How doctors take pain less seriously when the person having it is a woman.
Anecdata time: this is sort of the reason I never, ever go to the doctor. For, like. Anything. Got a headcold and need some time off work? I just take it. My husband’s always like, “Go to the doctor and get a medical certificate!” I never do. Why? Because they never give me one. I’ve been sick as a dog in jobs where I was desperate to get time off–often because whatever illness I had was making my work physically painful, like the time I got a throat infection while on a service desk–and been told to do things like “gargle salt water” or “breathe lemon vapour” and get back to it. Oh, and there was the time (and this is disgusting, but) I literally shat blood for no reason1 and the doctor just shrugged and said it was probably nothing.
This is why I never go to the doctor. And that’s not even counting the times I’ve been for the chronic pain I’ve had since I was a teenager (no, doctor, I’m not paying you $200 to ask me “have you tried yoga?”, fuck you, seriously).
In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t think I’ve had a positive interaction with a medical professional over an illness2 in my entire adult life.
My husband, meanwhile, gets a small case of the sniffles and comes back from the doctor with six prescriptions for antibiotics and a week off work.
I just… ugh. I give up.
- For the record: yes! I do have a history of horrible bowel cancers in my family. Thanks for asking!↩
- Things like contraception are okay, I assume because I’m not there to ask for advice. I’m just like, “I want this, give it to me.” Any interaction where I’ve actually had to get a medical opinion, though? Torture. And utterly pointless.↩