Going to the doctor is very important for one's health because it helps them to know if there are any underlying medical issues that need to be taken care of. Although sometimes, the doctors don't offer the medical advice the patient was looking for!
People on Quora share the most unprofessional thing a doctor said to them. Content has been edited for clarity.
“He Still Refused”
“I had been battling a nasty bone infection in my leg for two years. It kept going systemic, which means the infection spread to my blood and it was killing me. The PICC lines I had that ran IV antibiotics were only just keeping me alive. The infectious disease specialists said the only way to get rid of it was to remove the infected bone. The infection was seeded in my tibia, patella, and femur so that meant an above-knee amputation was the only option. The pain of the infection and having been so sick for two years made me fully agreeable to the surgery.
The problem was the orthopedic surgeon was the one who would have to do it. He refused. Why? His exact words were, ‘No. It would have to be an above-knee amputation and that would tying your life. You’re still young. You’d never walk again and you would be helpless and worthless.’
Nice, eh? My response was, ‘At least I’d have a life to ruin. I’m dying from this and my children will be orphans. It’s more important that I live to be here for them than it is for me to walk. I don’t care if I’m in a wheelchair.’
He still refused. My next emergency room visit due to the infection going systemic again (just a few days later) I managed to see a new ortho and he was more than happy to get rid of that festering piece of uselessness.”
It Doesn’t Work Like That
“I had a gastric sleeve operation for weight loss about eight years ago. Since then, I have developed a pretty bad case of gastric reflux which is causing even more health issues. So I went to a gastroenterologist, had some tests done, and the follow-up appointment was made with the physician’s assistant.
She tells me the tests did not have very good results, and my esophagus was basically like a hamburger from all the acid.
I was doing really well at listening, it all made sense—until she said, ‘Now I know you are going to hate this, I know, honey, but you are going to have to have that gastric sleeve reversed.’
Say what? I tried to explain to her that you cannot reverse that operation. They actually cut out and remove 80% of your stomach. It would be like reversing an appendectomy. Can’t be done. She kept talking over me, saying, ‘Oh I just knew you wouldn’t want that, but you are just going to have to do it!’
Left the office just shaking my head at her incredible stupidity, especially that she still couldn’t understand after I explained it to her. And, nope, not going back.
Did I mention that the physician’s assistant was the doctor’s wife?”
“Don’t Bother Me Now, I’m Busy”
“My wife had been experiencing strong but irregular contractions for the most part of a Sunday. This was not unexpected, as our baby was due soon. But after a while, it got to be too much for her. So, we went to the local hospital where she was given something to settle her contractions (though in a small percentage of cases the contractions start properly). I then had to leave her in the ante-natal ward (this was basically the ward for mothers who are about to give birth).
At about five o’clock in the evening, my wife was woken by more contractions and went to the toilet where her water broke. She went to the nurse’s station and said, ‘I’m having regular contractions and I think my waters have broken.’
The nurse she was speaking to was feeding a baby and said, ‘Don’t bother me now, I’m busy.’
You’d think a nurse in the ANTE-NATAL ward would understand the importance of my wife’s words, and the ward might even have the midwives’ number, in the delivery suite downstairs, on speed dial. It took another 15 minutes before my wife found another nurse who would phone downstairs.
My daughter was born 15 minutes later. I missed the birth by five minutes because though the midwife called me five minutes after my wife arrived, I had some clown driving at 40 on a wide but gently winding 60 roads all the way in front of me.
So my wife gave birth on her own in a foreign country with only the (very kind) midwife.”
Was An Email Really The Most Effective Way?
“This was a family doctor we’d been going to for a few years by then, and I had come in due to feeling very awful for the last few months. Excessive thirst, nausea, excessive weight loss, always hungry but unable to keep anything down. I went in to see him, and he ran some blood work. He didn’t really advise me much of what he thought it was besides maybe a stomach bug.
A week later, I received an email with an attachment of my lab numbers that meant nothing to me and a very small note at the bottom that advised I had Diabetes Mellitus but nothing else. No call, no follow-up or referrals. I assumed it wasn’t that big of a deal if the doctor didn’t give me anything else and he never responded to the voicemail I left.
Two weeks later, I was in the hospital for DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) and was informed I was probably going to go into a coma that night if my mom hadn’t made me come into the ER.”
“I Was Still Fuming”
“When I was in high school, a friend of mine sold me a month’s worth of her Adipex a few months before prom so I could drop some weight. I had taken one a day for less than a week when I wound up in the emergency room with excruciating mid-back pain! It also happened to be my birthday, which I tried to celebrate with a couple of deuce deuces. After I got home the pain got worse and worse, my mom loaded me up in her car and took me to the emergency room.
Of course, the first nurse I talked to smelled the adult beverages on me (I’ll never forget her southern drawl, ‘ooh baby, have you been drinking’?), and I straight up told her, ‘Yes. I drank about two ounces of an adult beverage, and I took Adipex early in the morning,’ which my Mom knew as well.
The narcotics test results confirmed that with a positive substance result. However, the doctor proceeded to tell my Mother that I had failed for the substance, and was ‘obviously addicted to crystal crack.’ She even went so far as to say if it were her daughter, she would send me straight to the chemical dependency unit. (I was a straight-A student and had never been in any trouble!) Of course, this upset my mom, and after explaining to her IN FRONT OF THE DOCTOR that the Adipex would show up as such on all tests, and this doctor didn’t know what she was talking about and I hadn’t done any substance of any sort, my Mom calmed down.
I was still fuming, so I called the doctor an idiot and told her to go take a refresher in pharmacology. I’m still mad at that woman 15+ years later. She never once said, yes it could be the Adipex. She was adamant I hadn’t ‘taken enough for it to show up on a substance screen,’ and there was ‘just no way, no way, I had to have done some sort of crack that evening.'”
She Wanted To Hear The Magic Word
“I was in the ICU and was taken off ventilation after 12 days being in it, several of those days was in a medical coma. If you never been on one, after having it taken out your voice is raspy and some time out of breath from talking.
Well, seven am rolls around, and new nurses are on the ward. One of the nurses for the ICU really upset me enough that after texting my boyfriend about her, he called and talked to her supervisor and less she was assigned to different patients on ICU.
What did she do? Well, I asked her can you get me some ice chips? She soon spoke up in almost a snarly voice, ‘Not going to say please?’
So, I said ‘Please,’ and she replied ‘That’s better.’
This behavior went on up till noon, her demanding I say ‘please’ or she wouldn’t help me. Was soon afraid to ask for help with anything as was still bedridden, even being moved to the chair required a lift. I had no problem saying please, but needed a moment before speaking again since most talking took a lot of breath. Her supervisor came to talk to me, and apologized for her behavior, and made sure didn’t have to have her for the rest of the day.”
“He Thought I Was Joking”
“I have a whole bunch of things wrong with me, one of them being Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder. This means the stretchy rubber band type stuff that is meant to hold my bones in place… doesn’t. Meaning my bones sub locate (half dislocate) all the time.
Back when I was still trying to figure out what it was, I showed one doctor how when I sat down my hip bone went out of joint and it hurt really bad. First, he just laughed because I was twelve at the time and thought I was joking. How could a 12-year-old have a bad hip? (This happened when I was in orthopedics)
Then he said I wanted attention, so my mom had him put his hand on my hip while I sat with my legs crossed to show him.
He then sighed, called me hysterical, and told me to stop sitting like that. Then when my mom went to the bathroom asked me if I was trying to get narcotics by lying. I just kept saying no and when he left, I spat on his pen.”
Concerned For All The Wrong Reasons
“In 2018, l had a cancerous tumor removed from my right kidney. It was a Robotic Partial Nephrectomy. The first-night l was in the hospital, the surgeon came and told my husband and l that it was indeed cancer, Clear Cell Carcinoma. The next night, he came to my room along with one of his residents and started to rattle off about how he had done more than 400 of these surgeries and this was the second one that turned out like this. This what?
When the entire pathology report came back it noted that l have ‘positive margins.’ For those who don’t know, it means cancer cells were left in the surrounding tissues after surgery. He seemed to be more concerned about his track record than what this meant for me. Yes, l found a Renal Oncologist at a well-known Cancer Clinic to take over my case.”
“My Jaw Would’ve Dropped If I Wasn’t At Work”
“When I was working as a scribe, I rounded with a primary care doctor. I never really liked this doctor much to begin with (always changed how he wanted his notes done, just not a very pleasant fellow to be around). Well, we go into the room of one patient. The patient has severe clinical depression among other serious mental health issues. We leave the room after doing the exam.
The doctor looks at me and says very sarcastically, ‘Well what does he want me to do, hug him more?’
He then rolled his eyes and kept walking. My jaw would have dropped if I wasn’t at work. I don’t care that this doctor is in his 60s, there’s no excuse for that type of nonsense.
I rearranged my work schedule so it would be impossible for me to ever work with the said doctor again. It was a cut in hours but it was worth it. My compassion and sense of ethics would never allow me to work with that kind of doctor again and keep things amicable, even if it was just for the work shift.”
The Signs Were All There
“I was prescribed a neuroleptic by a neurologist. After a couple of weeks, I was increasingly confused, weak, and exhausted. I went to the follow-up, said all that. I already knew that the medicine sometimes caused sodium imbalance, with those exact signs – and was obviously concerned, that’s a thing to watch for.
He blew me off. I went to a different doctor, who checked my levels, and took me off it immediately, and said I was close to needing an IV to fix the imbalance. She prescribed and advised, had me come in and, checked my levels the next few days, but it took a while to level off.
This involved me rambling something to him, ‘I think I’m confused, and I can’t focus at all, but I don’t know how to tell if I’m actually confused like if it’s medical or whatever.’
I think that’s sort of definably ‘confused,’ if maybe not severe.
Yeah, I was furious with my first doctor.”
“The Doctor Begins To Lecture Me”
“I went in for an annual check-up. Blood work showed my total cholesterol was high (has been my whole life), but that my ratio was good because my ‘good’ cholesterol was very high. My body just naturally makes a lot of the good kind and diet and medications don’t change that.
The doctor comes in and begins to lecture me on my diet and my blood work. I told him I am vegetarian and although I eat eggs, I only eat egg whites or egg substitutes. He then told me that those have MORE cholesterol than regular eggs. I laughed and told him the yolks contain cholesterol and I wasn’t eating those. Got up, refused the prescription for cholesterol medication, and found a new doctor.”
Someone Else Had To Step In
“I had jaw surgery years ago and I was wired shut. At one point in the middle of the night I needed help because my IV was blocked and my arm was swelling up. I pressed the buzzer to get a nurse to come and over the intercom I hear, ‘Yes?’
Well, being that I couldn’t talk, I pressed the buzzer a few more times and she kept saying, ‘What? What do you need, what do you want?’
Finally, the patient next to me in the room (who I couldn’t even see because the curtain was between us) yelled,
Her jaw is wired shut. She can’t talk!’ and someone finally came.
Read the freaking chart, you idiot nurse was what I was thinking.”
“Made Everything 10 Times Worse”
“I was going to a doctor my friend thought was good. I was throwing up three times a week and she said, ‘That’s not bad!’
When it was almost every day, she sent me to have an ultrasound and my gallbladder had too many stones to count. I had my gallbladder removed so no more throwing up.
What she said about the throwing up wasn’t the worst thing she said.
She said to me, ‘You’re overweight, depressed, and out of shape.’
No duh, Sherlock. Did she offer any solutions? No. That was the last time I saw her. To make matters worse I was in therapy and had been for several years. Her saying that to me made everything about 10 times worse.”
What Was The Reasoning?
“A few weeks ago, I went to a new cardiologist as I had outgrown my cardiologist from the children’s hospital and the very first question he asked was, ‘Are you new around here? ‘
The moment he asked that question I knew where he was going with the question, as there’s not many Asians in the United States, let alone Nebraska.
Anyways, I said no, I was adopted when I was four, and have been in Nebraska since then. I don’t even have a Chinese accent, so I don’t know if it was a sad excuse for a conversation starter or if it was asked out of complete arrogance.”
“This Has Caused Unneeded Stress”
“Unfortunately, this type of behavior happens a lot. One example I saw frequently before I chose to go into private practice was telling patients they will never do an activity the patient loved to do. That’s highly inappropriate, and not conducive to recovering from a serious injury, illness, or medical condition which brought them to the hospital.
I’ve seen a few incidents that caused the patient to become distressed. They would need at a minimum talking with and often mild doses of diazepam or lorazepam IV. If they can take medication alprazolam seems to work a bit better. I could not have patients anxious and often feeling hopeless, making the situation worse.
I also did not tolerate any staff telling the family they are adults and don’t need their input. Why did they sign a document letting a partner, family member, or close friend be given information and allow communication? Having support outside the hospital is a predictor for a better recovery.
To make things worse, recent hysteria has exacerbated this and many patients are left alone with little contact outside a phone call. Often due to a lot of metal in hospitals, they become similar to a Faraday cage: the local WiFi will not work with a different provider’s phone and devices like a tablet.
This has caused unneeded stress, especially when no visitors are allowed yet patients are in the facility with masks as is the staff — and often contracted services doing a repair or whatever else. It makes no sense.
This has added tremendous stress to all healthcare providers and patients from CNA to cardiac patients, nursing staff, physicians, and surgeons along with other specialists. So many senseless conflicting and contradictory rules from various state and federal agencies have created an unseen crisis in healthcare. As media breathlessly report on the recent events, there are much more serious life-threatening illnesses such as cardiac and respiratory diseases that continue to end lives. Many could have been saved if it were not for this hysteria.
An example of this happened the other day. One of my colleagues was by chance walking near the emergency room entrance. The two young women were telling a middle-aged man he had to answer their stupid questions. The man was telling them he was having severe chest pain. They did not call for help — they got a cop! They demanded he is taken into custody, and no, his wife could not help him in.
My colleague went out and told them to stop and took him in. Those two petty tyrants lost their jobs. The cop was, to my surprise, trying to tell the tyrants to let him take the man and his wife in. They are lucky my colleague came by.
The man, in obvious serious distress, was having a major cardiac arrest! But no, we must do several silly steps and tests before the patient can be treated. It’s people like those nurses that are preventing people from getting much needed medical attention.”
Eyes Closed Doesn’t Mean Anything
“I had just come out of surgery. I had my gallbladder and right adrenal gland taken out, and I was hurting so bad from the surgery and had my eyes closed, and of course, I was crying. They asked what was wrong. I told them I was hurting. They said I must not be hurting that bad because my eyes were closed.
I told the nurse that just because my eyes were closed doesn’t mean anything. I advised her that I just came out of surgery and am groggy and want to sleep but can’t because I am hurting so bad.”
“I Was Astonished At How Often It Happens”
“I had to stay in the hospital once. And I have a wheat sensitivity. I had to explain to multiple nurses that bread, muffins, and cookies all had wheat in them and I couldn’t eat them. I even had my allergies in my chart and the allergy bracelet on. I also had one of the nurses not understand the term ‘grains.’
I wasn’t really astonished the first time this happened as nursing is a hard and stressful job, but I was astonished at how often it happened.”
“A few years ago, I felt a very sharp pin-point pain in my abdomen. It got worse over the course of the day so I went to the local hospital. The surgeon who saw me started prodding and poking, as they do. At one point I winced.
She asked if that was where the pain was. I said, ‘No, it’s just that you pressed my solar plexus.’
She looked surprised and said that the solar plexus was in the back. Luckily, I didn’t go under her knife that day.”
“Still Mad At Her Ageist Attitude”
“Last year, I was having great trouble with my hip and back. I also had a condition called drop foot which caused me to fall repeatedly. I went to the doctor and she just said to either take some substance or use a cane. Because of my age (66), she saw no need to do anything to be proactive and keep me active.
I walk three miles a day to keep my blood sugar in check (diabetic) and keep depression at bay. I’m still mad at her ageist attitude.”
He Couldn’t Endorse That
“My doctor was congratulating me for dropping my cholesterol fifty points and my triglycerides almost off the lower end of the scale. He told me whatever it was I was doing, I needed to keep doing it.
I said I eat a low-carb, high-fat diet. He looked at me and said he couldn’t endorse a high-fat diet.”
“I Wrote Off Anything He Said”
“I had all my wisdom teeth removed at once when I was about 18. In a follow-up, the surgeon asked what I’d been doing to get plenty of protein since chewing was impossible with all four quadrants healing. I’d been eating egg whites – whipping them up and essentially making meringues.
His response? ‘There is no protein in egg whites.’
Egg whites are pure protein. From that point, I wrote off anything he said.”
“Happens In Almost Every Office”
“My issue is more of what they DON’T say. The clerk takes my heart rate, blood pressure, O2, blood sugar, etc, and writes them down on the chart.
The doctor comes in for the visit. They never discuss them with me unless I ask them questions. When I do, they seem annoyed. I presume that each figure that the other has done this already.
This even goes for when the readings are out of range. It happens in almost every office I visit, so changing doctors is not an option.”