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Jeruba's avatar

What completely inane opinion or recommendation have you heard from a doctor or other professional?

Asked by Jeruba (52854points) July 19th, 2020
27 responses
“Great Question” (6points)

I don’t make it a habit to bash medical or legal professionals, who are, after all, just human and subject to stresses like the rest of us.

But sometimes I think they’re just reciting boilerplate and may not even listen to themselves. I know they carry a lot—but that is the life they chose. They hold a bigger place in my life than I do in theirs, and their words matter.

My nominee, after I described a distressing symptom: “Let’s wait and see if it happens again, and if it doesn’t, it was just a one-time thing.”

Thanks, doc.

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lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I was told that my blood sugar was a little high.
That was it.
They don’t call it a practice for nothing.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Was told after examining my eyes that I had better get to the City ( 500 Miles away)

Now or I will go BLIND!

After in panic mode and arranging replacement for my work, upsetting everyone,and worried

in the four hours travelling, it turned out to be NOTHING that urgent!

After many months and years thinking on it I finally realized that this new Doctor was just

padding his brother’s patient list who specialized in Eye problems etc!

Another time again a doctor had me take needle shots, unnecessarily.

( I forget what it was..steroids or muscle relaxants?)

After two years of this painful treatment as the long needle was injected into my foot arch,and

repeated trips to the Physio Therapist every morning ( 7 Am before I went to work) it finally

corrected itself AFTER I changed my shoes!

The problem was the running shoes were the wrong type for my foot?

After that, I seriously doubted anything a Doctor prescribes and questioned everything then on.

*** NOTE***
I heard a famous Doctor on a documentary answer the question:

” What makes you feel good when treating a patient?”

His surprising answer:

“To know that what I prescribed whether drug or treatment actually worked!”

He went on to explain that trial and error makeup a doctors learning and training.

” Much like a Roulette wheel” of treatments..some work and some don’t ”

Get MORE than one doctors opinion.

janbb's avatar

One of my sons had a speech delay and when I took him at age 3 for a speech therapist’s exam at the hospital, the therapist asked if he had been breast fed. I said he had and the therapist, a male, said, “I thought so! Lazy lips!”

JLeslie's avatar

When a doctor prescribed athletes foot medicine for a very bad case of plantars warts for a relative of mine. He went to another doctor on my insistence and had it treated correctly. Thankfully, the second doctor wasn’t an idiot too. My relative wasted filling the first prescription and a second doctor’s appointment.

To cut away part of my clitoris without consulting an expert in vulgar cancer when that type of surgery can result in permanent pain.

That Americans don’t have to worry about vitamin deficiencies. I can’t tell you how many people I know who are B12 and vitamin D deficient. Those doctors if you press them never test for vitamin deficiencies.

Several doctors telling me my hair was excessively falling out because hair sheds naturally. I was already in my late 30! I know how much hair I lose. It was my thyroid.

I don’t know if this is “inane”
but I was in a lecture where a doctor argued he gave out diagnosis like fibromyalgia so patients would stop going from doctor to doctor to get an answer about their pain. Sane lecture a retired hospital nurse said it was awful how she was forced to lie to patients when they knew information was being held, because the doctor or family decided it was best.

A friend of mine had her breasts removed in her 50’s because all the women in her family get breast cancer. About ten years after removing them she felt a lump. She called her doctor and they didn’t take her concern seriously and scheduled her 6 weeks out. When she came in for the appointment and he examined her, he immediately scheduled more diagnostics and she had cancer. The doctor said, “I guess you know your body.” Asshole.

cookieman's avatar

I had a pretty bad overbite as a kid. Looked like a beaver. First orthodontist we went to suggested breaking my jaw and wiring my mouth shut for 6-months.

Imagine my wide-eyed reaction to that suggestion.

Got a second opinion and went with typical braces for three years like every other kid I knew.

canidmajor's avatar

I was told by two doctors that my pain issues were hysteria (literally, they diagnosed me with “hysteria”). Others just patted my arm and put me off. After seven years, and a boatload of my own research (before Internet), I was correctly diagnosed, had surgery to repair the issue, and because of the delay, lost almost all of my right kidney.
The right test early on would have saved the kidney.
My cancer developed to an advanced stage because I was told the pain and problems were just peri menopause.

I don’t have a lot of faith in the medical community.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@canidmajor -Me either and I can’t blame you.

canidmajor's avatar

And in the spirit of the Q, it was the sheer inanity of these professionals that did me in. I wasn’t misdiagnosed, I was simply dismissed with inanity.
As, I suspect, we’re you, @lucillelucillelucille.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

My doctor before I lost weight, called my belly a pasta tumor.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@canidmajor I’m sorry that happened to you.
It was that experience that got me into questioning every thing that comes out of their mouth and then researching on my own as well.
After all, they’re just humans right?

janbb's avatar

I had a gynecologist who called my fibroid tumor the “size of a ten week old fetus.” I switched doctors. And the next one asked me why I’d prefer some of the newer treatments to a hysterectomy. I switched doctors again..

raum's avatar

Not exactly a medical opinion. But a pediatrician asked me how much UCSF was charging for an evaluation that we needed. Said he would charge less. Felt like I was at a fucking swap meet.

I get that this could be beneficial under different circumstances. But the guy came off like an unknowledgeable yet cocky asshole.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

A priest suggested that I kill someone who was threatening me at work.

Jeruba's avatar

I have to ask: Did some responders read the key word in the question as “insane” rather than “inane”? Because some of those medical comments do sound insane.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Jeruba Oh? Yes. I don’t know what inane is.

Jeruba's avatar


1. lacking sense, significance, or ideas; silly: inane questions.
2. empty; void.

The example in my details was of a doctor’s recommendation that said absolutely nothing.

gondwanalon's avatar

7 years ago 2 cardiologists (at the same hospital) told me that they wanted to ablate (destroy) my heart’s natural pacemakers (AV and SA nodes) and give me and artificial pacemaker. And keep my heart in a-fib for life. Also be on anticoagulation therapy for life.

Got a second opinion and a highly specialized heart procedure and my heart is maintaining normal function today. No anticoagulation drugs. And I feel terrific!

JLeslie's avatar

I read it as inane, but I guess any chance I can vent about doctors I ramble on, even if off track. It’s just so upsetting. So easy to get triggered.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Male doctors have, historically, tended to dismiss female symptoms as “hysteria.” It’s all in our heads.

Cupcake's avatar

@JLeslie I lecture to my undergrad students about how physicians are not taught the anatomy of the clitoris and how women are at risk for permanent damage as a result. It is horrifying. I am so so sorry.

There is a TED talk that I require my students to watch that discusses it. Perhaps you’ve already seen it.

I also fully agree about the vitamin/mineral deficiencies. Magnesium and zinc are others that are especially common with people with Lyme disease.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cupcake Luckily, I was already in my 40’s with tons of experience with inane and incompetent doctors, and I sought two more GYN’s, and eventually an oncologist who specializes in the vulva. The oncologist took one look, and in a minute said I definitely don’t have cancer.

Cupcake's avatar

As someone with long-term Lyme disease (I never found a tick nor a characteristic bullseye rash so I never received an initial treatment), I have seen a number of doctors who have no idea what is wrong with me nor how to treat me. I’ve sat in the parking lot after appointments more times than I can count crying about how awful the experience was with a clinical provider.

My most painful experience was when I was a young adult and had aged out of my Adolescent Medicine doctor. I went to see a generalist who had been recommended to me. I explained my sexual assault and resulting pregnancy history as a young teenager, as well as my chronic depression and PTSD. He did whatever exam was required and before he left the exam room, told me that I didn’t fit into his patient population well and should find somewhere else to get medical care. I don’t remember all of the details too well, but it was a shameful, embarrassing, upsetting experience.

My most recent “incompetent” experience was with a Nurse Practitioner. She does all annual physical exams for my physician so that my regular PCP can avoid people bringing their new medical concerns to her during a preventive health exam. I was given a form to fill out that asked invasive questions about trauma and abuse, as well as physical activity levels. It was re-traumatizing for me to fill out that form. And then I was told to undress and cover myself with a paper vest and sheet that couldn’t possibly cover my lap and the NP came in the room to meet me like that. I find that so highly inappropriate and unprofessional. Especially after asking about trauma. That is the opposite of trauma-informed. So, needless to say, the internal gynecologic exam (which I opt to do with my PCP because of my low-risk and trauma history) was unnecessarily upsetting. I also know that I met at least three criteria of “high-risk” and none of it was discussed with me during the exam. Other than the Pap smear, there was no other physical exam, no listening to lungs or heart, etc. She left the room after the Pap and the medical assistant came back to tell me that labs had been requested electronically based on my age and I was told I could leave. It was the shortest, most useless exam I’ve ever had.

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JLeslie's avatar

@Cupcake Amazing how doctors can be so awful. I blame greed for part of it. I also think most doctors had a parent who was a doctor or have really good health, or both, especially if they are young, and they never had to be a typical patient or a patient dealing with chronic illness, especially young doctors. People with bad health wouldn’t be able to fathom getting through internship and residency.

I have had doctors come in before I undress and doctors come in once I am already undressed. Neither bothers me, but I do care about feeling rushed. I hadn’t thought before this that someone who has been traumatized previously would really care about this step, it makes perfect sense. You would think a doctor who asks would know. I’m pretty sure I have been able to cover my body well (this is not something I think about much) but I would say ask for an additional gown or whatever you need. Even ask to meet the doctor before undressing. Do whatever will make you comfortable. I have had two bad incidents with male doctors that I feel were sexually inappropriate, I won’t describe them to spare you the details. Luckily, the second time I just stopped what was happening when I was uncomfortable and never went back.

I often feel the doctor wants to get to the next patient as fast as possible. I started asking when I make first meeting appointments how long is the appointment scheduled for with the actual doctor.

I have a friend who is a doctor who was interviewed for an article, or wrote the piece, I don’t remember, who said that patients should not bring up other problems, only what the appointment is scheduled for. So, for instance, you schedule a follow up appointment for a knee surgery, but while at the doctor you want to also talk about your neck pain acting up. No no no, that should be a separate appointment. That really annoys me.

Cupcake's avatar

@JLeslie I think the first time meeting someone, you should be fully dressed. I don’t have a problem with being in a gown, but this was the most exposed I had ever been in an outpatient office, with a paper short vest on and a cover slightly larger than a pillowcase on my lap that didn’t even wrap around to my thighs.

I am getting better at self-advocacy, but hadn’t even considered asking for another “gown” or asking the NP to come in before I changed. Literally had not crossed my mind. I think I was just so shocked at how things were done that I couldn’t think beyond that to how to address it.

I did ask the medical assistant if it was normal in an annual physical to not receive an acutal exam. She said yes, you get more reviewed when you’re older… maybe at 50? 45? Not sure. Then you might get a breast exam? Garbage – you’re supposed to get those annually.

I try to not overdo it, but my degree is in public health. I am an expert in the healthcare system, healthcare guidelines, patient-provider communication, rapport, maternal and child health. All of these things. And I know when people get it wrong, but don’t want to be labeled as “that patient” who is demanding and confrontational. I’m not great, so far, at finding the balance between behaving the way I believe is “appropriate” and “professional” and advocating for myself.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cupcake I completely understand where you are coming from. I have been through not speaking up for myself when I know something feels off. It has turned me into “that” patient. I try to control myself, but it is stunning how an appointment can spiral out of control. I have literally said as my opening statement when dealing with chronic issues, “I need you to believe me” or something similar. I am STUNNED at how we have to advocate for ourselves and how we have to make medical decisions for ourselves. I am also STUNNED when I get good care at this point. Nothing has caused me anxiety like going to the doctor and not being understood or helped or receiving bad treatment. It is one of the worst things in my life literally. Not handling it well has greatly affected my life. I also believe it has shortened my life.

That’s crazy that you were not examined. You probably should have written the AMA and your insurance, but who has the strength for it, and then it’s like we are crying wolf after a while even though this misconduct and negligence is rampant.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

On more than 1 occassion I’ve been shamed by medical professonals because my medical issues at the time were a direct result of being sexually active. The first time was when I was waylaid with my first UTI. The second was an ectopic pregnancy.

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