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Neatorama Readers Share Their Worst Stories About Doctors

Image: Doctor Green by Gualda Trazos

Most people have had a bad doctor experience at one point or another, but it's one thing to have a doctor who doesn't know everything about your condition and another thing to have a doctor totally misdiagnose a common condition that puts your life at risk. Over on the Neatorama Facebook, we recently asked our readers what their worst experiences with doctors were and some of the answers were truly shocking. A few highlights:

I had 4 doctors tell me that I just needed to suck up my menstrual cramps and stop being such a baby. One finally listened and said "how do you even walk? You have the worst cases of endometriosis and adenomyosis I've ever seen. Your uterus is 6 times larger than the average healthy uterus. We can take it out for you".

Or:

Told I had an extra vertebrae in my back..took the x-ray to another doctor and a 4 inch bone tumor was clearly visible!

Another bad one:

I came to him crying because I was dealing with chronic pain from endometriosis and PCOS. He suggested that I "just get pregnant". Clearly he didn't realize getting pregnant with both of those things was damn near impossible. And he was an OB/GYN.

And then there was this one:

I had a doctor refuse to give me a repeat prescription for my asthma medication because they insisted I could cure it by only eating soup. Not even any specific type of soup, just "soup".

Check out all the horrible answers here and feel free to share more of your own stories in the comments.


Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

Wow, I guess that makes sense. If you know you're pregnant and you have a miscarriage, doctors should automatically be cautious about that. But if you have no idea -that takes a lot of guess work. Still it should be something they should look into especially when pregnancy tests are so easy for them to run.
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Afterwards, I found out multiple coworkers and friends had spouses or close relatives go through almost exactly the same thing, sometimes worse because it didn't get caught until the ectopic pregnancy ruptured something. But no one likes talking about such things, so most other people don't have any idea about that as a possibility or how common it could be.

In retrospect, a pregnancy test is cheap, and probably a good idea to have on hand for anyone who has risk factors (even for those with low fertility or on birth control... which don't 100% prevent a pregnancy, and seems to contribute to some of the delayed diagnosis stories I've heard).
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Uggg, that is awful. I'm glad your wife is ok. There was another woman on the FB page who had an ectopic pregnancy and the doctors didn't bother to look into it when she was having an extremely painful miscarriage -that should be one of the first things they look for. It's amazing how many doctors seem to just want to spend as little time as possible with their patients.
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I have not any bad experiences with doctors, however my wife has had several. The worst for her is when she had to go to a different clinic because her family doctor was unavailable. Over a few days, she had abdominal pain that got worse to the point of occasional stabbing pain far worse than anything she had felt before (and she's been through enough stuff to know she has reasonable pain tolerance). The doctor spent 5 minutes briefly listening to symptoms, took no family or past condition histories, palpated an area quite a ways away from the pain, then said the problem was indigestion, it would go away on its own, and he would prescribe a stool softener. My wife complained that didn't match the symptoms at all, at the very least because she wasn't having irregular bowel movements when the doctor insisted that was the problem. She asked again about the severe pain, and his response was, "I don't know anything about that," and he left.

A couple days later, her family doctor did a couple quick tests, including a pregnancy test that came back positive. Considering risks based on personal and family history, her family doctor pulled strings to get an ultrasound quickly and to get a specialist to answer some questions. It turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy, and my wife was sent to the hospital for emergency surgery. A specialist said that if my wife waited any longer, there could have been fatal complications. As the pain actually subsided after the first doctor visit, if my wife trusted his diagnosis she would have gone to the hospital much later. At the very least, if the first doctor stuck around a couple minutes longer to let my wife ask her short list of questions she wrote down, the list included, "Is there a chance this is an ectopic pregnancy and what should I look out for in that case?"
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