'I Know How You Got Pink Eye.' The Most Unprofessional Things Doctors Actually Said.

"First, do no harm." That's the beginning of the Hippocratic oath. So these docs were on shaky ground riiiiiiight out of the gate.


This piece is based on a Quora Question. Link on the last page.

1/11. When I was 19, I went to see a gynecologist at a local community clinic. During the exam, she noticed that I had stretch marks on my abdomen.

"Have you ever been pregnant?" she asked me, to which I replied, "No."

"Are you sure? Because you look like you have stretch marks, and stretch marks only come from pregnancy."

Any idiot knows that stretch marks dont always mean you are/were pregnant. Truth is, the stretch marks were from fluctuations in my weight. I left angry.

-Clare Romund

2/11. "I am in so much pain that I wish I was dead. I cannot eat, I cannot sleep and I need help," I told my dentist. One side of my face was broiling in pain.

"The problem is in your mind, nothing is wrong with you," said my dentist, as I wept in excruciating pain. "Im sure its just stress."

I begged. I pleaded. He told me I was overdramatic and sent me home, where I writhed in pain.

Happily, I babysat for a family where the dad was a dental surgeon as well. And when the pain got too bad, I called Dr. Levine and basically said I need help or he was going to need a new babysitter, since I couldnt live like this. Dr. Levine told me to come in first thing in the morning.

When I got into the chair, he took my hand (and I do not like being touched but I was almost limp with pain) and said "Elke, I swear to you, I will not allow you to leave until you are better."

And he kept his promise, and found an enormous cyst that my dentist had overlooked. He drained it, cleaned it and patched me up. He then called my dentist and shouted at him. Felt good.

-Elke Weiss

3/11. "We need to get you started on birth control," said Dr. B. the man whod delivered my baby, Jacob. (continued...)

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I really didnt want to see him again, since hed been rude during the hellacious delivery, which ended in a C section. But hed insisted I bring Jacob in for a one-week check-up.

"Why are you asking me about birth control?" I said. "I never asked you about that. I dont want to discuss that with you."

"I know about your birth control mistake," he said.

"What? What are you talking about?"

To my horror, he pointed at my beautiful little baby.

"My son is not a mistake!" I said. I was so angry. I scooped up my son, slammed the office door, and told the receptionist, "I am never coming back again. Your boss is a jerk." She was, by the way, his daughter. I felt pity for her.

That was the last time Dr. B and I ever crossed paths. When I saw his obituary in the newspaper, many years later, I had mixed feelings. Thats just the truth.

Im glad we are past the days when doctors talked to pregnant women and new moms as if they were dim-witted children.

-Candace Dempsey

4/11. Just 2 years ago, medical incompetence/mismanagement almost killed me.

I had a very severe sore throat and fever, which went away, but 3 days later, a gland in my neck swelled to point of being larger than a golf ball. The swelling happened very quickly, and I had a fever.

My regular doctor took several weeks to get me into his office, then sent me to a fancy ear, nose and throat specialist, in a very expensive office building 2 weeks later. The doctor looked at the swollen gland, and without conducting a single test or examination, stated I had cancer.

I immediately suspected that was incorrect, and asked if cancer normally gave you a fever of 104, and grew to this size within a couple of days. I also asked him if it could be an infected gland. He insisted I had cancer, and scheduled a biopsy for 5 weeks later.

During this time, I grew more and more sick, the swelling got worse, but he refused any treatment, only saying that I needed the biopsy. (continued...)

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I had the biopsy, which showed a severe infection. No cancer.

The doctor, (who was a surgeon) released me from the hospital with some antibiotics, and told me that I would need a specialized surgeon because This is very serious and life threatening, and it is sitting right on your carotid artery. The surgery is too risky for me to do, because my insurance costs would go up.

Wouldnt you think something so life-threatening would require immediate surgery? Evidently not. He told me he would get back to me with a referral, which took another 5 days to get to a head and neck surgeon. By the time I got to the surgeon, I was so sick and weak, that I was unable to stand. One particularly bad night, when I didnt think I would survive the night, I actually wrote goodbye letters to my family.

Luckily, the surgeon was wonderful, took one look at it, and immediately knew it was an infection, and stated that he couldnt believe I was still alive with such a severe infection that lasted so long. He admitted me to the hospital immediately, did the surgery the same day, removed the infection, and left the wound open to ensure no bacteria would be trapped in there.

In the end, I was on antibiotics for over 6 months, had a half-dollar size hole in my neck, and it took two years for my immune system to recover. Thanks, doctor.

-Kathy Hoffman

5/11. I was writhing in severe pain, after presenting multiple evenings in a row with severe stomach pains to the same (military) doctor, who kept sending me away with antacids, which I consumed in copious quantities as I wandered the corridors of the military barracks, sleepless and in pain. (Later I learned that I had acute ulcerative oesophagitis that would have been much less severe, had it been treated earlier.)

The doctor stood by my bed looking baffled and frustrated, and asked me, as if I were a major inconvenience to him:

"What do you want me to do about it?"

I managed to squeeze out, between grunts of pain: "I believe the traditional process is diagnosis, followed by treatment."

-Tracey Bryan

6/11. My biological mother's doctor was a quack, guilty of more malpractice in just a couple of years than I've seen over the rest of my lifetime thus far. (I used to work for a medical malpractice claims company, so I know whereof I speak.)

My mother made me go to this man; even as a young child, I knew he was experimenting on several of his patients because I overheard his conversations. (continued...)

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So, Doctor Quack has me in his office and I'm trying to make sure he doesn't touch me inappropriately as he regularly did to other young girls. I'm also doubled over in severe pain at that point, because of Crohn's Disease.

He looked me straight in the eye and said, "If you weren't so mean to your mother, you wouldn't be in pain. I'm not going to do anything for your pain because you don't deserve relief."

Mean? You've got to be kidding! I spent my first 17 years on this rock trying to take care of her, despite the abuses she heaped upon me.

-Cardinal Robbins

7/11. My husband is bald. There. I said it. (Actually its not embarrassing at all as I find his baldness attractive.)

But, his doctor did not.

He went in for his annual physical for work and the doctor prescribed him Minoxidil (without asking my husband if he wanted it).

Having worked in the pharmacy industry, I looked at my husbands prescriptions when he came home and asked him if he wanted to regrow his hair. He said no he just took what the doctor wrote him scripts for. (He has a tendency to over-prescribe.)

So that doctor just assumed that my husband had a problem with being bald.

Huge insult especially since I love his bald head.

-Tirena Schue

8/11. I once had a bad case of pink eye (conjunctivitis.) I suppose that during my period of discomfort I must have rubbed it into the other eye as well. So I would up with two blood-shot eyes that felt like they were full of grinding glass.

I phoned my boss half-way through my shift and told him I simply had to go to the emergency room. The wait was long because they had to prioritize some people ahead of me. Understandable. My case was not life-threatening.

As soon as I got into the emergency room the doctor gave me a baleful and accusatory glare, cocked his head and crossed his arms. "You know how people get pink eye, don't you?" he said. (continued...)

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Little children get this when they have been playing around in feces."

I am not often at a complete loss of words but this shocked me so badly that I had no good sarcastic comeback. Never having had any leanings whatsoever toward scatological proclivities, I doubted this had caused my problem. I also wash my hands after using the restroom.

"I can assure you that I do not play in feces," was about the only thing I could come up with.

"I'm sure you don't," he said, unconvinced.

-Timothy Singleton

9/11. I had just moved to a new town, so I was trying out a new doctor. He finishes with a young woman, shows her out of his office, looks around and calls me in. I get up and go in, hand out ready to shake and introduce myself, when he starts talking.

"I hope you're not here for an abortion like that girl who just left!"

Even if it was a joke (somehow I don't think so, but that's just a feeling), I was horrified that he would talk like that. I might not be all that shy or modest or even all that private, but I'd still be pissed as hell to know a doctor spoke of me, and identified me, as a patient to other patients.

I sent in a written complaint, and warned everyone I knew who might be looking for a doctor.

-Sarah Amalie Lerstrom Margolin

10/11. I'd gone to the doctor with terrible flu symptoms. I had a severe sore throat which had made my voice very hoarse, so I told the doctor about this.

"Oh yes I can tell... that's not your usual sexy voice, is it?" he said.

I just stared at him blankly, fully prepared to vomit on his shoes. But he wasn't finished. (continued...)

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Later in the appointment, he was printing off a renewed prescription for my contraceptive pill.

"Now how often do you forget to take the pill? I bet it's a lot." he said, with a smirk on his face.

Again, I stared at him blankly, not sure how the question was at all relevant. I'd been taking the pill, with no issues, for the last six years.

I told him I very rarely forget to take it. Because I'm a responsible, grown woman, who is quite within the realms of capability, to remember to take a pill every day.

-Katie Birtles

11/11. Gynecologist: So, why are you here today?

Me: I want to get birth control.

Gynecologist:(looks me up and down) Right Well I dont think you should take birth control pills. You are already overweight, and pills will make it worse.

Me: Okay But I want a fallback method of birth control. Pregnancy will definitely make me fatter.

Gynecologist: Hmm I dont know. You say you want an additional method besides condoms, but I dont want to give it to you because I dont beleve you will continue to use condoms.

Me: But I am telling you I will.

Gynecologist: Yeah, but it doesnt sound likely. Who is your boyfriend? How long have you known him? How did you meet him? What does he do for work?

-Danielle Rasa


"It wasn't me!"

There's not much you can do when the righteous fist of the law comes down on you. Call it a mix-up, or call it a mistake, if someone's pegged you at the scene of a crime there's not much you can do but trust the justice system to prove you innocent. However, that's a gamble, and just because you've been given a "not guilty" doesn't mean the effects won't follow you for the rest of your life.

Reddit user, u/danbrownskin, wanted to hear about the times when it wasn't you, seriously, it was someone else, when they asked:

Redditors who were once considered suspect of a crime they did not commit, what's it like being held under suspicion and how did it affect your life?

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