Ever felt misjudged by a doctor? Or treated unfairly by a clinic or hospital? You may be a victim of patient profiling.
Patient profiling is the practice of regarding particular patients as more likely to have certain behaviors or illnesses based on their appearance, race, gender, financial status, or other observable characteristics.
Profiling disproportionately impacts patients with chronic pain, mental illness, the uninsured, and patients of color. Like racial profiling by police, patient profiling by physicians is more common than you think.
We rely on doctors to first do no harm—to safeguard our health—but profiling patients often leads to improper medical care, and distrust of physicians and the health care system, with potential lifelong consequences. For the first time, people share their stories:. I felt like my appearance had something to do with it. I tore up my face on the road. I was taken to the ER and treated like crap because I had no insurance. They cauterized my facial wounds rather than stitch me up, and then dumped me on the sidewalk with amnesia.
I went into collections and it took years to pay that one off. Six weeks ago, I fell while trimming a tree. When the ER found the insurance card in my wallet, I was treated like gold. I kept telling him no vaccines whatsoever, zero, nada.
I was hassled, shamed, talked down to, and more. Not a fun experience, whatsoever. I was profiled as a bad mother. Many sinus issues later, I consulted an ENT specialist.
He insisted that I damaged my sinus passages by using cocaine. His assumptions caused me pain, humiliation, confusion, and anger. Two surgeries later, my septum was removed.
Afterwards, he was so cruel as to continue his tirade about my cocaine use. As the gauze was being removed from my nose, I fainted. When I was roused, he insisted that I leave immediately showing no concern about whether I could even make it home safely. So I researched other contraceptives and felt the diaphragm was the simplest and safest option for me.
He scoffed at my concerns, urged me to stay on the pill, and disputed any potential negative consequences. He reminded me that taking a pill each day was SO much easier than having to be responsible for using the diaphragm properly.
It was clear he thought I was too young and clueless to make this decision about my own reproductive health care. I returned every six months for two years and he always accused me of taking more than I was prescribed. He got progressively more rude and angry. I brought my wife with me to see if I was imagining it.
She witnessed it too, so we searched for another doctor. I asked my new doctor to taper me off of the pain meds and Xanax so I could try medical marijuana instead. He was skeptical. He told me to go to the pain clinic. This was at a critical time when I needed real help and was worried about taking the meds for over two years. Drug addicts have altered my prescriptions, even forged my name. Patients have lied to me. Some have died as a result.
Still, I try to treat everyone fairly and with respect. Want ideal medical care? Pamela Wible, M. I no longer wear a bikini and dance in the surf under the moon. It simulates an inner ear infection, and I had lots of those from diving.
They just see an old woman in a T-shirt and cargo pants, so I can put dog treats in my pockets. They get mad, when I tell them to go online about the ear problems and acetaminophen. They see multiple allergies on my chart, and they call me a drug addict trying to get the hard stuff.
I ask them what drug addict turns down scripts for Oxy and Vicodin? I had part of my nose, lip, and the soft tissue in between removed for aggressive BCC.
I was given Lidocaine for the procedures. I used popsicles and self-hypnotism to control the pain. People stopped their pickups, and they came out with tire irons to help me. My BP goes up just thinking about modern American meds. I was poisoned by statins inand it took out my Achilles tendons. Thank you for your bravery. I never thought I would see the day that a doctor really cares. I thought I was imagining this and that the doctors knew best.
My health is deteriorating rapidly because I pretty much gave up on seeking healthcare. Please help me get the help Ineed. I have a lot of problems…so many I could write a book. This one doctor, in Michael Britt told me there was nothing wrong with my knees, that I just needed to exercise more. Now as I sit here with a swollen left knee as big as my hip, Im afraid to seek help for fear of rejection and labeling me.
Thank you again. Sometimes I feel that some of these doctors want people to die. I can barely walk up and down the stairs. Im afraid Im looking at a broken hip very soon. I wish I could help you. I know so many people in similar situations. I was told by a doctor that he only wanted to keep me alive because if I died he would look bad. He told me his first priority was his reputation.
While that remark in itself did not cause physical harm, I knew something was drastically wrong to cause a doctor, who is supposed to have good intentions, into a person with such evil intent. What I did was to get a copy of my records. The hospital saw me as avliability problem due to my past medical whistleblowing. For me, the scare tactics and persecution went on and on.
I relocated and solved the problem completely. Is this an option for you? I know bad knees make moving seem nearly impossible, but you would be free of their attitude and seen afresh by an entire community. The only thing I have left to deal with now is post-traumatic stress from what they did.
Julie Greeene. I wondering about that I got copies of my medicail from my cardiolist 5 years ago. Then it was a bad stress test. The doctor wants to do a angiogram was told by the nurse that called. I not having any heart pains. I exercise 5 to 7 days a week. One very important correction here is that the truth does not depend on how we see it. The truth is the truth. When you have an uneven situation, when an institution has lots of power and money, and you, as patient, have few resources, that institution can lie all they want.
Whose side will the law be on? You change doctors if you can. I still think the truth tends to win out in the end, though. Or I hope so. I have a rare condition called hereditary angioedema. Many physicians may not know about it unless they have had a patient with it, or unless they are in a certain specialty that deals with it. It is swelling not caused by histamine, but bradykinen problems. It is a strange, traveling edema that usually starts on the left side of my face, then goes down slowly through the throat and GI tract.
When I worked as an RN in a small hospital in St.Biography True Stories. Frame Tray Boxed Wooden Floor. Your Cart Your cart is empty. Batteries Calculators Office Machines.
Helena, CA, of which that is the hospital name, I was unfairly discriminated against when I went to the ER for throat swelling.