When I was pregnant the phlebotomist at the doctors office told me to stop wearing my seatbelt because “my brother didn’t wear his and he got into a wreck and he would have died if he had worn a belt.”
“Hey kid, hold your lip back, I’ve always wanted to try this”
He then took his water pick and proceeded to use the hole in my tooth for target practice. Hit the bullseye on the third shot.
Best. Dentist. Ever.
12 years old at summer camp. Had a high fever, nausea, and sharp abdominal pain on lower right. Other kids told me my skin and lips were really discolored. Went to the nurse, she does the hand on forehead, tells me to lie down in the back of the infirmary, then tells the counselor that I’m faking it and I’ll be back out when I’m bored.
Assistant nurse takes my temperature. 103 and starts having an argument with 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.
This was back in my Air Force days. I went to the hospital due to pains, didn’t know what appendicitis felt like, thought I might have that after everybody telling me it was scary. I told the doctor that I had pains on my left side. That is really hurt when bending, sitting, and twisting to turn. Any movement of my abdomen hurt.
He took x-rays and looked them over then said to me. “You’re full of shit.” I defended by telling him my pain was real, that I wasn’t doing this to get out of some duty.
He then clarified, “No, your pain is because your intestines are backed up, you’re full of shit. When was your last bowel movement?”
Went to a psychiatrist because I wanted to kill myself.
“Well, you don’t seem sad. I can’t really help.”
I broke my femur when I was a kid and when I arrived in hospital the doctor exclaimed that it was impossible that it was broken as it was such a tough bone and swore it was only bruised/sprained. He then lifted my leg only to have it fold mid thigh around his hand. I was rushed off pretty quickly.
I was a newly minted EMT-Intermediate (the level between EMT and Paramedic) and as such had just received permission from the state to intubate people. My partner and I get sent to a cardiac arrest along with another ambulance, the supervisor, a fire engine and two cops. Pretty standard in my region. We were second on scene (behind the fire engine) and my partner looked at me as we walked in and just said “You’ve got the airway.” Alright, game one.
I followed my training to the fucking letter: sized the tube, checked the cuff, visualized the vocal cords and the tube passing through, condensation in the tube, check the number at the teeth, capnography, secured the tube, the whole shebang. One of the firefighters checked epigastric sounds (negative), left lung sounds (positive) and right lung sounds (positive). It was a textbook intubation and since it was my first in the field I let out a celebratory “Yes!” accompanied by a fist pump.
We were completely surrounded by family members.
“I think you’re a hypochondriac.”
While pregnant, I couldn’t stop throwing up. My GP told me I was a hypochondriac and I was making myself throw up. I lost 40 lbs during my pregnancy and was finally hospitalized for hyperemesis gravidarum when I was 8 months pregnant because I was almost catastrophically dehydrated.
Apparently that was just this guy’s thing. He also told a friend of mine that she was a hypochondriac too. Turns out she has Lupus. 2 hips and 2 knees later she’s doing quite well.
He can no longer practice medicine because he was caught sleeping with one of his patients that he had been prescribing anti-psychotics for.
A bitchy ophthalmologist’s assistant kept yelling at me to relax (like that’s gonna help) because my eye pressure kept reading high. Turns out I had high eye pressure.
I had an appointment to set up a birth control pill prescription because my periods were complete hell and needed beaten into submission. The nurse who did my medical history got to the appointment reason and started “tsk”ing and told me “You shouldn’t be here, you don’t need this, come back when you’re having sex.”
That’s horrible advice, but the worst part was this was coming from a nurse at a clinic attached to a college so you’d think that attitude wouldn’t have lasted long. The actual doctor was awesome, but that nurse was an obnoxious, ignorant moron and I hate to think how many other patients she treated like that.
Well this one might be somewhat comical in a distorted, my-god-that-was-disastrous sort of way; honestly, I’m a little surprised it didn’t show up on this thread already… maybe it just hasn’t been upvoted yet.
Disclaimer: I am the medical professional here and I understand the severity of this slip-up and that it may be less amusing to some, but do try to understand that those of us in medicine who encounter health tragedy fairly regularly must cope with humor at times. It’s meant in a purely benign way. This is such a case.
It was my first clinical rotation in medical school: Ob/Gyn. I was on an outpatient week, seeing women who came in for their regular pregnancy checkups and the like. I had my Doppler with me, that little microphone-like thing that we use to hear the fetal heart rate in the uterus. Well, my Doppler battery was low. And I knew that.
I enter the patient room, pleasant and professional. The pregnancy is going swimmingly and there’s nothing but sunshine. I apply the gel to her belly and turn on the Doppler. The fetal heart rate is a beautiful 150 beats per minute; right where it should be. Then the Doppler runs out of battery.
And what, pray-tell, do you say when something runs out of battery?
In a fantastic lesson in the importance of thinking before you speak, I reflexively blurted out, “Oh it died.”
The high-pitched “WHAT” that came out of this poor woman could have shattered glass for miles. In a panic, I explained that I was referring to the Doppler and ran to get a second one. Hearing the heart again, she was reassured that her baby was totally fine. Afterward, the woman took it surprisingly well and ended up laughing with me about it.
Lesson. Learned. My god, even the most well-intentioned in bedside manner can slip up. I am a huge proponent of humanism in medicine because the doctor-patient interaction has dramatic effects on physiology and healing, let alone the impact it can make on the human experience in illness. Plus, well, it’s nice to be nice.
For me it wasn’t so much what a doctor said, as what they didn’t say.
About six months ago I went in to my general practitioner for a yearly checkup. I’d been having some weird vision problems, but other than that I felt perfectly fine. Blood work came back a few days later and I was told to come in and discuss. Ok, little worried now. Come in, talk to my doc, and he’s got a big smile on his face. He hands me my blood work results, almost every line-item says its either way above or way below “safe” levels, and tells me to “frame it” because its the single worst blood test result he’s ever seen, and its obviously a lab error because “if your blood was really this bad, you’d basically be on your death bed, and you obviously look and feel fine.” Phew! New blood work is drawn, I’m told to wait a few days and they’d let me know once the lab ran the tests correctly, but not to worry since lab errors like this happen all the time.
Few days later I get a call from a nurse I’d never spoken to. “You need to call this number right away,” she says, offering no further details, “and make an appointment with Dr. XXXXX.” I was so taken aback that I didn’t ask any follow-up questions, I just hung up and called the number. Voice on the other end picked up: “Cancer Specialists of [My State], how may I help you?”
Aaaaaaaand that’s how I learned I had cancer.
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, asshole
My wife and I had a miscarriage, and it required her to have the fetus removed via a d&c. Well they used a vacuum type thing to remove everything, but didn’t come close to getting it all out. It caused my wife to get an infection and she got really sick.
She got brought back to the hospital to have a second d&c performed and the Dr. Said “usually I just stick the vacuum up there and keep sucking until no more of your baby comes out, but it looks like we must have left some parts up in there.” That Dr. Has zero bedside manners.
When I was about 12 I had to go to the doctor for a cough. I had to take my shirt of 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?’ 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 :(