Patients Reveal The Most Inappropriate Thing A Doctor Told Them
If you ever sense unprofessionalism from your doctor, make sure you switch to a new one! From misdiagnosing, to being completely inappropriate towards their patients, people share the most unethical thing a doctor has ever done or said.
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
I badly burned my hand in my college cafeteria and went to the campus health office. I showed the skin literally dripping off my hand begging for a cream or bandage or anything to ease the pain.
After making sure I wasn't allergic to anything they asked if I was sexually active. I wasn't but didn't see how it was relevant to my burned hand.
She then moved onto my current medications. I was on an asthma inhaler, ADD meds and birth control. She looked up at me with a smug grin and said "If you aren't sexually active, why are you on birth control?" as if she had caught me.
I yelled back in her face while clutching my blistered hand "IN CASE THE MOOD STRIKES ME. Now, if my sex life is out of the way can you fix my hand?
"Look I shouldn't do this but I'm going to call you later on this evening, and we'll discuss options off the book, it's my personal number so I would appreciate you kept it to yourself."
Highly unprofessional, hugely helpful. Best doctor I've ever met for sure.
It wasn't something he said as much as something he did. I came in for a suspected broken leg and he had a couple of residents with him. After the x-ray and having already found out my leg was indeed broken, he grabs my leg and looks to the residents and says "An old but reliable method for diagnosing a broken leg is to place a hand on the ankle, a hand on the knee, and place your knee in the center then pretend like you're trying to break a stick. If they yell, their leg is broken." He actually did it to me, three times, to "teach" these residents. I haven't been back to him since.
"Stop coming to me all the time. It is all in your head."
Well, he wasn't wrong, it's all in my head. That's why another professional and good doctor sent me to a psychiatrist when they confirmed that my digestive system is perfectly fine, all the pain and discomfort I felt might be due to one mental illness…
One of the doctors in military recruitment post (military service in Russia is mandatory by the way, that's important). She looks at me and says something like "ok, you're fine," and writes down in my file that I'm healthy. I'm like "Excuse me, ma'am, I recall having pretty visible scoliosis for my entire life. You may want to consider checking my previous check record from two years ago in the same file you're holding." To which she replies "Oh? Well, it's seems to be gone now (!). This is usual when teenagers grow up (!!!)."
Russian recruitment posts are truly miraculous places - hundreds of thousands of diseases were cured there in just one or two health checks.
When I was about 14 my doctor thought that I was a little too snarky, and before she walked out of the room, while I was lying face down on the sheet, she playfully smacked my butt with her clipboard and said "too tempting." I don't personally care at all that she did this. It doesn't bother me, and I'm not putting any thought into it, but even though I don't care, I'm aware of how other people would feel about that sort of thing, so still see it as a really bad idea to do that.
I saw my doctor for a routine checkup. I went back a couple weeks later for something else, can't remember. In that time, I was going through a bad breakup and not eating or sleeping much. I lost around 20 pounds in just a couple of weeks. I looked horrible - bags around my eyes, bedraggled, just horrible. Like someone who didn't care anymore.
After they weighed me, my doctor congratulated me on my weight loss (instead of questioning why her patient lost such an extreme amount of weight in a short amount of time). When I told her I was stressed out from a breakup and couldn't eat anything without throwing up, she said "well, whatever works!"
That was the last time I saw her. If I had an eating disorder or something, that probably would've killed me. I didn't even need to lose 20 pounds, and if I did, no doctor should applaud depression and stress as a good weight loss routine.
When I was a young teenager I had a lot of problems with ovarian cysts and had several surgeries to remove them. I woke one night with severe pain and was taken to the ER, where an unfamiliar doctor performed an ultrasound to see what was going on. He was gruff and cold toward me. I was already understandably nervous and afraid and feeling vulnerable, when he jabbed down on my abdomen with the ultrasound device and remarked loudly "and HERE we see the scars from your ABORTION," in a very judgemental tone. I had never had an abortion, and I was just in shock, and sort of just laid there silently crying, too afraid to say anything. I wish I would have had the guts to say something at the time. To think that this man was dealing with vulnerable, scared young woman, the mistakes he must have made and things he must have said to other girls. Just sort of breaks my heart.
I had just turned 15 and was getting a throat swab. This male doctor noticed that I had lost my gag reflex, told me not to worry because it would come in handy in the future for "certain adult activities." I looked confused so he repeated himself with more of an emphasis on "adult." No, I wasn't confused about what you were implying you idiot, I was confused about what made you think it was a good idea to say that.
Had known the doctor for years and never said or did anything creepy before or since, so I let it slide.
Not me, but overheard by my Mom who is now 90. She had pneumonia when she was 12 and was in the hospital at the Mayo clinic since she lived near there. One morning she hears Dr. Mayo outside her room ask the nurse, "Oh, is she still alive?
Nurse, not a doctor, but same deal.
Condom broke when I was 16, so I took the morning after pill and was not expecting the effects it had (essentially induced a period that was really strange and painful). I was worried so I called my mom and we went to the clinic.
Nurse tells me this is normal, to be expected, etc. But she asked about my sexual activity and I said I had a boyfriend and was on the pill but used condoms because there's no way I'm getting pregnant at 16.
She said "why are you using condoms anyways? you're on the pill, you're in a relationship, it'll be fine."
I was raised by parents who are very open and we had multiple talks about protection, STDs, all that fun stuff. So I knew I was just being extra safe. Plus, what 16-year-old takes their pills perfectly?! I was absolutely shocked she thought it was a good idea to tell a 16-year-old condoms weren't necessary.
Audiologist told me I "just thought" I was losing my hearing because I "hang around too many Deaf people," and that I need counseling.
I have meniere's disease, verified by actual doctors.
This was my roommate who had Crohn's
My roommate was in a lot of pain from Crohn's. She called her doctor and asked if they could do pain meds. To which, the doctor immediately says no and insinuates that shes just trying to get high. Even though Crohn's is a very painful disease. Not to mention, she has been expressing the meds she was on felt like they were working less and less with each frequent appointment she had which said doctored ignored. From that, she contacted the doctors supervisor. The doctor got punished. I cant remember to what extent, but my friend was pushed to a new doctor and given pain pills. Shortly after, she started going to a new hospital.
Dentist basically asked to kiss me.
I hadn't shaved in a while, was letting my moustache grow out a bit. After getting my teeth cleaned by the hygienist, the dentist comes in to check. He notices the facial hair, which I normally don't have, and asks if it tickles my wife when I kiss her. I said,"Actually, my wife says it tickles her lips." His response was, "I'd like to find out myself." Dead silence for a few minutes. The assistant looks shocked and embarrassed. I say, "well that's inappropriate," but kind of laugh it off. My two kids were present as well, they were 7 and 9 at the time.
"Well, we could take care of it but I want you to use your cervix first."
I have precancerous cells in my cervix that have been present for a while, but the procedure for nipping them in the bud can sometimes cause a higher risk for miscarriage or premature birth IF I ever got pregnant.
I don't know about you, but I'd rather not run the risk of cervical cancer if I couldn't breed. (If of course, I wanted children).
This happened yesterday and I'm still furious about it.
When I was in middle school I was getting sick everyday coming home from school to vomit for hours go to sleep and repeat. This went on for about a week or so before I finally went to my doctor. Upon getting there the ONLY thing my doctor did was put that ear scope thingy in my ear for a few seconds. He then asked if I was telling the truth and told my mom I was faking it to get out of school. A few days later we found the cause, the underside of my bed was covered in mold. Luckily we found it when we did there's no telling how sick I could have gotten! I have hated my family doctor ever since and refuse to go back to him.
Dentist lied to me about the stuff she was going to do and that it wouldn't hurt. After I sat in that chair crying and after a few appointments she joked about that I better not open any beer bottles with my new tooth (I wasn't even drinking age). Following the first appointment I used to have nightmares about all my teeth falling out so you can imagine my horror when my new tooth fell out while I was chewing gum in class.
Not a doctor, but a nurse.
Went to the doctor's office because I thought I had ring worm (turns out it was an eczema thing that looks identical to ring worm), but it was freaking me out, as I have OCD and is really triggered by contagious things.
Long story short, I walk into the office, and tell the nurse "I think I might have ring worm."
She doesnt put on gloves, or anything, just looks at my leg where the spot was and goes "Oh, EWW that is definitely ring worm, I am not going to touch you. It is extremely contagious..."
I was pissed. LADY, I KNOW! YOU ARE A NURSE, DONT GO EWW I'M NOT TOUCHING YOU!
20 years ago (yes, I'm old), I woke up one morning and was completely deaf in my left ear. I tried to get out of bed and had vertigo so bad that I fell and couldn't get back up. I had to be almost carried to the hospital by my then girlfriend.
I go through a barrage of tests and am hit with the news that they don't have a reason for my sudden deafness and chances are it will never come back (it hasn't). The doctor tells me that there's no guarantee that the other ear won't follow suit and I could end up completely deaf at some point in my life.
I'm sitting on the exam table, distraught, taking all this in and he says after a long pause..... "well, at least you're not blind!" and walks out.
I had a blighted ovum and scheduled a D&C. The nurses outside of my room were talking about how "no one ever goes for the surgery, I must really not want kids." I yelled out the door that there was no baby and that I would die without surgery. They popped in and said "we know that's how women like you like to think of it, but every pregnancy is a life." So I told them to look at my ultrasounds and show me the baby.
They looked, stopped talking, and left.
I had a very prominent mole on my nose and I always hated it. At about 10 years old, I went to the hospital for an ear infection and the doctor started telling my mom about how I should "get that thing on her nose removed before she gets to highschool when kids start dating."
It was removed a year or so after because it started changing color, but ouch.
I used to have pretty bad cystic acne. It's actually cleared up amazingly well in the past five years or so and I don't even really have any scarring, but there was a point in time where it was very noticeable.
I went to a walk in clinic for something unrelated (sinus infection, I think,) and the doctor started commenting on my skin. Fair enough, you're a doctor and want to help, even though that's not why I'm here. He thought the most appropriate way to discuss it was to tell me I'm super gorgeous and what a shame it is that my skin is so bad, and have I ever considered taking XYZ drug (Accutane, probably) because it would be an EXTRA shame if I ended up with scarring on my beautiful face. It was a really weird experience... doctor-bro trying to get me into taking a prescription. I declined to take the meds and eventually the issue resolved on its own, but that always stuck with me.
When I was diagnosed with lymphoma, I went back after my PET scan to see what stage I was. The resident or sort of "assistant" gave me the results. It had to be one of her first times, and I still cant grasp her thought process as a medical professional...
She said "well you are stage 3 or 4, I'll go get the results," and proceeded to leave for about 10 minutes.
I had to Google on my phone with my parents while waiting to understand that I wasn't going to die and that stage 3-4 Hodgkin's lymphoma was actually quite treatable. Turns out it was stage 4, which after she came back she told us still meant 80-90%.
Don't tell a patient they might have stage 3 - 4 cancer, explain nothing and leave while you go "confirm." We still talk about it with my parents at times and how ridiculous it was. I will give her credit where its due, I saw that resident again 6 months later and she was much better, but I will still never forget that feeling and 10 minutes scrambling on my phone for statistics about my own "survival" chances.
This one was pretty recent. I went in because I was having some discomfort down below and wanted to get checked out. There was nothing visibly out of the ordinary and all of the normal STD tests came back negative, so I wasn't sure what was up.
The doctor's response to this was, "it's probably herpes, then."
Probably herpes isn't something that I was content with accepting, so I asked if there was a test he could run to verify his diagnosis. His response to this question blew me away.
He looked at me, dumbfounded, and asked, "Why would you want that? What would you actually do with that information?"
I explained that, if I do have herpes, I want to know so that I can be aware of outbreaks and warn future partners. He said that was "very noble" of me and that he would run the tests if I really wanted him to.
I asked him why he didn't think it necessary to run the tests in the first place if he seriously believed that I had a highly contagious STI and he explained that "so many people have herpes that we just kind of accept it. Most people don't want to know that they have herpes, so we just don't test for it unless they specifically request it."
Safe to say I switched doctors…
Once during a pap smear, in a new office, my family doctor mentioned that the new office is much smaller and they can't install stirrups on the medical table so he asked me to put my hands on my thighs and pull my legs apart.
Seperately, at that same pap smear, he made sure to check his email and let me know that his Ferrari is ready for pick up from the shop today.
This same doctor was the GP for my mother, and both of my grandparents. My mother mentioned in a meeting that my grandfather was dangerous on the road and is losing his vision. At my grandfather's next appointment, the doctor outed my mother and said "Your daughter told me that you've been having some troubles on the road lately." This was the onset of my grandfather's dementia. Fast forward a few months: grandfather fails road test and gets license revoked.
Grandfather's dementia gets worse. All he remembers is the catalyst moment of my mom being a tattletale and all of the kids taking his license away from him. We are all selfish monsters, and the doctor has created a situation that could have been neutral but instead he threw the confidentiality policy out the window and outed my mother. This is the topic of conversation every time we see him.
I don't go to this doctor anymore.
I was getting braces and had my mouth open. The orthodontist said "I'm sure the boys love you." I was only 13 and it freaked me out because I was alone in the office with him.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.