I worked as a PhD clinical psychologist for many years and was respected for my knowledge and hard work. There were exceptions, of course: mainly from the male psychiatrists I crossed paths with. This should have prepared me for my experiences as a patient, when I saw male doctors for health issues. Not so.
One example is a male gynecologist I saw because of his expertise in my particular type of illness. When I told him I couldn’t tolerate some of the drugs he prescribed for me, he refused to listen or to consider other medications. He alternated between treating me as a petulant child and using sarcasm to shame me.
I decided to ask my husband to sit in when we talked after the examination. My husband didn’t say a thing, and yet the change in how I was spoken to was amazing. No more condescension. No more bullying.
After that experience, I began including my husband with other doctor visits whenever possible. When he’s there, I’m treated with respect. When not, the odds go up that I’ll be treated like a little girl with opinions not worth listening to.
I’m grateful to the doctors who are the exceptions.
Lake Worth, Florida