When New Yorkers see their doctors for a medical issue, they expect to be treated with respect and have all their questions answered. Unfortunately, in some cases, patients can be dismissed even when they have legitimate cause for concern. These are some signs that you are the victim of medical gaslighting.
Being rushed and interrupted
Doctors who are guilty of medical gaslighting rush patients during visits. This could be intentional or even unintentional. The doctor wants to end the appointment and have you leave their office. It’s also common for them to interrupt you while you’re speaking about your symptoms to the point where you might not have a chance to fully explain them. This minimizes your concerns and doesn’t allow the doctor to get all the facts.
They show biases
Certain groups are more likely to experience gaslighting that can lead to medical malpractice. Doctors often hold biases against people of color, especially Black individuals. Women are also frequently not taken seriously when they have a medical concern. For example, Black people are less likely to be properly diagnosed with skin cancer. Women are often dismissed when they complain about gynecological disorders such as endometriosis.
They downplay your symptoms
Medical gaslighting often involves doctors downplaying your symptoms. You may have serious concerns and suspicions that you have a particular medical condition or illness, but the doctor might tell you it’s something else. For example, many symptoms of stroke in women can be written off as migraine. This can have serious, damaging consequences for the patient.
They say it’s all in your head
Doctors who gaslight patients often say their symptoms and concerns are all in their heads. They write them off as being a hypochondriac, hysterical or paranoid.