a doctor at a walk-in clinic and my general practitioner in a follow-up appointment the following week. I ended up getting rushed into resuscitation a few weeks later with a punctured lung that caused a one-way valve in my lung where air could escape into my chest cavity.
Because it was brushed off and not properly investigated, it caused a life-threatening condition called tension pneumothorax where the pressure that had built up over time on one side of my chest caused my lung to collapse completely and started crushing my heart. It also compressed the arteries, veins, and esophagus in my neck. Pretty serious stuff.
When they put a chest drain into my chest cavity, it literally sounded like it was deflating like a car tire puncture.
26. That’s Just Creepy
I apparently had to have my shirt and bra off in order for the doctor to conduct a proper exam. The doctor always gave me creepy vibes—for reference, he is in his early 50s and he has a wife. Anyway, one time, he told me that I needed to take off my shirt and bra, but he didn’t leave the room. Instead, he stood there and watched me. I actually had to ask him to turn around if he wasn’t going to leave the room.
Once my clothes were off and I was ready to be examined, he then proceeded to look only at my chest while talking and examining me. He also very subtly tried to feel them up in a very creepy way. I wanted to just get up and leave, but I was young and I didn’t know any better, so I stayed. After the exam, he was writing things down and he told me he loved the way my chest looked.
That was already bad enough, but then he took it too far—he also told me that if he wasn’t a married man, he would happily get intimate with me (he actually said it in a much more offensive way, but I feel uncomfortable sharing his exact words). He also proceeded to complain about his wife, saying he liked how my “youthful” chest looked so much more than how hers did.
Needless to say, I was out of there before the situation escalated and before could even hear a diagnosis. It seemed like he did more talking than actual diagnosing. Now, I go to a new, much younger female doctor, who I feel much more comfortable around. I didn’t even tell my parents about the experience because I didn’t know if I was overreacting.
27. At Least She Cares
I wasn’t feeling particularly well, so I went in to have my blood tested. The doctor was very professional, almost detached. “ Yeah, you look a little pale, is your heart rate normally this high? Well, we will look at the lab results and figure out what is going on”. He came back 10 minutes later, out of breath and in a panic. “Did you drive here?”
Yeah. “Well, you’re not driving out of here. If you can’t get a ride to a hospital (I was at a clinic) in 20 minutes, I’m sending you to one in an ambulance. Your hemoglobin is 6.2. You could have cancer!” Needless to say, I don’t remember much after hearing that. I do remember being really scared and shedding a tear in the parking lot waiting for my mom.
After getting a blood transfusion and about every test you can think of (in all the orifices), they found out I have a kind of anemia where I just have to take a B12 shot once a month. Much better than cancer. She is still my primary care doctor, despite her lack of calm at that moment, which some may see as unprofessional. I think she was just really concerned about me—she is amazing and she seems to care about my health more than any other doctor I have ever seen.
28. All In My Head
When I was 21, I dislocated my shoulder and it continued to hurt for weeks. I went to a specialist and he suggested that—get this—the pain was all in my head! After an MRI, he realized I had a SLAP tear in my shoulder, so I said, looks like it’s not all in my head. He looked at me with such contempt. I never went back to that incompetent jerk.
29. Third Time’s A Charm
I moved to a different country and soon after, my anxiety and depression started to feel unmanageable despite being happy. I moved to be with my now-husband, but adjusting to a new country and culture just seemed to be much more difficult than I thought. I started looking for a primary care doctor and made an appointment with one I found on Google.
As I started to explain what was going on, I ended up in tears. He seemed irritated and told me I should go out, get some sunlight, and exercise more. I was 5’9″ and was 130 lbs at the time. Later on, I broke down in front of my gynecologist, who decided to do blood work. She discovered I had a thyroid issue (which can cause anxiety). Over time, my thyroid got better, but things still felt off.
Four years and several doctors later, I was starting to self-medicate with alcohol and I took one last stab at getting some support. My new doctor assured me it was important that I take my mental health seriously. I was therefore referred to a therapist, who then referred me to a psychologist based on what I was sharing about my daily struggles.
It turns out I have been living with inattentive ADHD. I just started medication a week ago.
30. Take A Crack At It
I got into a car accident and I didn’t have insurance. My neck and shoulders slowly began to have audible cracking sounds with every movement. I got a job with benefits a few months later and while at the doctor’s, I was told: “Skinny people just crack more”. I looked my doctor in the eye and said, “I’ve been skinny my whole life, what the heck are you talking about”.
After that nonsense, I went to another doctor and found out I had microfractures on my spine, along with a snapping scapula and nerve damage. I’m pretty sure that first ortho was so used to dealing with old people that when he saw me, he thought I could just work out and make it better, unlike the old people he is used to dealing with.
Still, that guy didn’t even want to take any scans. I still have cracking issues two years later.
31. Too Far Gone
I have a very common birth defect called pectus excavatum that has been causing me issues since I was about 16. My sternum does not lay flat, it curves inwards, and puts pressure on my lungs, making it very difficult for me to do most cardio. Rescue inhalers also do not help because I don’t have asthma. I had a primary care physician, a nurse practitioner, and a geneticist tell me that I had a mild deformity in my chest wall.
I said okay every time. Then, I went to the ER for an unrelated issue and the MRI technician gave me a Haller index, which is a means of measuring the level of chest wall deformity. IIRC 0-2.5 is normal, 2.5-3.2 is mild, 3.2-3.8 is moderate and 3.9+ is severe. But my score was unbelievable. I have a 4.2. How do you mess up that bad?
32. Crossing The Line
I went to a new eye doctor in my early twenties. It looked like he dealt with a lot of elderly patients. Anyway, he wanted to give me a glaucoma test. Being young and very sensitive about my eyes, I refused, to which the doctor said, “Yes! OK, great, that’s fine”. Then he kissed me on the top of my head. I was incredibly uncomfortable. I didn’t know what to do.
Part of me wanted to get up and say, “Screw you,” and go somewhere else for glasses. The other part of me was like, “The exam’s almost done, just cope with it until the end”. I ended up finishing the exam. I regret not telling him to screw off. I never went back though.
33. Don’t Mess With Mother
When my dad was first diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, he was having trouble going to the bathroom. He called his urologist’s office and explained that he couldn’t go. Then, with a look of absolute disbelief, he turned to my mom and said, “The doctor’s laughing at me”. My mom’s always been the more even-tempered one out of the two of them.
She said when my dad first started his doctor’s appointments, she was going to be patient and keep her temper in check. She’s always had a pretty good disposition, but when she does get mad, you better pray it’s not directed towards you. She snatched the phone from my dad and asked the doctor what the heck was wrong with him, laughing at a stage 4 cancer patient.
Had he no shame? What kind of doctor was he? What kind of doctor would laugh at a stage 4 cancer patient? She hung up the phone in utter anger. The doctor immediately called back and apologized. My mom, however, wasn’t going to take some ingenuine apology. Nope. She verbally eviscerated the doctor again.
34. You Don’t Know How It Feels
“You shouldn’t be in pain. Just do more sports or something”. I have scoliosis and the pain I endure is horrible. I’ve tried to build muscle, but the pain just builds up daily. My curvature isn’t that much… it’s about 42 degrees and an S-shape (so there are three curves in my spine), and because I’m not visibility crooked or curvy, everyone just assumes I am normal and that I shouldn’t be in pain.
When my doctor said that, I wanted to just break down right there in front of her. It would have been better for her to tell me that the pain would never go away, rather than invalidate the pain I endure every day.
35. A Simple Fix
I had a headache for three months straight. Vertigo, nausea, fainting, the works. It took forever for them to find the problem. I told every doctor I saw that I have a hole in my eardrum and that I thought it was related to my symptoms. They all dismissed it. My MRI then showed all the bones in the side of my skull were infected, so we did a CT scan of my inner ear and found a cyst.
I went to the ear, nose, and throat doctor who told me that after three months of pain and finding nothing else wrong, the cyst would not cause a headache like this and only the right side of my head would hurt. I found a new ENT and had the cyst removed. What do you know, the headache went away.
36. Toughing It Out
I had a UTI for almost a year. Doctor after doctor, even female ones, ignored that something was even wrong with me. I was simply told what I was going through was “normal”. I even had one nurse even tell me that she had the same condition and she just let it pass, and then basically insinuated I was cheating on my husband. I didn’t even have a boyfriend at the time.
She insisted it would just go away. I had to look up my symptoms on the internet to even figure out I had a medical issue because I was getting no diagnoses from any doctor. The pain was so bad that some days I’d wake up crying, and on several days I had to wear pads because I was wetting myself. It wasn’t until almost a year later that a doctor I sat with was finally like, oh, take these supplements and this cream.
I did exactly what he told me to do and it went away in a couple of weeks. Luckily, nothing was wrong with my kidneys, but since then, I started to realize how often doctors dismiss women’s pain. It makes me not want to go to the doctor even when there are things wrong with me because I figure toughing it out is better than going in and being gaslit by people who call themselves medical professionals.
37. Your Incompetence Is Showing
“So what do you want me to do about it?” the doctor said when I told him about the right side of my body suddenly going completely numb. Turns out that two of my cervical vertebral discs had completely dried out and bone spurs on my vertebrae were crushing nerve roots in my neck. I needed surgery to replace the discs and grind down the spurs.
How the heck was I supposed to diagnose that myself?
38. Saving His Appetite
I went in to have my private area checked, but when I went into the doctor’s office, I was told they needed to reschedule because he didn’t want to look at someone’s private area before his lunch. I wouldn’t want to either, but it seemed immature and very unprofessional to me.
39. That’s Nerve-Wracking
A needle pricked my finger in the trash at the hotel where I worked. The manager took me to the hospital and explained it to the doctor. He began his response with “Even if that’s what really happened…” People lie about that kind of thing, so I understand, but it still caught me off guard. I had to take HIV medication for six months and have regular blood tests every two months. All clean.
40. Jumping To Conclusions
I went to a gynecologist when I was 19 because I once started bleeding and cramping up really badly in between my cycles. The only thing the doctor asked me was if I was active, which was fair, but I was abstinent for three months because my boyfriend was out of state at the time. Then she asked what my race was…I told her I’m Latina and she immediately chimed in with, “Oh okay, you’re probably pregnant, you guys get it on like bunnies”.
She did a pregnancy test on me and after it obviously came back negative, all she said was to come back if it happened again. That was all that had happened during that visit.
41. A Darwin Stan
When I was working with mentally and physically disabled children, we had this really sweet girl. She was around 10 years old and she had down syndrome, but she was one of the happiest human beings I had ever met. She became really sick (I don’t know what it was) and she was delivered to a hospital. When I visited her, she lost a lot of weight.
I asked the doctor why she didn’t receive artificial feeding. His answer sickened me: “A ‘normal’ person would get fed, but she isn’t for natural selection”. I was shocked and told the girl’s mother. She was just sad because it wasn’t the first time something like that happened.
42. The Stigma Is Real
I had back pain so severe that I couldn’t walk. I was even wheelchaired into urgent care. I didn’t ask for narcotics, nor would I have accepted if the doctor offered. But she saw my history and said, “You and I both know you can walk out of here”. I cried the entire way home. It was the first time I experienced stigma as an addict in recovery.
43. Doctor A or B?
Just last year, when I was diagnosed with brain cancer, the doctor walked into the room to chat about my diagnosis. The first thing out of his mouth was, “So I hear you’ve been talking to another doctor” with a passive-aggressive tone. Later that morning, we met with the other doctor who ran through the pros and cons of my perilous situation with us on our whiteboard.
After seeing the stark difference in professionalism, we immediately ditched Doctor A and went with Doctor B. I haven’t regretted that decision for one minute.
44. My Body, My Choice
My best friend went from an A cup to a DDD cup in about a year and she was having back problems. She went in for a consult for reduction and the doctor who was a female said she wouldn’t even consider doing surgery on someone that young. She was 19 at the time, and the doctor said any decision about her chest needed to include—get this—her future husband.
She wasn’t even dating anyone at the time.
45. Mind Your Manners
My son started passing out one time. We took him to the ER via ambulance. We thought he was choking on a cookie his aunt gave him. The doctor wanted us to visit a specialist just to make sure his brain was OK since he was shaking a lot during the episode. We went to the specialist and he was 90 minutes late. He came in, acted like a jerk, and signed off that our son was all good. Then he went a step further.
When we were leaving, his assistant apologized for the wait and the doc snapped: “DON’T APOLOGIZE TO THEM, I’m the doctor, they should wait for me and be happy that I showed up”. I kindly told the doctor to “screw off” and then went about my business, since I knew I’d never see him again. Be kind to your patients.
46. What An Idiot
“You are just stressed and also overweight. Get fit and go on some nice dates, you’re a young woman!” I had gone in with hair loss, broken fingernails, joint pain, brain fog, and sudden and unexplainable weight gain. It ended up being my thyroid, which needed one single blood test to diagnose. Fun plot twist: I only got the blood test after starving myself for months to get rid of the excess weight. The late diagnosis is still causing issues.
47. I Know How This Goes…
I went in because I thought I had a UTI. I had been on birth control for a while, so having to go do the whole “pee in a cup” thing wasn’t new to me, but I did have to give a sample at this appointment. No big deal, I knew the drill. The doctor, however, got really weird about it. He kept asking me if I knew how to give a sample or if I needed to know any details on how to do it.
Mind you, this was after I’d already handed over the sample, which he was aware of, and it was literally clockwork at that point that it was so easy and I knew I didn’t do it incorrectly. He kept pressing the whole “peeing in a cup” thing, and he said, “Do you ever get any on yourself? Do you get pee on yourself?” To this day, I swear it had to have been some sort of fetish of his or something because I was appalled.
One, no, I don’t have that issue, and two, why is he so interested in it?
48. Save My Life, Will Ya?
She tried to give me essential oils and told me to come back the next day while I was having a life-threatening allergic reaction. My throat was swelling up, I couldn’t breathe, my eyes were swollen shut and covered in puss, and my whole body felt like garbage. This was all after she had been advised by the ER to give me a shot if I came in with the reaction.
Her office is closer than the ER, so they told me to go to her next time instead of wasting that precious time driving myself all the way to the ER. In the end, I had to drive myself 45 minutes to the ER AND 10 minutes to her office, plus the time that was spent arguing with her to save my freaking life.
49. Benadryl-Denying Betsy
This is what a nurse told me after I requested a Benadryl for intense itching post-C-section: “I can’t give you anything for random itching. You are breastfeeding and it will cause drowsiness for you and the baby. You’ll have to suck it up”. She handed my son over to me from his crib and told me skin-on-skin was best. I was burning up and my son, while content, wasn’t latching or otherwise interested in eating.
She put the crib just far enough that I couldn’t move over to put him back. Every part of my skin burned like stinging nettles. 45 minutes later, I was covered in hives, crying from hormones, itching all over, and I really thought I was having an allergic reaction to something. My son was falling asleep on me while I was itching until my arms bled.
I rang my bell. A different nurse came in and said, “Oh good Lord, you are having a reaction to something! Poor thing, you look uncomfortable, let’s get you sorted out!” I asked her about breastfeeding and she was like, “The baby won’t starve and you won’t be feeling much if you’re scratching your chest off now, will ya?” She gave me Benadryl on my IV and a bit of extra pain medication.
I guess I had some weirdo immune response; not an actual reaction to anything like medication or whatnot. She took my son and dressed him all up in a couple of outfits that I brought (he was born on Hallowe’en) and she kept him up at the nurses’ station for about 90 minutes while I slept. When my husband came by later (he was taking my older son to my brother’s after grabbing him from daycare), the nurses were all taking turns holding my eight-hour-old son and I slept a solid three hours.
I felt like a million bucks. I didn’t see Benadryl-Denying Betsy again.
50. Indoor Voice, Please
I’m a fourth-year med student and last year during my surgery rotation, I had the utter misfortune of working with a jerk of a pediatric surgeon. He was notorious for being nasty to students and residents, but honestly, with all the horrible treatment I had been getting since starting my third year, I just brushed it off as normal. That is, until we went to see a six-year-old with lymphoma.
The kid obviously didn’t want to sit still for an exam because, hello, he was only six years old and in a boring hospital, no less! The surgeon got all huffy and left the room, shouting, “It doesn’t matter, he’ll be gone soon anyways!” The patient and his mother heard every word. The worst part is nothing was done about it because hospitals protect surgeons.
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