Doctor Who Refused to Look at Severely Broken Foot Dragged

A doctor who refused to even look at a patient's foot, only for it to turn out the foot had several fractures, is being dragged online.

Posting to the Reddit forum r/AmITheA**hole, u/throwawayaita9021 earned 8,800 upvotes and 1,300 comments for her post, "[Am I the A**hole] for arguing with my husbands doctor and acting like a Karen because they wouldn't listen."

She says that her husband hasn't been able to walk well for about a week, but due to a phobia of hospitals, he has repeatedly refused to see a doctor about it, instead just popping over-the-counter painkillers.

"It's gotten progressively more swollen and misshapen looking and today its gone a funny colour and he can't put any weight on it. So I called our GP who has sent him to the walk in clinic at our local hospital," u/throwawayaita9021 wrote.

But when the doctor sees them, he refuses to even look at the foot. He tells them that it's a sprain, and accuses the couple of just seeking opiates. When u/throwawayaita9021 asked if he'd at least look at the foot, as "it has gone nearly black in some spots," and was similar to how her wrist looked when she broke it, the doctor continued to refuse, asking instead where she got her medical degree.

"It put my back up and I demanded to see another doctor or his senior. I was the a**hole here because it wasn't me being treated so I get he thought I was a pushy cow," she wrote.

Another doctor eventually came in, but in the meantime, she heard the first doctor complaining that she was a "confrontational spouse who thinks her Web md searching qualifies her to instruct real doctors how to practice medicine." He again repeats his belief that drugs are the couple's true goals.

"By the time the other doctor arrives I'm seething and lay out exactly what went on and explained I only want someone to look at the foot before sending us away," u/throwawayaita9021 wrote.

The second doctor actually looks at the foot only to order x-rays, an MRI and doesn't rule out surgery. It turns out u/throwawayaita9021's husband has seven stress fractures.

Once it was proven that her husband was severely injured, the second doctor and an administrator apologize, and ask if she wants to make a formal complaint. Though her husband didn't at first, she made the complaint because "the outcome of his not listening to the patient or family could have been worse."

Her husband, however, objected, worrying that the first doctor could be fired, and since no harm was done, she should have let it lie.

"He was just so patronising and dismissive and I kept thinking what if it was a young mother with a sick baby and he dissmised that," she wrote, asking the community if she was in the wrong.

doctor ignore aita viral reddit broken foot
A doctor is being slammed on Reddit after ignoring a patient's severely broken foot and accusing him of only wanting drugs. iStock/Getty

Unfortunately, it can be relatively common for doctors to dismiss patients' concerns. There are numerous horror stories of doctors dismissing very real diseases for various reasons. In a piece for Newsweek, Lisa Suswain details doctors who dismissed her endometriosis pain as simply "being a woman."

"When I was about 16, I went in and spoke to a doctor about the pain and he was just not interested. It was like I was completely wasting his time. I remember him getting up and walking around his office, putting paperwork away and telling me: 'What do you want me to say, Lisa? You're a woman now, you have periods.' That was it," Suswain wrote.

Overweight people are also often ignored by doctors, who often dismiss complaints as just evidence the patient needs to lose weight. Patty Nece details a story to The New York Times about an orthopedist who didn't examine her aching hip because he thought she just needed to lose weight—even though she had already lost 70 pounds. The real cause was progressive scoliosis, which has no connection to obesity.

Reddit backed u/throwawayaita9021 heavily in the comments.

"[Not the A**hole] You were right to be insistent. The doctor was not doing his job. You did what you had to do," u/GreekAmericanDom wrote in the top-rated comment with 11,600 upvotes. "I'm going to add that your husband is a huge [a**hole] here too. Not taking care of your health and making yourself a burden on your spouse is downright selfish. He needs a stern talking to."

"[Not the A**hole]. If the doctor gets sacked it is because he failed to do his job in examining the patient," u/Grand_Horror2192 wrote.

"[Not the A**hole]. Honestly, the doctor should get sacked. He totally dismissed yours and your husband's concerns," u/BadBandit1970 wrote. "I think most medical personnel and laymen would agree that an actual physical examination of the foot was in order, which this guy didn't even bother to do. You were right to ask for another doctor. Good luck to your husband, I hope his healing goes well."

"This is probably not the first time that this doctor has behaved in this manner. If it isn't addressed, it won't be the last. And next time, it could be a life threatening condition that he misses," u/Aggressive-Fudge5759 wrote. "If the doctor gets sacked, the hospital will be better off without him. If he gets struck off, the medical profession will be better off. [Not the A**hole]."

The thread not only allowed u/throwawayaita9021 to vent, it had some effect. When she showed the post and its response to her husband, he decided that she was right, and that he would join her in filing a complaint against the first doctor.