Unfortunately, people have had some pretty bad experiences with doctors, but it always blows my mind that people who go into medicine can act like total a**holes.
I guess I’m not alone. These AskReddit users shared the most unprofessional things that medical professionals ever said to them.
1. That’s nice
“I went for a dentist appointment and sat in the reclining chair. Dentist mentioned I have big size teeth. Female dental assistant quietly said ‘she also has big thighs’ …dentist shhh her. I was a timid teenager so I didn’t say anything.”
2. Hamming it up
“In second grade (age 7) I fell off the monkey bars at school and landed on my wrist. I could feel that something was seriously wrong, but the school nurse shrugged it off and sent me to class. I was forced to use the wrist (my writing hand) for the rest of the day. When my mom came to pick me up, the nurse told her I had been “hamming it up” all afternoon. Fortunately my parents have half a brain and saw that it was obviously broken. I had a cast for three months, and that nurse didn’t look me in the eye for the rest of my elementary school career.
Oh, and apparently the break was barely a centimeter from the growth plate. I came within a centimeter of having a seven-year-old’s hand for the rest of my life. Would have been a fun bar story, at least. (Edit: this probably would not have happened, but as a worst-case scenario, maybe.)”
3. Atta girl
“Doctor couldn’t get the speculum in. After a lot of pushing it finally, painfully slams inside me. The doctor was excited by his achievement and goes “Atta girl! That’s my champ!” The nurse looked at him in horror. I busted out laughing. He realizes almost immediately that was very weird and turns completely red and goes “I’m so sorry! I coach little league!””
4. Not pregnant
“In college I had to go to the ER because I kept throwing up a lot. A nurse came in and asked me some questions: when did it start, etc. Then she asks if my back hurt and I said it did a bit.
She grunted “ah ha!” like she knew exactly what was wrong. I was like “what is it?” She explained I was pregnant. I told her that actually wasn’t the case.
She said, “you can’t really KNOW that.”
Um, yes, I can. Because I actually know how babies are made.
(I eventually demanded they run a pregnancy test. Yeah, I wasn’t pregnant.)”
“My first pelvic exam for a yeast infection. Doctor refuses to do the pelvic because I had told her I was not and had never been sexually active. FINALLY convince her and she takes a look, comes up yelling about how I lied to her. My hymen was torn, ergo, I’d had sex.
And that’s the story of how I told a medical professional that hymens can tear thanks to many non-sexual situations.”
6. Just a flesh wound
“About 4 years ago I fell with a bottle in my hand and cut through all the tendens and nerves from my pinky to the middle finger. The cut was about 6cm long. Anyway I went to the doctor the next day, and after waiting for 2 hours in the lobby I went in to see him. He took 3 minutes to examine my hand before telling me to go home and rinse with water an antiseptic. I remember feeling elated by his calm demeanour and I thought the wound wasn’t too serious. I went home and did as he said.
A couple of days later I travelled back home to Switzerland (plane trip was very painful). I took the bandage off when I got home and showed my mum. She went completely ballistic since the wound had gone septic and my fingers were turning blue. I also had no movement or feeling in my pinky and its neighbour. She rushed me to the ER immediately where I received 23 stitches in my hand. The severed nerves had to be extended and tied together. The doctor told me I was extremely close to requiring an amputation of all three fingers.
I later complained to the hospital in Denmark about the doctor but I probably should have sued. He failed to tell me the severity of my wound (cut tendens and nerves) so I think that qualifies as being extremely unprofessional. To this day when I clench my fist, my pinky just points straight.”
7. This is insane
“Not to me, but someone I know went to an oncologist because they thought she might have cancer.
“I have good news, your test results are back and you do not have cancer. Congratulations.”
A week later she gets a call to schedule her first round of chemo. She says there must be some mistake, the doctor said I was cancer free. Lady on the phone gets real uncomfortable and says I have an order here from that doctor that you are to begin chemotherapy, so you better call his office to straighten this out. And perhaps contact a lawyer. She does and it turns out that all her charts showed she had cancer. The doctor knew it but simply lied about it because he didn’t like to deliver bad news. After investigating they discover several other patients who went through exactly the same ordeal. Her chemo and lawsuit are both pending.”
8. Not depressed
“I had a ‘Dr’ order the nurses to give me Elavil after I had specifically refused it. She was convinced that my symptoms were caused by ‘depression’ and ‘wanting to get it off work’ – yes, she actually said that to me. She prescribed Elavil saying that it helps with pain and “also it will help with your depression and you’ll see, everything will look brighter.” I refused, saying I wasn’t depressed, other than my frustration getting a diagnosis. I tried again to convince her that my pain and inability to hold anything down was not a mental/emotional issue.
About a week later I collapsed, ended up in the hospital and she told the nurses to give me Elavil via IV and not tell me. I almost immediately started having extreme tremors and what they called psuedo-parkinsonism. One of the nurses slipped up (or actually stepped up) and told me it was caused by the Elavil. I was furious as I had said I did not want to take it.
Later on after going home and several more weeks of constant vomiting, I ended up hypokalemic and completely paralyzed.
I was taken by ambulance to another hospital (not in my HMO) and it took them less than a week to find that I had a grapefruit sized tumor 80% infiltrated from my uterus into my abdominal wall. They sampled it and my lymph nodes and found I cancer with lymph involvement on both sides.
I underwent a hysterectomy/ oopherectomy (and my pain magically disappeared!) as well as radiation treatment.
To this day though, I have the twitching and tremors as a souvenir.
As a bonus she told me she had been convinced it wasn’t cancer because “cancer doesn’t hurt.” When I saw her again after the surgery I said something along the line of ‘Well I guess cancer does hurt after all!’ Her response was “Well it’s not the cancer that hurts, it’s the nerves it was compressing.”
I told her “In that case, step over here by the door and I’ll slam your hand in it. The door slamming won’t hurt, just the nerves the door compresses will!”
Sorry for the rant, it still makes me mad!”
9. She rolled her eyes?
“Two weeks ago, my IUD displaced, resulting in a trip to the ER. The attending nurse asked who the guy was with me (who had left to scope out the vending machine for some snacks) , and I replied that he was my boyfriend of nearly six years. Her response was ‘you’re 31, not married, and don’t have any kids? Who gave you an IUD?’ and rolled her eyes.
This was at a well-respected hospital in PA. The nurse was younger than I was.”
10. Not a good response
“In high school my mom set me up with a therapist because she thought all teenagers should have someone to talk to about teenage angsty shit. In the first meeting he asked about me and why I was there, and I said I was pretty normal. He scoffed and said “No you’re not, normal people don’t get sent to therapy.”
I never went back.”
11. Time to retire
“I had a diagnostic surgery last year after almost a decade of unbearable menstrual pain, which my doctors and I suspected was endometriosis. All of my symptoms matched. I had an ultrasound and a 5-6 cm ovarian cyst was found so the surgery was also to remove that. Once my obgyn/surgeon knew I had a cyst she wrote off the possibility of endometriosis, even though my symptoms started when I was 13 (I was 24 at the time).
After surgery I was told I didn’t have endometriosis and a cyst was removed from my left ovary. I was exhausted, out of it, and devastated to think my pain was something even harder to diagnose, but I thought the cyst was supposed to have been on the right ovary. I didn’t get a chance to speak to my surgeon until a month later because she was on vacation.
When my follow up finally happened, she confirmed no endometriosis right off the bat. Alright, but I thought my cyst was on the right ovary, not the left. She started explaining that it’s sometimes hard to tell which ovary is which while she goes through notes. “OH the cyst on the ultrasound was MUCH larger than the one we removed, the other one must have burst… also you do have endometriosis.” Then she told me that was the end of the appointment and left the room.
She retired shortly after and I have a much better doctor now, thank god.”
12. Too thin
“Changed doctors after 4 months of bring sick, nauseous every time I ate, stomach cramps, fullness… whole bunch of symptoms. Lost 15kg in the first 6 weeks, was now down at 45kg.
She looks at me and instantly goes off about how I cannot feel good if I am that thin.
I try to explain that that is my problem, I dont want to be thin, I have terrible pain and nausea when I eat!
But she us having none of it, ignores all I say and goes “I have seen a lot if anorexic girls I know what it looks like, stop putting your finger in your throat!” She got up and as I wanted to leave, then gives me a slap in the butt saying “just start to eat again!”
2 years later – today -, I have been diagnosed with 4 compression syndromes, MALS being among them and will have surgery for them in 5 days.
Kiss my boney *ss b*tch.”
13. Mean dentist
“When I was 12 my dentist told my parents—within earshot of me—that I had the worst overbite he’d ever seen. My father was in graduate school and couldn’t afford to get me braces. Over 20 years later, I’ve never forgotten it, and it’s the reason I rarely smile in photos.”
14. Mental health
“My first councillor that I went to see for my depression/anxiety when I was 12/13 was super cold and unsympathetic. She made me talk about things like my sexual orientation and suicidal thoughts in front of my parents even though I specifically requested that I wouldn’t have to. She she was very disbelieving of everything I said, pulled the “other people have it worse card” and was just generally very unhelpful.
I left her office in tears after every session. Obviously it wasn’t the most terrible thing that could have happened, but it really f*cked me up and when my parents tried to get me to go to a different therapist I had a panic attack so bad I landed myself in the ER. I was only 12 at the time, and that was my first experience with any mental health “professional”. I have no idea how she became a counselor, she was super cold and unkind.”
15. Good luck
“When I was first trying to get off heroin, I went to go see a doctor. I told him that I was a heroin addict and that I had just quit, he asked me how long I had been clean and I told him two weeks. *sshole literally laughed in my face, smirked, and said “Well, good luck”. I’ve been clean 15 years now, so the joke’s on him.”