50 People Share The Most Unprofessional And Disgusting Things A Doctor Has Told Them
If there’s one place we expect to feel safe in this confusing world, it’s definitely the doctor’s office. We step foot through the door with concerns and thoughts ruminating in our heads for days, hoping to find some comfort in their words. But as it turns out, that’s not always what we get.
You see, while becoming a doctor takes enormous amounts of grueling hard work, talent, and knowledge, not everyone in the field has a sympathetic bedside manner. One Redditor who goes by the handle MCKlassik decided to find out about off-putting experiences people lived through at their most vulnerable. They reached out to members of the Ask Reddit community and raised the question: “What’s the most unprofessional thing a doctor has ever said to you?”
Thousands of people came forward to share their blood-boiling stories that might rev up your heart rate. We at Bored Panda have collected the most illuminating replies that prove some medical professionals are completely out of touch and aloof when interacting with their patients. So continue scrolling and let us know what you think about them in the comments.
Wasn’t a doctor but a nurse. While taking my history she asked if I was on any medication. I told her birth control & an anti-depressant. She looked at me and said “You’re so young, what do you have to be depressed about?” I thought about it and realized I had nothing to be depressed about and was cured! Thanks random nurse! /s
"You weren't sexually abused, that doesn't happen to boys."
"A little back pain is normal. You should learn to live with it." Later: "It's probably mental", and when I tried to kill myself: "You're psychotic". Four decades and numerous passed mental examinations later i was finally diagnosed.
I had a slipped disk.
We managed to get in touch with the creator of this thread, Redditor MCKlassik, who was kind enough to have a little chat with us. The user revealed they got the idea to post this question and start a discussion on Ask Reddit after their friends started sharing their own unfortunate experiences with medical professionals. “[I] wanted to see if other people have similar stories,” they told Bored Panda.
However, the user did not expect the thread to blow up as much as it did. As of today, the user’s post has amassed nearly 30K upvotes with more than 19K commenters opening up about the inappropriate doctors they ever had the “pleasure” to deal with.
“In terms of going viral, Ask Reddit is hit or miss because so many people post questions every day in hopes of making it to the top. I understand where they’re coming from because Ask Reddit is one of the biggest subreddits on the platform. So I was quite surprised that my post just happened to stand out enough for people to give their stories and to respond to others,” MCKlassik said.
Went in for a lung infection. Was told that my asthma was caused by my breasts being “too big” and they were crushing my lungs and that’s the cause of asthma in women.
…. I asked what online university he got his MD from and if he could get a refund and left to go to a different clinic.
I was in the ER in the last few years, and the subject of my weight came up. I've struggled with my weight my entire life.
ER doctor: "Have you tried pushaways?"
Me: "What are those?"
ER doctor: "When you push away from the table. HAHAHAHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA."
He thought it was the most hilarious thing any person has ever said. I can assure you it was not.
A nurse, after I requested a Benadryl for intense itching after a c-section: "I can't give you anything for random itching. You are breastfeeding and it will cause drowsiness for you and baby. You'll have to suck it up." She handed me my son from his crib-thing 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 enough 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 and my pain levels and 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 says "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's like "Baby won't starve and you won't be feeling much like feeding if you're scratching your breasts off, now will ya?"
She gave me Benadryl in 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 outfits I brought (he was born on Hallowe'en) and kept him up at the nurses station for about 90 minutes while I slept. When my husband came up later (he was taking my older son to my brother's after grabbing him from daycare) the nurses were all taking turns holding my 8 hour-old son and I slept a solid 3 hours. I felt like a million bucks.
Didn't see Benadryl-Denying Betsy again. B***h.
This thread serves as proof that some doctors can seriously cross the line, whether intentionally or not, with what they tell their patients. However, it’s important to remember that many people in the medical field are amazing at their jobs and deserve countless awards for taking care of someone else’s life. It’s reassuring to know that many doctors take extra steps to make sure our physical health and our state of being would be in a good place. MCKlassik believes that when doctors are unprofessional, they don’t do it intentionally. “Sometimes the phrase or action just slips out,” they said.
“Quite frankly, I’m not surprised that doctors can be unprofessional because doctors are human, meaning they’re not perfect,” the user added. “Sometimes a doctor’s negative emotions and comments are brought into their workday due to potential personal issues and let it impact their performance.”
“I MUST examine you internally. Don’t be a wuss” (This GP was 6”6 and built like Goliath)
At my 6 week post partum check up after a 4th degree tear. And a letter from the surgeon saying “do not examine the patient”
I was 20 and ‘let” him, crying the whole time.
“Nope, I can’t feel any lump”
I was convinced I felt a lump in my testicles. The doctor couldn’t feel it. Ended up taking way longer than acceptable to get an ultra sound (roughly 6 weeks).
And yes, it turned out to be cancer.
I’m all good now but that was BS.
Edit -due to the attention this is getting I added some info about testicular cancer below:
Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer for men aged 20-35. It’s also **the most treatable form of cancer** nowadays so don’t panic if you feel a lump.
The lump itself felt like a small bb inside my testicle. Hardly noticeable. The consistency was hard and it didn’t give at all when pressed. Usually there is no pain accompanied with the tumor. I could feel it when holding my ball between my thumb and forefinger.
I should also add 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.
I was looking for a surgeon for my gallstone operation and he asked what meds I was on. I mentioned my antidepressants and he started saying I didn't need to take them I just needed to pray. I was pissed and replied "I guess I'll just pray my gallstones away too then". Needless to say, I went with a different surgeon.
But when patients hear highly inappropriate and extremely ignorant comments from professionals who take care of one of the most important things in their life — their health — it can easily make them feel distraught. Without trust, you have nothing, as they say. So no wonder many people turn to other doctors after living through these uncomfortable experiences, hoping to get better treatment.
We want our physicians to be personal, caring, and understanding. We wish to receive sympathetic smiles and authentic human connection. But it turns out that empathy has been significantly lacking in medicine recently. Over the past few decades, many doctors have developed a reputation for being cold.
“It’s your fault, know better next time.” This was in response to learning I was raped while drunk. She said I shouldn’t drink around friends I don’t know for positive I can trust too. Also, “You should’ve protected your virginity better. I’ve only slept with one man.”
It wasn't what was said, but I did have 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, "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.
“Your child will never learn to read”. Said by “the best developmental doctor” at a very well known hospital about my then four year old son with Down Syndrome. This was in 2001:not 1901. After a very one sided conversation on my part that channeled Cher from the movie Mask, the doctor left the room and I was then escorted out by security. Parents believe these “professionals” and don’t expect much from their kids as a result. William is 24, reading on a 5-6 th grade level (we had a goal of 4th grade as that’s what a newspaper is geared to) and lives in his own.
More and more patients are coming into contact with medical professionals who treat them more like objects rather than humans. Chris Lovejoy, a physician-in-training at St. George’s Hospital in London, told Quartz that one of the reasons behind it could be that they simply don’t have time to show empathy at work. “Quite easily in medicine, time pressure becomes just another excuse to avoid difficult conversations,” he said.
But while we can sometimes justify their impersonal treatment as an obvious symptom of receiving better expertise and correct diagnosis, compassion is essential in medicine. “Empathy is, and always has been, a core part of medical practice,” Lovejoy added. “I remember a psychiatrist at medical school who would always say ‘the first thing you prescribe to a patient is yourself.‘” We can just hope that we will see more prescriptions of good bedside manner and basic human decency to avoid breaking patients’ trust in the future.
This wasn’t a doctor, but 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 gasps when she sees it, says “How ugly! What could have ever made you do that to yourself?” and stood there waiting expecting an answer. Her tone was not of genuine concern, but was sort of disgust. I told her it’s private and asked if we could just start the blood draw, and 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, tears were in my eyes, and 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, and left 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.
I had developed DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) as a result of being bad at having type 1 combined with a severe stomach bug. I hadn’t eaten in days and was having horrible diarrhea. When I was getting treated in the ICU, I had an accident and s**t the bed- I wasn’t allowed to get up on my own and no one was answering the nurse call button (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.
i went to the doctors' to get my breasts checked (he basically just held and caressed them in a manner he wouldn't have had a chance to feel anything potentially dangerous) and due to them causing me a lot of physical pain i asked him about my options regarding breast reduction surgery. he got visibly angry and told me to never even think about it, and called them "beautiful and tender". he was well in his 50s and i was 18-19. i paid like 50 dollars for master roshi to ignore my health issues and make me find another doctor who actually wanted to help people
I was 17 and had 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 doctorexamined me and told me I had something called Fibrocystic Disease. He said hormones make it worse. Since I was on oral 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. No explanation of what Firbrocystic Disease was, no further instructions for care.
I waited about 20 minutes for someone to come back and then I just got dressed, including putting on my winter coat and waited. Fifteen minutes later a nurse comes in, looks at me and says "You can get dressed now."
I said, "I AM dressed."
She looked at me again and 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 really couldn't tell how bad it was or what I should do.
Ended up going to a different gynecologist. I didn't have Fibrcystic Disease, I had fibrous breast tissue. I ended up having that lump removed because it caused so much pain. Haven't had any lumps since or any pain.
That first doctor can go f**k himself.
Oh yeah, and my mother, who is the one who put me on birth control, said the doctor was right, I shouldn't be on it. Nothing like feeling cared for and supported by your parents and doctor.
When I was in junior high, I went out for the basketball team. I had to take a physical and it had to be done by the school's doctor and not my own. I went in to do the physical and had to get naked. I did so and the doctor looked me over. He saw that I have an inverted breast bone and said "Wow. That is freakish. You can't be on the team with that." I know that my breast bone makes it look like I have a whole in my chest, but I had never been self-conscious about until that moment. Because this examination was taking place in the boys' locker room in front of other kids wanting to go out for the team too, everyone started laughing at me and calling me names. I grabbed my s**t and left. My mother took me to our regular doctor who reassured me that there was nothing wrong with me and that there are plenty of people who have breast bones just like mine. It didn't help but I appreciated that she explained it to me. I stopped taking off my shirt in front of others. I was harassed and bullied by my entire classic for years to come because a doctor made an comment that he shouldn't have made.
Unprofessional, but funny.
I had taken my 92 year old mother to a recheck appointment to her PCP.
An apparently 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?"
Edit: changed PPP to PCP.
When I was 21 I dislocated my shoulder and it continued to hurt for weeks. Went to a specialist, he suggested 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, and he looked at me with such contempt, I never went back to that a*****e.
I had a 20+ day period two months after a miscarriage. It wasn’t slowing down. I went to a dr at 9 days. He told me I wasn’t having a miscarriage. He was also standing in the hallway next to the waiting room and yelled it it it the room I was in before walking away.
I went to another dr on day 18. He told me to calm down and it will stop. I was calm.
Went to another dr on day 20. He gave me medication to clot my blood. It stopped on day 22.
A month later I had excruciating pain in my left ovary. So much pain I’d puke and pain killers didn’t touch it. I went to the hospital 12 hours after the pain started. The dr there didn’t run any tests or even touch me or ask me any questions. Then he went on a rant about how women are hysterical and run to the emergency room for anything. Like soaking a pad in an hour or passing huge blood clots. Which are things we are told to do by drs.
“Why do you want an AIDS test? Are you sleeping with men? AIDS is a gay disease.”
That was my last appointment with that GP
Goes in for severe cramping on my side, Find blood in my urine “you’re just on your period” I try telling him “I’ve been off of it for awhile now and these are not what cramps feel like.. even bad ones” he insist I’m on my period and sends me home, I had gallstones
A doctor put a fetal heart Doppler on my pregnant belly, moves it around a bit and says…”it’s dead.” When I said through tears, what?!! He just casually replied, the Doppler wasn’t working.
Pediatrician looked at our toddler, standing with a swayback (lordosis) posture, then without considering anything else turned to my wife and said, "she stands like that because you baby her too much."
That was only our first clue that the doctor was a f*****g moron.
My mum had some symptoms that resulted in a scan of her brain. It sort of looked like she might have a tumor or water on the brain or something.
When giving her the results the doctor said, "Maybe this is God's way of saying it's time."
My Mum, who was in her 50s at the time, went absolutely off on them - God has nothing to do with this etc.
Turns out she was fine. Symptoms were related to something else, and the ambiguous scan results could have been machine or human error.
I had been starving myself for years, had no period, and a BMI of 16.46.
I finally broke down, swallowed my pride, and saw a doctor. She told me I looked fine.
I’d been having acute elbow pain for a while. The doc walks in and just goes “you should cut out all dairy”, without any sort of diagnosis. Then says to cut out all dairy products and lists milk, cheese and eggs. I told him eggs were not dairy. He insisted that they were.
Not to me, but about me. I went to see the family doctor over a minor thing. I was an adult at the time, and didn't tell my parents because they freak out about anything medical-related. My mother went to see him a few weeks later and he told her I'd been to see him. I was so f*****g angry.
I messed up my hip a few years ago. 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 and that would help with the pain. It did not. In fact, it hurt so badly that every muscle I had locked up. My husband has to push me onto my back.
Made an appointment Monday morning. When I came in I told the doctor the above, and 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 about what my sister told me, and she basically implied my sister was out of her league in dealing with injury and that she’s just making me paranoid.
I fought her on it a bit and finally she 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 I actually yelled and started crying. Then she had the nerve to look at me and say “Oh. That’s not your lap band.” No f’in s**t, lady. And then she wanted to immediately get back into examining me. I was so pissed 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. (Worked retail) But I was being a hypochondriac, y’all.
I think it is unprofessional to lie to people's faces, but what do I know.
For Context, this takes place in Germany.
My Grandfather in Law has severe Dementia. He lived alone but my MiL and me visited him 3 times a day to make sure he eats and takes his meds and keep him company.
A few weeks ago, he couldn't get up in the morning, said his hip hurt. So, my MiL drives him to the Hospital, but because of Covid she isn't allowed in the ER. So this demented old man sits in the ER for 4 Hours and guess what he told the doctor when he asked him what was wrong? "I don't know"
Of course he doesn't. He sat down, right now his hip doesn't hurt so much, he has _no Idea why he is there_ .
So, the Doctor calls my MiL and tells her he's fine and can go home. My MiL was sceptical so she asked _point blank_ "Can he move? Can he go to the toilet alone?"
And what did the Doctor tell her all _three times _ She asked to make sure? "Yeah, he's fine."
He then proceeds to load my GiL up with to Guys to _carry him into the house in a special chair because he cannot manage to walk even that little piece alone_
All of this transpired on a Friday, and we proceeded to spent the Weekand at his place to look after him and help him to the toilet, for instance. On Monday we brought him back in the ER and guess What?
No really guess what was wrong with him.
_He had broken his Hip_ . This man walked around _3 Days_ with a Handcart with a _broken Hip_
But, sure. He's fine.
I went in to the doctors with a very painful UTI. Doctor said if I wear a skirt as short as I did in these temperatures theres no wonder my “lady area is suffering from a cold”. I needed to go home, change and wrap a blanket around myself to warm it up. She reluctantly agreed to do a urine sample; which showed up blood and a lot of protein. Gave me some antibiotics after much debate and gave me the skankiest look as I walked out.
I swear I’m not making it up.
A doctor once examined me for a genital area irritation. He sent away samples for tests. While waiting a few days for the results to come back, he told me I had Herpes. I had been with my wife 10 years at that point. Imagine the next few days where we go off on each other for giving the other one Herpes. Imagine the strain that puts on a marriage with all the implications/accusations of being unfaithful, deceitful, etc... the anger, the hurt, the emotional damage, the betrayal.
I had a bladder infection.
I was weirdly sick for days, so went to a walk in clinic. After a couple tests the doctor walks in and says: who manages your diabetes? I reply: Wait, I have diabetes?
She rolls her eyes at me and says: well, you're in your thirties, this is what happens when you get old. Don't worry, the diabetes will take about 30 years to kill you. That's not bad for a man.
My 6 month old son had an appt. with a developmental ped. I was clueless but they kept doing all these physical tests, can he put a raisin in a jar, etc. I asked multiple times, what are you looking for with these tests?? She said, oh we're just seeing where he's at so we can track his growth.
I went home and googled it - cerebral palsy. He has cerebral palsy and I had to find out on Google b/c the a*****e doctor would not tell to my face.
He's 12 now and I'm still fuming at the doctor.
"Don't you think you scare men away with your look?" Gesturing to my piercings and alt style.
Meaning maybe I should tone it down to get me a good man?
I was there beacuse of depression and undiagnosed bipolar disorder.
Went in for a UTI and was chastised for being sexually active (and we were trying to get pregnant )at 30 with my husband of 10 years because I “looked young”. Was then sent home with antibiotics only to find out after I finished the round of pills that I was indeed pregnant. Never went back again. Baby was healthy.
"You're not depressed, you don't look sad. You must just be tired!
Here, take these sleeping pills, but don't take them all at once!"
"I honestly don't know what to do with you" - My psychologist at a mental health clinic on an airforce base, who proceeded to never schedule a follow up appointment again.
I was 19 and diagnosed with clinical depression. Dude had a PhD in what to do with me. If he couldn't handle me breaking under the stress of college then I really wonder what the hell he tells veterans.
When I was 13, I started the birth control pill for my acne. I was not "active" but this new pediatrician kept asking me over and over if I had a boyfriend and I kept saying no because I didn't. And then she was like "you have a boyfriend" and gave me a look and turned back to her computer. Super frustrating and embarrassing to go through as a literal child.
>Heart surgery is an out-patient procedure
My insurance companies board certified doctor on justifying why no intensive care or recovery would be authorized.
In the end, at least on paper my unconscious a*s, with multiple chest drain plugs and on oxygen had to be wheeled out onto the curb, then wheeled into ER and readmitted on account of being in critical condition after heart surgery.
Blue Cross really upped the ante on bullying me into dying instead of going though the bother of trying to live without bankrupting myself.
After an appendectomy I had a follow up. Instead of inspecting the incisions on the table like normal, he grabbed my hips and looked down my pants. He said "everything looks really good.... especially that bottom one" then winked at me. The bottom one is just above my genitals. Turns out the top two were infected.
"With your pale skin and blue eyes you could be s poster child for the aryan race"
Yeah I didn't go back there
Had a bad head injury when I was a kid (12 or 13) and saw a bunch doctors trying to figure out what was wrong. Got a little snippy with one of them over something I don’t even remember. Pulled up the medical record years later and she referred to me as a “child of the devil” in her report. Had to make some phone calls to get that “diagnosis” removed from my record.
That if I wasn't his patient he'd take me home. Yeah...he's no longer my doctor.
My meniscus completely tore off + few ligaments in knee and I couldn't straighten my leg.
I was forced 7 times to straighten it under different doctors only to pass out or stop it on myself.
I was denied MRI because of it.
The doctor said it was all in my head and although he didn't say it he sorta insinuated that I was "faking" it.
After 3 days of sitting in a hospital the head orthopedic surgeon said I will get the arthroscopy.
They found pieces of meniscus that broke off and torn ligaments.
Never got an apology from the doctor for saying "it's all in my head".
Years later on almost daily basis I have fear from that moment.
I feel the pain and any and every slight pain in knee brings back the memories and terror I felt.
Went to a university gynecologist when I was 19 because I was experiencing persistent/every day breakthrough bleeding for weeks. He asked when the last time I had sexual intercourse was, and when I told him it was a few days before the appointment he said (disgusted sounding) “Euuhh, your boyfriend doesn’t mind that??”
I had a doctor comment on how I’ve lost weight (fine, I get that), but when I told him I started going to a gym he told me not to try to build muscle because it will just turn to fat someday anyway
I took my mom to see a neurologist as her PCP suspected she had Parkinson’s. After waiting almost an hour, the neuro 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, then left the room. The whole encounter was under a minute.
This seems to have struck a nerve, so I added some info:
Yes, I’m in the US. Bad clinicians can be anywhere, so I don’t think this apathy is due to location. He was also private practice.
We found a much better neurologist who has been treating Mom.
Yes, they still charged insurance. 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.]
"You are not depressed and you don't have anxiety. You just need to lose 20 pounds. You'll feel great, trust me!"
Said to me by an MD at a routine physical. I'd been under psychiatric care for 12 years at that point.
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