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shego's avatar

Have you ever had a hit on your self esteem by a doctor?

Asked by shego (11055 points ) June 16th, 2010 from iPhone

I went to the doctor today, and she really had some things to say about how I view myself.
I thought I was doing good on my weight loss, by exercising, eating right, and working on my portion control. But according to her, I haven’t done good enough. I really am upset, and hurt because I thought I was doing great.
So has this ever happened to you?

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34 Answers

Draconess25's avatar

Another reason I don’t like doctors. Don’t let it get to you.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Actually, yes. I have big eyes, and although I’ve always gotten compliments on them.. I’ve always been a bit self conscious. I went to see an allergist in my teens, and she was generally unfriendly. But when she asked me “So, have your eyes always been so.. buggy?” and then opened her eyes as wide as she could, I was really offended. I think she could have probably found a better way to ask. I never went back.

Vunessuh's avatar

I had a dentist tell me once that if I wanted to be prettier, I needed to remove the two moles on my forehead. I should have punched him in his vagina. It didn’t really effect my self-esteem though because I like my moles and so does everybody else so fuck him and his little drill. Giggles.

I really wouldn’t let what your doctor said get to you. She’s not physically there to see all the work you’ve done to get to the point you are now – it sounds like you truly are doing great so don’t let her judgments dictate how much time and effort you’ve dedicated to your health. Perhaps her intentions behind what she said was to motivate you, but if that’s the case, she went about it the wrong way. Just use what she said as fuel for motivation to prove her wrong the next time you see her. :)

Lightlyseared's avatar

Yes but as I then point out their inadequacies, failings and general incompetencies they tend not to do it twice.

Val123's avatar

Did she say specifically what she felt the problem was, or did she just insult you and send you on your way?

YARNLADY's avatar

Only a long time ago. I had a doctor say my symptoms were ‘female problems’, and the ‘cure’ was to prescribe Valium, implying it was all in my head. I took a pass on that.

Val123's avatar

@YARNLADY Ah ,yeah. That’s how it used to be. Women with emotional problems were simply hysterical, it was all in their head, and Valium was the answer. Did you know that over time Valium can lead to suicidal tendencies? They didn’t know that then. Then, when the women tried to commit suicide after being on “drugs” for 10 years, they got locked up in a nut house.

meagan's avatar

Absolutely. I had a deviated septum in my nose. When I went to my otolaryngologist to talk about surgery, he politely asked me if I’d like to have rhinoplasty on the top of my nose where I have a small bump “while we’re in there”.

What a jerk. I went in there so I could have surgery to breathe better, and instead now I’m self conscious about my nose.

Val123's avatar

@meagan Well your nose is just beautiful! If a little purple. And kind of flowery. But hey. No one’s perfect!

Dr_Dredd's avatar

What exactly did she say? She may not have meant to be insulting, but sometimes it can come out that way if doctors are pressed for time. I wish I could say I’ve never done that, but I’m sure I have without even realizing it. Usually I try to complement someone on what they’ve done and couple it with a hint that there’s more work left to do.

JLeslie's avatar

I have left doctors offices crying many times. I felt not taken seriously, and that the doctor was not willing to spend time trying to help me, because my problem was not clear cut. When I tried to explain why their diagnosis could not be the case, I guess they get offended or something? Those particular doctors were not partners in my care, they were inadequate dictators.

I have a doctor who gets on me about needing to exercise more and she wants me to take cholesterol meds, which I refuse to do. But, I like her. I like how attentive she is in my care, and I don’t mind her being critical. Maybe it is in her delivery?

@TheOnlyNeffie She could have said it better. But, she might have been concerned that you were hyperthyroid.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@JLeslie I know that, actually. I understand why she might ask such a question, I just don’t like the way she said it. The facial expression while asking really wasn’t necessary either. It was kind of rude. Even if I hadn’t been self conscious of my big eyes, I would have found that rude.

MissAusten's avatar

The first obgyn I saw when I was pregnant made me feel like an idiot. She talked down to me, treated me like I was completely ignorant, and even rolled her eyes at one of my questions. The question was, “My mother had a preterm baby that didn’t survive, and three miscarriages. Does that put me at a higher risk for not being able to carry to term?” I was relatively young (23) but certainly not ignorant or uneducated. I was, however, shy and unwilling to confront her. I left feeling like the dirt under someone’s shoe. On the drive home I had to remind myself that I graduated from college, had a minor in biology, aced two semesters of anatomy, and even if I hadn’t been as well informed, she had no right to treat me like that. I changed doctors quickly.

Another time, I was working in a daycare center and pulled a muscle in my back when taking a baby out of a crib. My supervisor sent me to the doctor the company used for worker’s compensation, and he was an asshole. I was trying to explain to him how after hurting my back I noticed that one of my hips seemed higher than the other and not even like they typically are. He looked me right in the eye and said, “That’s just fat.” At this point I was a little older and less shy. I said to him, “Yeah, but it’s my fat and I know what it normally looks like.” How dare he point out my love handle?! lol He still blew me off, and since my “fat” went back to looking even once my back felt better, it must have just been swelling. What makes me mad about it, besides my bruised ego, is that I wasn’t very much overweight. It made me wonder how he treated larger women.

Val123's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie I totally agree with you about the facial expression. Totally 1st grade and unprofessional.

@MissAusten Astounding….totally astounding.

Trillian's avatar

I never heard of such a thing. I have worked with I don’t know how many doctors over the years and the very idea of making a personal remark is simply not done.
@TheOnlyNeffie Wow. That just… are you hyper-thyroid?
As many of you who have stories like this just blows me away. Maybe it’s just me and being a bit more confrontational. The couple of times I thought a Dr. had an attitude I’ve confronted it right then and there. I can’t even think of what they said to piss me off or make me wonder now. @MissAusten she rolled her eyes? You see, I would have said something right then. I like to address behaviour and leave people out of the equation. I hope you’re past feeling shy and non confrontational. What a bitch.

gemiwing's avatar

Oh dear, where to start. I’ve been told ‘So, What are we going to do about your fat?’ by an RN- I asked her what we were going to do about her horrible bedside manner.

I’ve had a gyno tell me that I’m in danger of being Satan’s Helper because I’m queer and have tattoos. I filed a complaint with the board on that one.

I’ve been told the reason my legs shut off after walking for ten minutes (literally I’ll just fall to the floor because they truly do ‘turn off’) because I need to lose twenty pounds. I told them ‘I’ve been fatter than this and I could still walk. I highly doubt your education was worth the money you spent on it.’

I’ve had ER staff tell me to ‘lay off the drugs’ when I presented with a seizure. I told them to hair test me or go and find someone else to berate.

My doctor now is quite good once we got over the initial hump. She still forgets sometimes that I’m smart, educated and quite capable of knowing my own body. I remind her of all those things, and I can watch it click in her face- the ‘patients know nothing’ visage drops and is replaced by the face of ‘this patient is my partner in finding out what’s going wrong here’.

Val123's avatar

@Trillian I agree that it’s a valid concern that the doctor may have had a concern @TheOnlyNeffie may have a hyperthyroid condition, but what kind of “professional” would bug out her eyes to make the point????

@gemiwing I just have to say, I’m glad I’ve had very little reason to ever go to a doctor! Although, when my son was two he got his first set of stitches in his chin (out of an eventual 5 by the time he was 6.) He was screaming bloody murder as they were going in. I desperately asked the doctor if the anesthetic as working and he snarled, “I can’t tell with him screaming his head off like that!” and didn’t even pause. Ah God. Can’t punch a man who has needle and thread in his hand stitching up your baby.

Trillian's avatar

@Val123 Yeah, that floors me. I can not imagine any professional doing something like that. WTF?

Val123's avatar

They’re out there @Trillian….

janbb's avatar

One of my favorites was the doctor (a female Gyn) who asked, “Why wouldn’t you want to have a hysterectomy?” The other was another OB-Gyn who said “Well, if you’re the type of laboring woman who feels better when she goes to the hospital…”

I ditched each of them and now have a Gyn who said the first time I saw him, “We can’t have you go on with that type of pain.”

Val123's avatar

@janbb That reminds me….I had an ectopic pregnancy. Came on suddenly. I don’t do ER all that well, and it took me a couple of hours, with the pain getting worse and worse, to decide I HAD to go in. It was about 9:00 on a Saturday night when I made the decision. It meant finding last screaming minute “placement” for my kids (no family in state, except for one sister who wouldn’t have helped anyway) as well as making arrangement for two other kids who were spending the night to be picked up. The neighbors took my kids with the admonishment “Be back by 8 a.m. because we have church!” (WTF?? We’d been neighbors for two years! They knew I wasn’t a party girl! I don’t know what else they could have been thinking other than I suddenly wanted a night-out or something.) Anyway, drove myself in, turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy, emergency surgery scheduled for early the next morning (my birthday) And in the middle of all the chaos, from a gurney, about 2 in the morning, I made arrangements for my ex the “father” to pick my kids up by 8 a.m.
Not long after that, about 4 a.m., pre op shots, drowsy to the point of out-of- it, being rushed into surgery, the doctor leans over and says, “Do you want me to tie your tubes while I’m in there?” I was 33. I could NOT think straight. When I mumbled, “That’s not the kind of decision I can make right now.” He looked disgusted and that’s the last thing I remember. Except I remember all the operating lights and saying “I want my Mom.”
However, I had a post op appointment with someone…I’m thinking it was him, the surgeon, and he acted disgusted with me the whole time. Maybe he got word that the “father” was black. Who knows. I can’t figure it out to this day. What did I do to deserve to be treated with disgust?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Well thank you for your concern :) I do not have hyperthyroidism, no. Just born with big peepers. (Found a pic that was a little less stupid than the first one.) I’ve heard it all, most frequently it’s something referencing a deer in the headlights – I just never expected to hear it put in such a lousy way by a health care professional.

Draconess25's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie You have anime eyes! XD

tranquilsea's avatar

I’ve had too many bad experiences with doctors. Turned me quite off doctors for a long while.

Pandora's avatar

Doctors can be ass holes too like anyone else. Keep doing what your doing for your sake and find a different doctor. However if you were suppose to be on a diet and a year has gone by and you only lost 5 lbs and there is no medical reason why you shouldn’t have lost more,(because your doctor was thourough) than I can understand your doctor trying to shake you up and make you realize you aren’t doing enough. Especially if you suffer from diabeties or high blood pressure or a heart problem. Then she is simply trying to get you to realize the dangers and take things further for your own sake. If thats not the case than shes and idiot.

shego's avatar

It’s not the case I’ve lost a total of 80 lbs through dieting, hard work and exercise.

Vunessuh's avatar

@shego Good for you! That’s amazing. :)

bunnygrl's avatar

@Shego that is truly awesome <hugs> well done honey <more hugs> and your Dr is an idiot. I’ve had so many experiences like that over the years, too many. My Dr recently (who is lovely usually) took my blood pressure and because it was very high said I was to make an appointment with our practice nurse to have it checked again. At my appointment I was in her room for about 10 mins in all. She drew blood (leaving my arm is such a state that customers at work were asking me about it for days afterwards, it was so bruised people thought someone had beaten me, my uniform covers everything except my arms, shirt has short sleeves), took my blood pressure in all 3 times till she could get what she called a “proper reading”. She told me to be quiet and stay still, and when I told her that it was really hurting she said well “your arm being fat doesn’t help”. The entire time I was there till I left the room she never once made eye contact with me, or even looked at my face I think. I might as well have been a packet of sausages.

I remember a few years ago when a friend turned thirty she went to see her GP because her emotions were like a roller coaster and she was crying a lot, and was told it was her own fault she was having problems because she wasn’t married and hadn’t been pregnant yet, and at her age that was “unnatural”. He told her to go get a boyfriend and get herself pregnant and her body would sort itself out. She changed doctors.

The experience that hurt me most (and arguably did the most actual damage) was when i saw my then dr after my grandmother died. I remember sitting in her surgery literally sobbing and telling her I wanted to die the pain was just too much to bear, and she told me that she’d understand if I’d lost my mum but she was “only your Gran” (I’d been with her my whole life and for the record she was my mum, my best friend and the one I told all my secrets and dreams to, and yes this was the family dr so she knew she’s raised me) that I was being self obsessed and I should go get a hobby. She wrote me a prescription for seroxat and put it on repeat and never checked on me. Well I did that hobby thing, although I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. What I did was I had a full blown breakdown and my “hobby” for the next 4 years or more was surviving. For over 2 years of it I was trapped inside our home, quite literally. its taken me so many years to get to where I am now and if I’d just had a better doctor maybe I wouldn’t know what hell looks and feels like.
@shego don’t pay that idiot dr any mind honey, you’re going to keep losing weight (although seriously? 80lbs! I’ll bet you’re a total babe already) but she’s stuck with that crappy personality <hugs>
@TheOnlyNeffie I’ll bet your eyes are beautiful <hugs> bloody cheek of that dr :-(
@fellow jellies I can’t believe so many of us have had such horrible experiences. When you go see a dr usually you’re already scared, and very vulnerable and they can make you feel better or, as is the case in this thread time and again, they can make you feel so much worse. It isn’t fair. <hugs fellow jellies> xx

Pandora's avatar

@shego Than get another doc. :)

MissAusten's avatar

I think @Pandora hit the nail right on the head: “Doctors can be assholes too.” I’ve been very fortunate overall with doctors. The obgyn I switched to was amazing. He epitomized everything I think a great doctor should be, and I feel the same way about the kids’ pediatrician. The family doctor we had from the time I was 4 until I moved out of state as an adult was also a wonderful person. It might take some looking around before you find a good fit with a doctor you trust, but there are some fantastic ones out there!

@Trillian My husband has been a good influence on me. I tactfully avoid keeping my mouth shut now. :)

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@shego my gosh, forget what this doctor said! Good for you! That’s incredible, and not an easy feat, you have every right to be proud of your hard work.

tranquilsea's avatar

After a string of bad doctors I learned to censure myself in exams as I really believe that they couldn’t handle the fact that, at the time, I was on anti-depressants and sleeping pills. Everything that came out of my mouth got blamed on “what was going on in my head”. Through those years my psychiatrist acted liked a GP. He didn’t do exams (that would have been creepy) but he did refer me to specialists who eventually figured out what was going on.

Then I found a doctor who listens, really listens. I was stunned to have someone take me seriously. He is now the family doctor for me, my hubby, my kids and my sister.

JLeslie's avatar

@shego That is fantastic! That doctor is an asshole! I don’t know how old you are, but for me it took me a lot of years to realize I might need to burn through a bunch of doctors until I find one I like. If you want to get your say, write a letter to him explaining how he made you feel. You can send it or never send it, but you will get your thoughts out. I never have sent my “letters” I have written when very upset, but it helped me get pissed, instead of feeling upset. Which I prefer. And then I kind of get to a place of forgiveness, that the doctor is just human and limited. Sometimes I have a moment of schadenfreude thinking one day they will know what I felt. They will be treated unfairly, or not given positive reinforcement for an accomplishment, and maybe, just maybe they will think about how they treat other people.

mattbrowne's avatar

No. I only take doctors seriously who treat me as an equal.

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