Did you know that women are more likely to have their pain and concern dismissed by medical staff? Do you feel like that’s happened to you before? Has your doctor ever ignored your needs simply because you were a woman?
It can be hard to tell when doctors are dismissing you instead of helping you. After all, they’re professionals. That means they should know best, right? But a lot of times, that’s not the case. For a variety of reasons, doctors don’t listen to you when they should, which has real repercussions on your health.
But how do you know when a doctor is dismissing you? How do you tell apart the doctors who help and the doctors who hurt? In order to advocate for yourself better the next time you visit a medical practice, you need to learn the signs of a medical dismissal.
It’s true that doctors often don’t have a lot of time to spend on a single patient. But that’s no excuse for poor behavior on their part. If you notice you’re constantly interrupted, you’re not allowed to elaborate on your concerns, and you feel like your appointment is rushed, then you might have a problem.
And if you find the doctor you’re speaking to is condescending or belittling in any way, you might want to look for a different one. You won’t be able to trust your practitioner if they look down on you.
Your Symptoms Are Ignored
This is probably the most dangerous sign that your practitioner isn’t listening to you. If they refuse to take you seriously and they minimise your symptoms at every turn, you might want to find a different doctor. Someone who dismisses your symptoms, doubts whether you’re truly in pain, and refuses to even discuss your symptoms is not someone you can rely on for an accurate diagnosis.
They Question Your Medical History
If you happen to be someone who struggles with chronic illness, a dismissive doctor will question your history. They’re less likely to believe your pain. They’ll write you off as a difficult patient, or maybe even a liar.
If your doctor dismisses your very real history of illnesses by claiming you’re simply dealing with anxiety and none of your illnesses are real, then you’re not seeing a doctor that will treat you adequately.
They Refuse to Carry Out Tests
If you walk into the medical practice with a serious concern, and the doctor refuses to carry out tests to confirm or rule out a diagnosis, then you have a problem. How can you truly know what illness you have if you don’t carry out any tests?
Alternatively, some doctors or nurses will act that way when it comes to treatment. Especially if you belong to a minority group, they may assume you’re not really in pain but are only interested in the medication. That is a great disservice to you, as you deserve to receive the correct treatment for your illness, no matter what.
They Blame Everything on Mental Health
As a woman, many doctors will dismiss your worries and blame them on your mental health. But sometimes, the illnesses you face are real, and dismissing them as mental health issues will only delay diagnosis and treatment. So, if they blame your illnesses on your mental health without checking alternatives, you know it’s time to find a different practitioner.
And if you do struggle with your mental health, that’s okay. We can help you with those struggles. Make an appointment with us and we’ll help you in whatever way we can through therapy for women. Just don’t forget to also take care of your physical health.