Dealing with medical professionals is often a little stressful, and sometimes, it can be made a whole lot worse when the doctor is rude and unpleasant as part of that interaction.
Recently, Redditors reported on their experiences with awful doctors. Check out what they have to say but be prepared to be startled, they were brutal sometimes.
(Content edited for clarity.)
This EMT Worker Was WAY Out Of Line
“One of the EMTs who came to my house the morning my father died of a heart attack walked into his bedroom, huffed and under her breath said ‘There’s no point in us being here.’
I said, ‘Oh I’m sorry to have bothered you.’ Old mate with her kicked her out.
I never followed it up as I was pretty busy that week and essentially drinking non-stop for the next 3 months, but I doubt anything happened to her.”
You Have One Job, Why Don’t You Just Do It?
“My daycare called and said my 5-month-old daughter was running a fever and acting lethargic. I flew out of work and called the pediatrician’s office on the way to the daycare to make an appointment. I gave her Tylenol as soon as I got there, and headed out to the pediatrician. My doctor was out that day, but her partner – the owner of the practice – was there.
He proceeded to have the receptionist confirm that I wanted to be seen that day. I could hear him talking to her, but couldn’t see him from the waiting room. The empty waiting room, by the way. My daughter was sleeping at this point, and I think he decided just from glancing at her through the receptionist’s window that she was fine and I was an overreacting new mom.
I insisted on being seen that day and went back with the nurse to get checked in. When he finally came in, I explained the situation and he said, ‘I’ll take a look at her and then we can talk about when babies need to see the doctor.’
He then proceeded to scoop a large amount of pus out of her ear and say, ‘Looks like an ear infection.’ To which I replied, ‘So, do babies need to see the doctor when they have an ear infection?’ He had the decency to act slightly chagrined, but not enough to apologize. He gave me a script for antibiotics, and we left.
At her next checkup, I told my regular doctor what had happened and explained that we would NEVER see him again, which I’m sure was awkward for her since he was the senior partner. Luckily less than a year later, he sold the practice to our doctor, so it never came up again. My daughter is now 13, but I still remember this vividly. Forget that guy.”
She Was Criticized Every Step Of The Way
“My husband and I tried to get pregnant for a while, even though I was told ‘I would never have children.’
After a while, I got lucky and fell pregnant. Cue immediate happiness and bliss for two days. Then I began vomiting about 30 times a day and was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe and potentially dangerous form of morning sickness.
I was only five weeks pregnant and had been to the emergency room four times for fluids. One of the attending doctors asked me if I wanted an abortion because it seemed like I didn’t even want to be pregnant! Yes, the illness was severe, and I had to have medical pumps put in my belly to administer meds 24 hours a day, and I lost about 30 pounds, but I absolutely wanted this child!
Despite being very sick my entire pregnancy, I still delivered a healthy baby boy.
After my son was born, he had to go to the NICU for a couple of days, and in the meantime, I was trying to learn to feed him but wasn’t allowed because he had an NG tube so I had to pump. Except no one showed me how to do it, and being away from my son made my colostrum slow down, and so I was only pumping 5 to 20 milliliters at a time. I was trying my best. I dropped off my milk to the NICU, and this ancient NICU nurse looked at her co-worker and said, ‘That’s all? Well, it’s not going to be enough.’
I already knew that wasn’t a lot, but way to make a new mom feel even more terrible. She was also the same nurse who scolded me for being 10 minutes late to feed my son (every three hours) at 3 in the morning because I didn’t hear my alarm.
I apologized to her and explained that the other NICU nurses came and got me at the three-hour mark overnight because I was so exhausted I didn’t always hear my alarms. She looked at me and said, ‘It’s not your fault. No, wait, it is your fault. You should be more responsible’ I cried as I tried to feed my son. Horrible woman.
At my six-week follow-up appointment, I told the doctor that we wanted to have another baby, and she started laughing and said, ‘I don’t think we will be ready for you again’ in a condescending tone.
I’m so sorry my pregnancy inconvenienced you so much because it was an absolute peach destroying my teeth, losing my hair, vomiting an obscene amount of times a day, being too weak to do anything while trying to force myself to sip any liquids knowing full well they would be right back up immediately.
Unfortunately, due to partially undiagnosed medical issues, it’s too dangerous for me to become pregnant again, so I will never get to experience another pregnancy, but I have the most amazing baby, so it was all worth it.”
A Dentist Horror Story
“I have an implanted tooth. I went to a dental surgeon who installed a titanium rod into my skull, there is metal piece threading on the end that pokes out of my gums. When it was initially healing, there was a small cap over the exposed end which would eventually be replaced by a porcelain tooth.
When it came time to install my tooth, I went to my normal dentist who was supposed to just take off the cap and place the tooth on.
Well, this dentist apparently has never heard ‘righty tighty, lefty loosey.’ She starts cranking the end cap to the right, it won’t budge so, of course, she puts some real muscle on it and starts twisting with all her might. This whole time I can feel the whole implant moving inside my head, ripping flesh and pulling at splinters of bone. So I’m screaming, trying to push her away as I am feeling the worst pain of my life. She finally steps back and says: ‘It doesn’t hurt that much, you need to calm down.’
Witch, you do not get to tell a patient how much pain they are in.”
“I Have Never Felt So Much Rage”
“My neurologically deficient elderly father was sent to the wrong rehab (I was waiting at the intended one which was 45 miles away.) I panicked after he was hours late and asked the hospital case manager for help. She told me she, ‘had spent too much time on our case’ and hung up on me. Meanwhile, my dad was missing and unable to advocate for himself.
Got it sorted but I have never felt such rage and hope to never feel it again.”
That’s Not What A Dermatologist Does
“I went to a dermatologist recently because I suspected I had a low-level skin condition, and it was finally time to do something about it. I see doctors regularly because I have several relatively minor health issues, one of them being that I’m overweight. At that point in my life, I had been working with a nutritionist for a year and a half and had changed the way I ate and lost about 20 pounds.
I went in, and the resident took a look at my problem areas. She was pretty sure she knew what it was but wanted to check with the doctor. She left.
The doctor burst in the door and the first thing out of her mouth was, ‘This is happening because you are overweight.’
I was stunned – she did not introduce herself, she did not ask my name, and she did not tell me what skin condition I had. The next thing out of her mouth was, ‘Actually, all of your health problems are because of your weight.’
She then spent 15 minutes telling me to lose weight, casually glancing through my medical history and telling me why being overweight was the cause of all my problems, and told me to buy a fad diet book. At one point she said, ‘The key is healthy fats. You should be eating three avocados a day.’
After listening to her nonsense, I asked her if that stupid book was based on experimental evidence. She looked shocked and flipped to the back of the book, frantically looking at sources.
The worst part of it was that a good 15 minutes into the conversation, she still had not told me what my skin condition was. I had to ask her what it was because she would not stop talking about how fat I was. Obesity is a risk factor for many health conditions, but I have had migraines since I was in middle school, and I only became overweight three years ago. So for her to say things like my migraines were caused by being overweight was just insulting.”
Not Every Nurse Is Sympathetic
“One time when I was a depressed teenager I overdosed on roughly 100 different pills. It was a mixture of lithium, Depakote, Seroquel, several other antipsychotics, and, anticonvulsants as well as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. I was asked to try at least 13 different medications in less than a year, and my mom never thought to throw them away which is how I had access to all of those things.
I took the pills and nothing happened. I woke up and rode somewhere with my mom a few hours later. After 15-20 minutes, I got sick and started to vomit and told my mom to take me to the hospital. My throat was on fire and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was still throwing up when we got to the parking lot.
They rushed me back, hooked up some kind of device to my arm so they could continually take blood without constantly sticking me, gave me an IV, and I was in and out for a good 14 hours. When I finally woke up, they decided to move me to the psych unit upstairs to wait for a transfer to another hospital with a proper psych unit.
On the way to the elevator, the nurse said, ‘Did you really take all of those pills?’ I had just been out for 14 hours after an overdose, so I thought she was asking if I’d taken my meds for the day and said I hadn’t.
She said,’Oh, so you didn’t take those pills and just came here for attention? That makes sense since nothing showed up in your blood!’
I told her I had actually taken all of those pills that morning and that I was throwing up non-stop on the way here which was probably why none of it showed up. She shut up after that. Later, when I told my mom, she said there was a bunch of lithium in my kidneys, so clearly the nurse wasn’t well informed.”
“I Should Have Reported It”
“In high school, my best friend was chronically ill, and they were trying to figure out why. Her family became close with her doctor, like family friends who had dinner together. My friend babysat the doctor’s kids and everything. I was a patient of that doctor after my friend recommended her and had been seeing her for eight months.
Due to my friend’s health, she wasn’t able to go on a school volunteer trip overseas that I was going on with a group of maybe 20. I was away for a few weeks, and when I came back, I posted on Facebook about how great the trip was, and that it was a great bonding experience for all involved.
The doctor proceeded to message me, her 16-year-old patient who she knew had mental health issues, and told me what a horrible friend I was and how I was supposed to be my friend’s best friend, and it was awful of me to just abandon her and have new friends when she couldn’t go on the trip.
I was devastated. I even told her so, but she kept going. My mom took over when I went to her upset and told the doctor that was inappropriate and to back off.
In hindsight, I should have reported it, but I didn’t want my best friend to lose her doctor.”
What You Should NOT Say To An Expecting Mother
“My ex-wife was 3 months pregnant when we discovered a massive amniotic fluid leakage due to an undetected urinary infection that happened because the doctor forgot to put the correct tests on the requisition.
After we found out the issue, we went to her office, she looked at the tests, looked at us and said, ‘Well, you should pray.’
My ex-wife bursted into tears, we left the office and were in a weird mix of desperation and numbness.
We called my father, he called his doctor and his doctor gave the home phone number of a doctor friend of his. We called him and immediately he told hs to calm down and explained how serious the situation was but that it was manageable. Five months later our first daughter was born and all the women or the family started going to this doctor instead.”
If You’re A Woman, It Can Only Mean One Thing
“I got sick five years ago. I gained 50 pounds in six weeks, was puking, had IBS, migraines, shooting pains, and allergic reactions. I went to an endocrinologist with printouts of my workouts, diets (all of which were being monitored by a nutritionist and a coach as I was getting ready for a fitness competition at the time). I was eating clean and working out five times each week.
He had his back turned to me the whole time I was talking and was banging away on his keyboard. When he was done, there was an awkward silence. I asked, ‘Hey, what do you think this is?’
He spun halfway around, and glared at me and asked, ‘Maybe it’s just because you’re 30 and have no kids. I bet you’re just depressed and eating ho hos at night.’ I was mortified and could only say ‘Excuse me?’ He responded, ‘Oh, what do you do again? You’re a therapist? Hmm, I bet you would know if you were depressed then, huh?’
Six doctors later, I found out I had the literal plague.”
You’re Not Allowed To Have A Real Life
“I needed scoliosis surgery when I was getting into college. I found out my senior year of high school, and every doctor we went to said it was enough to warrant surgery. So, over the summer, we scheduled it the following May, which would’ve been a week after I finished my spring semester.
We go for a checkup in the winter, and all of a sudden my surgeon starts saying differently. He thinks my curve isn’t enough to need surgery all of a sudden (which is especially annoying because he was saying it was 1 degree off of the threshold and following up with ‘I can measure a curve ten different ways and get ten different results’). Obviously, I still wanted to have the surgery.
We wanted to keep the surgery on the original date, and his suggestion was this: I go for another checkup the week before my surgery date and they check again to see if I get the surgery. This was a problem because 1) it was during my finals week, and more importantly 2) would leave me unsure if I was getting surgery that I would need the whole summer to recover from seven days beforehand. When we expressed these concerns, he said:
‘I’m not going to do surgery just because it’s convenient for you.’
Which, seeing as how at first I couldn’t believe I would need such a major surgery this early in my life, but three different doctors didn’t even need to measure to tell me otherwise, I was a little annoyed.
We ended up finding another surgeon and having the surgery the same day we were originally going to.”
They Came In With The Wrong Expectation
“When I was a little kid, I was visiting my grandfather in Florida when he had a heart attack. My mother, a certified First Aid instructor, took charge of the situation and began giving him CPR.
Almost a half hour later, when the paramedics finally arrived, they had my mother stand back, then took their sweet time unpacking all their equipment. My mother yelled at them for taking so long to drive down the street and not even being prepared to save a life. She told them that until they were actually ready to go, she was going to attempt to keep her father alive. Then she went back to doing CPR.
My mother later told us that the paramedics saw a lot of old people pass away in that retirement community and probably thought my grandfather was already a goner; hence their lack of a sense of urgency. Suffice to say, he not only survived but despite a diagnosis of only a few months left to live, he went on to survive another 13 years before kicking the bucket. He was a stubborn old man and refused to let doctors dictate how long he was gonna live.”
How The Other Half Lives
“When I was 17, I was at the doctor’s office I had been going to since I was a kid, and it came up that I was moving away and wouldn’t be going there anymore. One of the doctors, not even my usual doctor, said, ‘Aww, we will miss you. I wanted to be there for you during your first divorce.’ This implied that he has thought a lot more about my future than I had and that I would be getting divorced a minimum of two times and would tell him all about it.
Another time my fiancé went to a doctor to see if he should get an inhaler because he was having difficulty breathing at times. The nurse listening to his lungs, got angry when he didn’t take a deep enough inhale, and rudely said, ‘You suck at breathing.’ No, really? That’s why he is here for an inhaler prescription. I almost yelled at her. Then when she said it was going to be $100 for the inhaler, we looked at each other worryingly as two broke college kids, and she said, ‘Just don’t go to Dunkin’ Donuts for a week and you’ll be able to afford it.’ Lady, you think we can afford to spend $100 a week at Dunkin Donuts? It’s hard to save money by not doing something you already don’t do. I hate that lady.”
The Doctor Is Not OK With Your Depression
“I went to a doctor a few months ago as I’d been suffering badly with depression, and for the first time in my life, I was feeling suicidal with strong urges. I knew that given the antidepressants that work well for me, and with a little support from my girlfriend, I’d get through it ok.
This practice just rotated out whatever doctors were available, but for the most part, I’d seen one guy who was helpful, listened well, and gave me what I needed.
This time, I had a doctor who immediately scorned me and was so, so massively inappropriate with her comments.
First, I was told that I didn’t need the pills I absolutely needed. Then I was told that maybe I needed to be locked up, despite being a chill and peaceful pacifist guy.
The worst part was when she decided that my depression didn’t have anything to do with awful past experiences or brain chemistry; it was because I didn’t go to university or work a job that would make my family proud.
I was so blindsided and baffled by it that I didn’t even give her both barrels in the way that I should have, but I complained to the manager after, and as far as I know, the practice has since shut down.”
Body Shamed At The Clinic
“I went to this female doctor who owned her own clinic, and she was straight-laced, sour, and direct with a major side of monster. She was in her mid-50s.
Fine, I can handle that. I’m also not easily offended. We’re not here to be friends. I got to thinking during the appointment about her attitude and wondered about all of the lovely smiling pictures of her many grown children on the walls behind her accompanied by many qualifications and adventure and travel pictures of her with friends and family. So many pics. She looked worldly and accomplished. She was also slight and wiry.
She was rough and harsh with her actions during the Pap smear, and I was 10 weeks pregnant. She told me I was too overweight, and it was a miracle I had gotten pregnant at all.
In my head, I was like, ‘Hey, eff you lady, I’m never coming here again.’ To her face, I was like, ‘Well, here I am, so get on with it.’ I refuse to get into emotional fights with people when I’m just there for the facts.
I’ll take being overweight with a mediocre but fun life and my beautiful kids any day of the week.”