Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

A good friend of mine is a doctor. They often share stories of the ridiculousness they run into at work. Lately, he's been flabbergasted by the number of women who come into his office without a basic understanding of how menstruation works. He is always sensitive and understanding––unfortunately, so many young women aren't taught what they need to know about their own bodies––and he likes his patients to leave his office more knowledgable than when they came in.

But ill-conceived notions about how the human body works run rampant, especially when you factor in the amount of anti-science nonsense that proliferates online.

After Redditor DarthLocutusofBorg asked the online community, "Medical professionals, what is a stupid misconception a patient has had about the human body?" people shared their stories.

"I had a father of a newborn baby..."

I had a father of a baby absolutely beside himself because his newborn baby had no teeth.



...that's pretty hilarious, not going to lie.

Let's continue.

"They were bowel sounds."

Mom brought newborn to the ER because "he keeps making grunting sounds like he can't breathe." No sounds like this during the exam, they ask mom to try having baby latch/nurse. She does and baby is fine. Sometime later pages the nurse because he's making noises. They were bowel sounds. Normal bowel sounds. Hilarious but she was worried. 10/10 good mom.


"They seem to think that..."

They seem to think that, by pausing a 'seizure' to inform us that they're having a seizure, they'll get benzos. Lol no.


"I overheard a guy..."

I overheard a guy talking to another at a pregnancy clinic. 'I just don't get it, she was standing up, the sperm would have just come out how is she pregnant?' and both of them seemed very confused.


This is why sex-ed is important, people.

You'd think these questions would not be asked after, let's say, junior high, but you'd be wrong. Lots of parents push back against sex-ed being taught in schools, saying it's inappropriate.

But without it, we get stories like the one above.

Let's continue.

"So they left it in there..."

Patient comes to the ER with an infected foot wound and streaking up the leg. Turns out they were walking barefoot on their porch and stepped on some metal scraps, don't remember what they were from. Patient tried to remove these but evidently, a piece of one broke off in the process and was too deep to see or grasp properly. So they left it in there for over a week. Reasoning was: "I thought it would fester out."


"She didn't understand..."

My mother, a doctor, volunteered to give a health lecture to high school girls in the south (Arkansas to be precise). During the QA period, when she asked if anyone had questions, a girl asked her if it was true that lemon juice was a good contraceptive option.

She didn't understand so the girl explained that after her boyfriend came inside of her, she would squeeze lemon juice into her vagina to prevent pregnancy from occurring.

I wasn't there but can only imagine the look on my mother's face based on the way she reacted to my idiocy throughout my childhood.


"While being treated..."

Patient with seafood allergy presents to ER with swollen lips, hives, itchy throat. Provider takes a history asking if the patient could've been exposed to seafood or cross contamination. Have they eaten new food or at a new establishment? The whole nine. While being treated, patient adamantly denies this. They keep trying to figure out what the allergen could've been because it's a pretty strong reaction. Eventually the patient gets frustrated and admits they ate shrimp pasta but it CAN'T be from that because he took two tablespoons of honey first and "it coats things in there." As in, shrimp can somehow not penetrate the magical honey fortress.


"One person didn't..."

One person didn't think the stroke they were having was a big deal because they could 'get some brain transplanted from donors right?' I just... I couldn't even.


That's not how this works.

That's not how any of this works.

Let's continue.

"We now keep a mini plastic skeleton..."

Wanting a wheelchair to be made wider, but not wanting it to actually be wider.

Client comes to my wheelchair clinic saying the chair got too small (they gained weight but want to blame the wheelchair) and could I get them a wider one. I can actually adjust the current one but just before I get the toolbox I ask about any narrow doors. Turns out the current setup only just fits through her front door. If I make it even 1" wider she won't be able to get in her house.

Took a while to get her to understand that widening the chair does indeed widen the chair, and no I can't widen the seat without widening the overall width.

I've had many others from wheelchair clinic, I accidentally told the parents of a 6-year-old non-verbal, not independently mobile child with global developmental delay that she would never be "normal". They thought developmental delay meant she'd catch up eventually, like the difference between a train being delayed or canceled. I had to clarify and explain their daughter would never live independently because apparently, everyone assumed they knew and never explicitly told them.

Clients who haven't walked in years but still don't want a wheelchair that will give them independent mobility because that's giving up. They're still determined to walk and in the meantime will rely on being pushed everywhere. I just feel sorry for them, their lives could be so much better if they accept what they have and let me help.

We now keep a mini plastic skeleton in the clinic room so I can explain what bones look like when sitting, It's used regularly with people who just can't understand what the bony parts they can feel under their bum are.

I had an amputee kid wondering when his leg would grow back, but he's a kid and can be forgiven for that, fortunately, no adults with the same question yet.


"What do you mean..."

"What do you mean, I can't eat an entire fruit cake? Isn't fruit supposed to be healty?"

-Diabetic type 2 with a blood sugar level of 450 mg/dl.


"I had to explain..."

I had to explain to a pregnant woman once that the baby is coming out of her vagina. She was almost six months pregnant and was horrified, I think she thought all babies were just C- sectioned out.


Given what we've just read...'s safe to say that doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals must be the most patient––no pun intended––people in the world.

Let's just say that all of these threads help make the perfect case for why we need students to have an understanding of sex-ed and basic anatomy. They'll go far with this info, trust us.

Have your own stories to share? Feel free to sound off in the comments below!

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