There's this thread going on Tumblr that has me completely horrified. It's a series of stories from women about how doctors ignored their serious medical problems because they were teens or younger at the time and said doctors assumed they were exaggerating. They all suffered unnecessarily, and many of them ended up becoming permanently disabled because of this neglect.
Many of these stories also start out with parents refusing to take their children seriously when they say they're in horrible pain. Assuming women and girls exaggerate or make up pain is a scientifically documented phenomenon, but when doctors do it, horrible things happen. From the doctor who translated the horrible pain of what turned out to be a constantly dislocating knee as "a twinge" to the parents who wouldn't take their 14-year-old to the doctor until she cried uncontrollable for two days straight with a 104 degree fever to the girl who almost died from kidney disease because the doctor dismissed her as "just being a teenager."
Then I made my own post about how horrified I am over these stories and people replied with more stories about the same kind of thing, one from an autistic person who was ignored because the high pitched voice, which was actually a symptom, combined with the autism made people think they were just whiny.
This is on top of all the doctors who have refused to treat fat people until they lose weight or just assume all problems are due to their weight, no matter how healthy they actually are.
It makes me wonder if the reason doctors had such a hard time diagnosing my own (thankfully temporary) serious medical issue is because they weren't listening to me, since I was a teen at the time. This is what happens in a culture where teen girls are constantly mocked and assumed to be lying and exaggerating and whining about everything. There are so many dangerous stereotypes about teen girls that are so harmful - they all seem to come down to not listening to and disbelieving them about their own lived experiences. Not only is this completely dehumanizing, doctors are apparently fucking a buttload of teen girls up because of this arrogant bullshit.
Honestly, I know a lot of people personally who have stories about how doctors have completely failed them. I think we tend to hold doctors up in this country as these brilliant, dedicated healers. I'm sure all those medical shows don't help. But in my experience and the experience of a ton of other people, doctors fucking suck. Can we talk about how doctors fucking suck? I'm sure it doesn't help that you need so much privilege in this country to be able to become a doctor at all thanks to fucking college costs.
This needs to be fixed. It's bad enough that you have to pay to see almost any doctor unless you go to one of those horrible free clinics. But then the doctor doesn't even help you? Just dismisses you as being whiny? This is a problem, people.