The Most Hurtful Things Medical Professionals Have Ever Said To Their Patients

The Most Hurtful Things Medical Professionals Have Ever Said To Their Patients
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Doctors can both be the bearer of bad news by either confirming patients' suspicions about an ailment, or good news by assuring patients that their worst fears were just all in their heads.

In either scenario, one would hope medical professionals are empathetic when revealing a prognosis or providing insight into a patient's well-being.

But that isn't always the case.

Curious to hear about some of the negative experiences of those who've been in a vulnerable situation, Redditor slinkslowdown asked:

"What is the most hurtful thing a medical professional has ever said to you?"

The following comments hit below the belt.


"My female doctor, now retired, once told me I had great birthing hips. I’m a male."

– Prytoo

Drastic Measures

"I went to get a lump on my groin checked out, and had to remove my underpants. The doctor started a whole speech about 'size isn't everything,' which isn't what I went there for."

– stooble

These doctors could've given a professional assessment and left their personal opinion out of it.

But they didn't.

Salt In The Wound

"When I was in middle school until 10th grade, I would get violent nausea anytime I got hungry. It felt like my stomach was on fire, and I would miss a lot of school from feeling like sh*t (although I was a good student and wasn’t falling behind in any way). After a lot of fighting with my mother who accused me of exaggerating, she agrees to take me to a gastroenterologist to be checked out. Before agreeing to do an endoscopy, the gastro accused me of exaggerating because I was a teen girl and that’s just apparently what young women do, he suggested I was just making up these symptoms for attention, and then asked me point blank if I was lying about my pain level to skip school and suggested I had a mental health issue I was trying to cover for. I had GERD and severe acid reflux, as confirmed by the endoscopy he reluctantly agreed to perform on me. Instead of letting it go, the gastro made a point of angrily telling me that I had 'the stomach of an 80-year-old man' and must have been intentionally eating in a way to f'k up my stomach."

"I have a family history of stomach problems and GERD. I don’t understand why it was so implausible that my brother could have acid reflux at a young age, but I must be a hysterical liar when I claim to have the same symptoms in my teens."

– LIFOMakesJesusCry

Blaming The Parent

"When I was about 4 I got diagnosed with child asthma, doctor told my mum it was her fault because she decided to have a child despite having asthma herself..."

– anon

Weight Just A Minute

"He said I should be happy carrying around a bit of weight.. Because in drought the fattest cows die last.... Seriously wtf."

– jezabelsoni

Dismissive Doc

"'It's all between your ears' after missing at least one, but probably two crippling vitamin deficiencies by not ordering the right test. It took me two and a half years of thinking I was lazy and pathetic before I went to another doctor and got diagnosed."

– Zoefschildpad

And Another Thing...

"I went to get an earache checked and the first thing the doctor said was 'Yeah so I’m gonna put you on some medicine for the ear but we’ve gotta do something about your face, your acne is absolutely terrible.”'

Thanks doc."

– CasenW

Some doctors are completely lacking in their humanity.

Heartless Diagnosis

"In the ER, about six months pregnant, with heavy spotting and no noticeable fetal movement. Idiot doctor is unable to find the baby’s heartbeat. Just looks up at me and says, 'Yep, probably dead in there.' He couldn’t possibly have said it in a more casual, offhand manner."

"Note: I delivered my son three months later, perfectly healthy."

– IdleOsprey

Lonely, Not Lonely

"He asked me if I felt lonely."

"I said I don’t think of myself as lonely."

"He wrote down Lonely and underlined it."

– CurryMuncher_

Extreme Pivot

"First hospital visit: 'there's nothing wrong with your foot, now get your shoe back on and get back to work you f'king malingerer" after a solely visual inspection."

"2 days of getting smoked all day long."

"Second Hospital visit: 'Why are you walking on that foot, it's obviously broken! Someone get that soldier some crutches!'"

– snowlovesnow

Grave Mistake

"Was having digestive issues I eventually learned were a result of my undiagnosed cancer."

"Doctor suggested I should wipe better."

– chessshark

I'd like to think that those in the medical profession have dedicated years of their academic, premed lives by hitting the books on weekends and sacrificing going out with friends.

With the eventual transitioning into internships and them practically living in hospitals, it's no wonder some doctors lack social graces–which is fine, unless they are completely lacking in empathy.

After all, it takes people to heal people.

Thankfully, the majority of physicians I've visited have all been either straightforward or had affable personalities that helped take the edge off of my doctors visits.

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