Going to the doctor as a kid can be a scary situation, even when the doctor is kind, competent, and eager to help out a person in need. When the doctor is none of those things...well, let's just say that it can make a scary situation even worse. These poor kids trusted their nurse or doctor to provide the care they needed; instead, they were hit over the head with how unprofessional these medical worker really were.
Redditors spilled the details on the most unprofessional thing they heard their doctor ever said to or about them and we gathered the most frustrating, infuriating stories and compiled them here. Content has been edited for clarity.
“Your Daughter Is Faking This For Attention”
“My sister has an extremely rare eye disease and has been mostly blind since the 7-8th grade. In the fourth grade, she stopped wanting to read and started getting hit in the face a lot at basketball practice. My parents took her to a lot of different eye doctors and they all came up empty. The disease works pretty aggressively to deteriorate the retina, but for whatever reason, the doctors couldn’t figure it out. One doctor, after a 5-hour visit full of tests and things, came in the room and said (in front of my sister) ‘Your daughter is faking this for attention. There is absolutely nothing wrong with her and I suggest stronger discipline at home.’ My mom marched out of there so fast and when they got the final diagnosis, she sent him the records to show he was wrong.”
Broken Is As Broken Does
“I broke my femur when I was a kid. I was playing outside running and jumping off walls/hedges and stuff with my cousin and as I landed on the grass over the far side of a wall, he could not see me on the other side. As I pulled myself up from the ground with my leg in a compromised position, he jumped over the wall and landed on it. I didn’t think much of it until I tried to get up again with no success obviously.
When I arrived at the hospital, the doctor exclaimed that it was impossible that it was broken as it was such a tough bone. He swore it was only bruised/sprained. He then lifted my leg only to have it fold mid thigh around his hand.
I screamed and remember seeing his face drop, giving off major ‘I really shouldn’t have done that’ vibes. I was rushed off pretty quickly.
I spent six months with an external fixator and had rehab to walk again which I think was more painful than the whole thing.”
The Worst Possible Thing To Say To An Eating Disorder Patient
“I was struggling with an eating disorder when I was 14 and my mom took me to a doctor because she was worried and didn’t know what to do.
When my mom left the room, the doctor looked at me and said, ‘But you don’t really have an eating disorder right? You’re not skinny enough to have an eating disorder.’ I don’t remember how many days I didn’t eat after I left.”
She Never Once Considered The Trauma The Poor Kid Had Been Through
“When I was 14 years old, I’d just been in a terrifying car accident. A semi blew a stop sign and t-boned my family’s truck, causing us to roll three times off the highway we were traveling on.
I was sent to the nearest hospital for serious injuries, but they were minor compared to my mom and sister. The first nurse I encountered yelled at me for crying when she couldn’t get an IV in. In her words, ‘I have 3-year-olds that do better than you when getting needles!’
I had just seen my 11-year-old sister’s leg detach from her body and my mom’s head wedged in between the roof of our truck and the dash. I hope that nurse burns for that
Luckily they both survived. Made my mom realize a few things about my dad. She had broken her neck in three places and was still cooking/cleaning up after him (imagine a small 40 yr old woman in a neck brace scrubbing the floors while dad is watching tv) and caring for me and my three younger siblings all under the age of 14 whom also had severe injuries (brothers had stitches all over, sister had leg amputated and broken arm and I had a broken leg).
He was always an abusive piece of garbage, but this leads her to finally realize it and divorce him a few years after the dust settled.
Though it was a terrible accident it puts things into perspective and you find out who is really there for you.”
They Left Him There On That Mountain Road For Hours
“On a field trip in junior high, a friend of mine fell down a crevasse while skiing, told his teachers that his leg didn’t feel right and that it hurt bad. The gym teacher told him to toughen up and get walking. He had to limp through heavy snow for the better part of an hour to get to a road. They called emergency services and when asked how severe it was, the teacher said well he walked here so it can’t be that bad. At this point, my friend was bawling his eyes out, screaming how bad it hurt. Yet emergency services decided that they had other priorities and told him to visit a doctor for examination. The gym teacher called his parents and told them they had to come pick him up at the mountain road because he had probably bruised his leg or something, then proceeded to leave him there. He didn’t have a cell phone, and my friend’s parents were in no rush, so he waited for hours in intense pain on his own until they finally showed up. His stepdad didn’t want to go to the emergency room because he felt it was a waste of money, but decided to go anyways because my friend was being really ‘obstinate’ about it.
They got to the emergency room upon where he had to wait for hours and at this point he was sweating profusely, shivering and had gone pale. All the while, his stepdad sat and berated him for wasting his time. Finally, he gets an examination from a doctor who merely asks a few questions, pokes his leg and comes to the glorious conclusion that it is probably sprained but they could take an x-ray, which the stepdad protests because it’s a waste of time and money. My friend gets some painkillers, a crutch, and anti-inflammatory meds and is told to rest for a few days.
The idiot stepdad decides he has to go to school anyways because he ain’t got time to sit at home playing nurse. My friend gets to the school and the school nurse happens to spot him limping with his crutch and takes him aside asking why he’s in school with a crutch. He tells what happened and she decides to take a look in the nurse’s office. After about ten minutes she called an ambulance and had stormed off to the teachers’ lounge to verbally flay the gym teacher. Turns out my friend had several bad fractures that had become misaligned from the stress he had put on the leg. Several surgeries later and it never healed right. His leg is slightly shorter than his other as a result.
Fast forward many years, he now works as an EMT and has a loving wife and children. He still tells his story as a cautionary tale against just assuming things when it comes to someone else’s health.”
This Nurse’s Bedside Manner Needs Readjustment
“I was 12 years old at summer camp. I had a high fever, nausea, and sharp abdominal pain on my lower right. Other kids told me my skin and lips were really discolored. I went to the nurse, she did the hand on forehead, tells me to lie down in the back of the infirmary, then told the counselor that I’m faking it and I’ll be back out when I’m bored.
The assistant nurse took my temperature: 103. Then she starts having an argument with the head nurse. I wake up in recovery at a hospital a day or two later. My appendix was gangrenous and had burst a bit.
I worked at the same camp a few summers later and got into a conversation with the same head nurse and she said that my acting almost cost her job. I just took off my shirt and pointed at the 8-inch scar.”
By The End Of Her 6 Hour Ordeal, She Was Steaming Mad
“I got bit by a tick and started showing the symptoms of Lymes disease. My regular doctor was out of the office, so I met with her PA. They took blood tests and gave me a full run of the antibiotics; Lyme is so rampant here if you get bit, they just give you the medication before the blood results come back. The PA said he would give me a call and let me know one way or another if I had Lyme, and if I didn’t have Lyme, I could stop the meds.
About four days later I’m up at summer camp, I was one of the directors of the paintball program, so despite being sick I tried to participate as much as possible. The other two directors suddenly came to find me and told me I needed to call my mom immediately, I could tell they were really worried.
I called my mom and she said she needed to pick me up immediately to take me to the doctor. At first, I resisted, asking if it could wait till the end of the week, but she said the doctor’s office was VERY insistent I get there immediately.
I didn’t have a car so my mom drove an hour to the camp and then an hour to the doctor’s office. The doctor was a full two hours delayed on patients. I FINALLY got in after telling them I would leave if they didn’t let me see her.
A woman walks in, sits down and tells me I have Lyme. I ask why she couldn’t have just called and said that over the phone. She said that she wanted me to come down because ‘Antibiotics create chaos in your system and I wanted to tell you I think you should take antibiotics…here is the brand I recommend.’
I lost it at that point. For hours, I was sure they must have found something horrific, but no, I just had Lyme and this woman (she was a fan of natural medicine) wanted to make sure I take a probiotic, which you don’t even need a prescription for. I told her how angry I was, told her we would NOT be paying for the visit, and that I would never be returning to her as a patient.
Six hours of our time invested into the woman telling me to take a probiotic, something that could have been done in 30 seconds via the phone.”
The Doctor Had A Cruel Explanation For Her Sudden Weight Gain
“When I was 10/11, I had been steadily gaining weight every year (like 10lb a year) and having issues with energy. My doctor just brushed it off as me being lazy and not eating right, and thought it appropriate to joke to a young girl with already low self-esteem that in ten years I wouldn’t fit through the door. I went out to my mom in tears, and we found a new doctor for me, who on my first exam asked to feel my thyroid, which was so big that the assistant asked to feel it too. Turns out I have Hashimoto’s and my thyroid is attacked by my immune system and seriously under producing vital hormones. So yeah, awesome doctor.
I’ve also had a doctor suggest my serious daily pain from fibromyalgia as being just in my head…”
She Felt Shamed For Something She Hadn’t Even Done
“I was 13, at a well-respected OBGYN in a nice suburb, and the RN who was doing my first ever gyno exam kept explaining to me what ‘being intimate’ entailed because she clearly didn’t believe me when I said I’d never done it before! She even said something like, ‘You know, so many girls lie about irregular periods to get birth control just so they can get it on without their parents being suspicious.’
I understand the reason for giving clarifying questions and could understand it more if I was 16 or older, but I had just turned 13 and had explicitly stated I was having my period so irregularly I had to wear a pad all of the time.
I was so angry and upset, and luckily while my parents raised me to be really respectful of medical professionals, they also taught me to stand up for myself.
I got dressed, marched out of the room to the front desk, and asked to speak with the office manager to write a formal complaint.
Two weeks later, I got a call from the doctor (who was a family friend) and was informed that the RN was actually fired because I was apparently not the only preteen girl who had complained for a similar reason. I have many nurses in my family and friend circles and respect the heck out of the profession, but treating a scared 13-year-old girl like a floozy for wanting birth control is deplorable, regardless of her purity status.”
The Doc Wanted To Show Them “How Good They Had It At Home”
“When I was 15, I spent a few weeks in a psych ward for children. It pretty much sucked, we had no therapy and I saw a doctor exactly twice.
My second chat with a psychiatrist, he asked me how’s it going. I’m not a one to lie to doctors, so I told him pretty much everything. How I’m feeling worse then I did before getting admitted, that other patients have been aggressive and I’m anxious around them and that I am considering committing suicide after I leave. The nice doctor said it was very good I was feeling that way because the hospital is supposed to make us feel awful, so we see how good we have it at home.
I was discharged three days later. What makes me angry is that half the patients were from abusive households and children’s homes. Go ahead, tell them how much better they have it at home.”
The Phrase No Preteen Girl Wants To Hear
“When I was about 12, I had to go to the doctor for a cough. I had to take my shirt off so that he could listen to my lungs or something and when he was done, he just casually said to my mom, ‘A bit of a late bloomer, huh?’ He was referring to the fact that I didn’t exactly fill out my training bra and had some leftover baby fat. Thanks, doc. I wanted you to get rid of my cough, not my self-esteem.”
He Laughed Like It Was The Funniest Thing He’d Ever Heard
“Back in high school, I went to a routine dentist appointment. The hygienist was new and not the one I was used to. He seemed nice at first and proceeded to clean my teeth and commented on how horrible they were, etc.
He then tried to show me how bad they were in a mirror. I told him I couldn’t see and that I was legally blind (I can’t see small details well). He laughed at me and told me that that was the best excuse he had ever heard and called me a liar. I told him I wasn’t lying and even tried to describe my vision, but he wouldn’t have it.
When I went home, I told my parents about it, and how upset it made me. My mum took it upon herself to call up my dentist office and chew the hygienist out for being a loser.
The next time I went back, he apologized to me and was overly nice. He wasn’t there when I came back the next year.”
That Choice Was Hers Alone To Make
“I had just found out I was pregnant with my son, but I was only four weeks along. Had to have an internal scan at the hospital to confirm. I was in shock. I was only 17, on the pill and we used protection, how could this happen to me? I was in complete shock. The sonographer/nurse/doctor, or whatever she was, talked to me after and was leaning heavily towards me aborting. I said I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do at that point and she looks me dead in the eyes and said:
‘I think you know what you SHOULD do.’
You witch. My son is 9 years old now and the light of my life. I was young, but I wasn’t stupid or careless. I was employed and had my own place at 18 (four months later). I haven’t for a single second regretted my decision, though it was probably her reaction that cemented that choice, pushy cow.”
When Listening Skills Aren’t Your Shrink’s Forte
“My university shrink told me I couldn’t be suicidal because I’d just bought a pet rat, and suicidal people didn’t buy pets.
I’d just told her I’d bought him specifically because a friend said that having pets to look after really helped with her depression.”
He Told Her It Was “All In Her Head”
“At the age of 15, after visiting two different local doctors for a chronic ‘bladder infection’ that wouldn’t go away with antibiotics, I was referred to a specialist at the Children’s Hospital in Boston. The specialist had a single sit down visit with me and told me that it’s all in my head and I wasn’t really experiencing constant pain, cramping, and severe burning 24/7. He told my parents I was making it up… Luckily, my folks knew I wasn’t faking and sought out a fourth opinion at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. We found a great doctor that had a hunch after one visit. After one test, he correctly diagnosed me with Interstitial Cystitis. It took two years and four doctors to figure that one out.”
All That Worrying, For What?
“I got sick when I was 12 and after a few days, my lymph nodes in my neck grew to be golf ball sized. My mom took me to a clinic and the doctor feels my stomach and looks at my throat and goes, ‘It might be leukemia or strep throat. We’ll do some tests.’ I was freaking out. Turned out to be mono and strep throat and my spleen hadn’t been swollen when I saw him. Seriously, maybe just wait for tests results before spouting off ideas unless you’re certain.”
Sometimes You Can Be TOO Cheery
“It was my first time in a hospital, first surgery, and first time going under. I have an anxiety disorder so I was really trying to keep it calm and collected.
The anesthesiologist came in to administer sleeping medicine. She sticks a needle in me, pushed the plunger in, and I started to go blurry eyed tunnel vision. She laughed and said, ‘Oh, don’t worry. This is a standard procedure and very few die from it. If you do die, your dad is in the waiting room so it’ll be fine.'”
Do All Doctors Lack Tact, Or Just These Two?
“I was born with massive tonsils, like actual golf ball sized ones that were constantly getting infected and causing throat problems. When I turned 13/14, I decided I had had enough and wanted them removed. I had to visit a ton of people because having your tonsils removed apparently isn’t a ‘needed practice’ anymore.
Incident 1: When I was 13, I saw my first specialist, the same doctor who had worked on my brother, grandfather, and dad. He had notably acquired a bad reputation, but no matter, I went to see him anyways. After waiting an hour and finally going to see him, he looked in my throat for a few seconds then looked at me and said, ‘Whelp, you have tonsils the size of a guy’s balls,’ to me, at 13 years old, in front of my father. I was so shocked and disgusted that I couldn’t even say a word. He then tells me he won’t have them removed because ‘there’s no need’ despite the fact that I had gotten severe strep four times that year.
When I told this to my actual doctor, who’d referred me to the awful doctor in the first place, she was absolutely livid. She apologized profusely to me and called the other doctor’s office as soon as I left and ripped that guy a new one.
My second incident was with another doctor for nose ears and throat, this was a few years later when I was 17. This doctor was super busy because he was quite renowned. He was asking me preliminary questions, the first one being ‘how many times a year do you get throat-related illnesses such as strep?’ I replied with about 10. Without even looking at me, he said, ‘That’s a lie,’ and turned to my stepdad and asked the same question. He gave him the same answer. I was getting so many illnesses from these meat sacks that I stopped going to the hospital and just waited them out unless they were very bad.
The doctor ended up being really cool after he finally understood just how bad these tonsils were and I was finally able to get them removed a year later. But had he read my chart, he would’ve known that even without every hospital visit, I still would have fallen into the ‘acceptable to operate range.'”