Women Shared The Condescending Things Male Doctors Have Said To Them, And It Just Goes To Show How Women Are Mistreated In Medicine
How do I report each and every one of these?
1. "When I asked if it was possible to remove one of my ovaries because my endometriosis was blocking my fallopian tube, he responded, "No, we can't remove your ovaries. That's what's making you a woman."
2. "When I was in the military and had no choice over who my doctor was, I went to a male OB-GYN for a yeast infection. When I was waiting behind the curtain, he said to his female assistant, 'It smells like spicy fish!' I was so embarrassed and didn't see an OB-GYN for the rest of my service."
3. "I left my job and went straight to the emergency room because I was hemorrhaging. Before any results came back, my doctor said, 'It's just a super period; it happens. Go home.' I later found out that it may have been a cyst that ruptured, and I could have died. I'm still angry about it."
4. "I was diagnosed with a tear in my shoulder. I told the physician assistant that I wanted to have surgery to repair the tear in the summer so I wouldn't have to take time off from work. His response: 'Why? You’re just a teacher. What do you do with your hands?'"
5. "I went to a plastic surgeon for a consultation on a breast reduction. He called my breasts 'impressive' while they were in his hands, and told me the reduction would make me look worse unless I also got a tummy tuck. He told me that I could 'look good like [his] nurse' if I got the tummy tuck to be skinnier. Needless to say, I didn't allow this man to alter or even see my body ever again."
6. "I went to an orthopedist for hip pain that radiated toward my groin. The first doctor I saw said, 'It's hard to diagnosis women with this pain because oftentimes it's just lady problems, and you probably need to take some pain relievers.' I went to a different doctor and it turned out that I had torn and detached my labrum and needed surgery to repair it with four anchors to hold it in place."
7. "I had a partner a while back who had herpes. We broke up, and then I started dating someone new, so I did the responsible thing and went to the doctor to get an STI/herpes screening. The doctor looked at me before ordering the test and said, 'Are you sure you really want to know? What are you going to do if you have herpes? You can't do anything about it.'"
8. "When I was 13 years old, I broke my arm while climbing a tree. My mother quickly rushed me to the hospital to get it checked out and fixed. But instead of the regular checkup, the male doctor said that my arm only broke because I was a girl and that 'girls shouldn’t climb trees.' Then he asked me questions about my weight and told me that my 'heaviness' could’ve caused my broken arm."
9. "When I was about 12 years old, I suffered from daily migraines that caused vision loss. I was being seen by a neurologist to try to determine the cause and was undergoing hundreds of tests to rule out brain cancer. When I went to my first appointment, instead of focusing on my migraines — which were the problem — he only wanted to discuss my weight and how I needed to lose a few pounds."
"As a very self-conscious 12-year-old girl, I quickly developed an eating disorder and became entirely too thin. When my parents found out what was going on, they confronted my doctor. His response? 'Eating disorders are only for doctors who know what they're doing, but you look much better.'"
10. "I was recovering from a severe concussion and asked my neurologist about a plan for returning to my normal physical routine (weightlifting and CrossFit), and he told me, verbatim, 'I would just stick to the treadmill. Not because of your head, but because men don't like muscular women.'"
11. "I had an IUD when I got pregnant with my second child, so I was referred to a specialist to have the IUD removed. My husband went with me to the appointment. Right as the doctor was going to dive in, he turned to my husband and said, 'Man, please don't punch me for how I'm about to touch your wife.' My husband and I shared a horrified glance and both giggled uncomfortably."
12. "I went to see my gynecologist to find out if a hysterectomy was possible for me. He gave me the usual, 'What if you change your mind?' Even though it was in my notes that I'm infertile. I also told him that I'm gay, so natural conception wasn't going to happen. He asked again, 'What if you change your mind?' I AM GAY AND INFERTILE; I CANNOT CHANGE MY MIND ABOUT EITHER OF THOSE THINGS!"
13. "I was at the doctor for the third time with the same horrible sore throat. My tonsils were BLACK with little white spots. The male doctor I saw told me the back of my throat was bruised and to take it easy so it would go away. Basically, saying without saying that I needed to lay off the apparently brutal blowjobs."
14. "After suffering from bizarre second-degree burns on my ankles (from a rope dog leash), I went to a private clinic to get treated. At first I naturally made small talk with the male doctor tending to my wounds, but I immediately felt put off when he began dropping strange comments. The thing that really got me was when I had asked him when and how often I should change the bandage, adding matter-of-factly that I had to awkwardly shower that morning by hanging my feet outside the bathtub. He responded, 'I need a photo of that.'"
"I paused but carried on, and just when I thought it was over, as I left the room to pay at reception, he (legit) yelled down the hallway, 'DON’T FORGET TO SEND ME THOSE PHOTOS!'”
15. "I was 18 years old and decided I wanted to have a breast reduction. It was covered by health insurance because of the pain the weight caused in my back. There were so many reasons why I needed and wanted one. The male surgeon told me, 'You're too young to decide this now, and guys you might date in the future will be upset that you did this.'"
16. "My previous doctor prescribed me Adderall and told me that not only would I lose weight, but my husband would be happy because 'the house will be clean and dinner will be ready for him.'"
17. "I went in to change my IUD to an implant…not a pleasant experience to begin with. But right as the male doctor was removing the IUD, he said, 'You should really think about having children soon, before you’re too old.' I was 29 at the time."
18. "A few months after I broke my leg in nursing school, I was assigned to the same hospital for a clinical rotation. A few days in, I ran into one of the doctors who'd looked after me during recovery. In the hallway (and in front of my boss), he told me, 'You look so different with clothes on.'"
"I think he had just been used to seeing me in the hospital gown, but he seemed oblivious to how demeaning it sounded or what it implied."
19. "Two weeks after my full hysterectomy, I was having extreme pain, so my significant other rushed me to the hospital. We wanted to make sure everything was okay and nothing was rupturing. After explaining to the doctor what was wrong, He had an MRI done on me. When he came in with the results, he told me I was about to have a baby. Then he said, 'Just kidding — you have kidney stones!'"
Friendly reminder to all medical professionals out there to LISTEN TO and BELIEVE women. We know our bodies, and this kind of negligence can actually get us killed.
What's the most condescending/unprofessional thing you've had to hear from a male medical professional? Share it in the comments.
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.