Nobody expects a visit to the hospital to be a pleasant experience. But a patient should at least feel like they are under the protective care of staff members.
One woman felt neglected the moment she arrived at the hospital after experiencing severe stomach pains.
When the gynecologist refused to examine Redditor hotapplecrumble, her condition worsened and caused a ripple effect of complications that exacerbated her suffering.
She wrote about her harrowing experience in the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit and asked WIBTA (Would I Be The A**hole) for “reporting a doctor.”
The Original Poster (OP) started her post by admitting she was not a native speaker and asked Redditors to “forgive any written mistakes.”
“Six months ago in the middle of the night I went to the emergency room in my local hospital.”
“As I was sure that I had not eaten enough that day and I was about to start my period, I did not think that the pain in my stomach qualified as an emergency. When I could not take the pain any longer, I asked someone to drive me to the hospital.”
“The nurses called the gynecologist who did not feel the need to examine me. Another doctor, who was not specialized in this medical field came to gave me an ultrasound but quickly told me that they were in no position to tell me what was wrong as they could not figure out what it was. They could only tell that something was not right.”
“They called the gynecologist again, who refused to see me again.”
“The doctor then told me that even though they could not tell me what was wrong that there was something and I should stay the night in the hospital and that the regular staff would check me out first thing in the morning.”
“As it was already five in the morning and I was in pain, I decided to stay.”
“When I finally received an ultrasound, I was told I would have to be operated on that very same day. I had surgery a few hours later.”
“Afterwards they told me that I had a ruptured cyst that caused critical bleeding and I had lost a lot of blood. For that very reason, I had to stay longer in the hospital than other patients would have.”
The OP described how much of a toll her stay at the hospital caused.
“This whole experience caused me a lot of emotional and physical stress. On top of that I was not able to attend my exams so now I have to study another semester.”
“What happened could not have been prevented but if the gynecologist who worked the night just did an exam on me when they were asked to, they could have caught it and maybe then I would not have bled internally for seventeen hours.”
“Maybe I should have said something right after but I was just tired, trying to get better and everyone kept telling me I could have died/ should be happy that I am still alive. Believe me, I am.”
“But I am also so angry that they did not feel like doing their job that night, after being called to do an exam twice.”
“So now I am wondering: WIBTA if I reported the gynecologist to the hospital, even though it happened six months ago?”
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
“NTA the gynecologist is supposed to do his job, and if he or she doesn’t feel like doing it then they should not be a gynecologist.” – didntseethatcominn
“Absolutely. I also want to note that if you, OP, don’t report them, imagine how many other times they will do this? How many times have they done this already?”
“The doctor didn’t go to school for a bachelors.”
“They did this for 8 years and then specialized in gyno. They should know better and realize their mistakes.” – Vomelette22
This Redditor pointed out that a doctor’s “mood” shouldn’t indicate whether or not they tend to a patient.
“’Not feeling like it’ isn’t an excuse to not do your job, especially when you work in the medical field and someone’s life quite literally depends on you doing your job.”
“Women, especially women of color, already have their symptoms/pain ignored frequently, and as a result of this they receive inadequate medical care, and their conditions go untreated/undiagnosed for years.”
“This person should not be in the medical field to begin with, never mind a gynecologist. OP, PLEASE report them.”
“You never know how many people have been affected, or even died because of this persons carelessness.” – neekhenny1201
This person acknowledged the positive.
“The one saving grace here is the non specialist staff took her pain seriously and didn’t send her home with like over the counter pain meds.”
“It could have been much worse if she went home. That gynecologist absolutely put her life in danger for no reason and likely has done it to other women in the past.”
“We need these kinds of ‘doctors’ out of the medical field.” – gpele13
This Redditor—presumably with a medical background—asked the OP to be carefully selective.
“I can’t comment on the medico-legal aspect and regret you had such a scary and painful experience. With that said, I am not defending anything or anyone as I can’t imagine what you went through or know what that physician was thinking about.”
“I would just caution taking advice from laypeople who may not have medical background or understand how an ER/hospital/consult system works.”
“I am anchoring on your suspected diagnosis because it does not excuse the fact that a proper pelvic exam should have been done to rule out other differential diagnoses. The onus does not fall only on gynecology, the physician that everyone is praising for keeping you should have done a pelvic exam—most generalists have this ability (family medicine, internal medicine, emergency medicine).”
“However, lets say the pelvic exam was less important because you had a point-of-care ultrasound, let me make some assumptions in your case and explain sometimes what happens behind the scenes:”
“If they were asking for a gynecologist, I assume you may have had ruptured hemorrhagic ovarian cyst. The large majority of these are managed with observation outside of hemodynamic instability.”
“Yes it’s painful, but we send these patients home sometimes with strict return precautions, even with abnormal ultrasounds.”
“The bleed usually tamponades and stops itself. They may have ‘refused to see you’ because there is nothing they needed to do—it’s a gynecologic problem that does not require gynecology specialty input.”
“You may have been bleeding but not enough to immediately threaten your life (organ failure, hypotension). You want to have the chance to self-resolve this on your own and avoid surgery.”
“If surgery is warranted because of unresolving bleed or hemodynamic instability, then a gynecologist should see you. This again is a gray area, they could opt to have you transfused and prepare for a more formal assessment and surgery in the daylight.”
“When you are choosing between a crash-emergency surgery overnight and one in the morning, the one in the morning is better if you can wait when there is full staff and more data comes in.”
“So what comes off as a ‘refused to see me’ could have been a gynecologist being told an ultrasound, stable vital signs, and symptoms of an ovarian cyst and making a decision to triage you for the morning or to be seen as an outpatient. They may have felt them being there in-person would not change your acute management.”
“Medicine is all about decision-making and you need to triage patients based on acuity. Unfortunately, some patients need to make a second trip or declare themselves before something is actively done—otherwise we would get nothing done and not provide fair access and justice of resources.”
“If we admitted everyone, treated everyone, operated on everyone, healthcare costs and resources would even be more egregious. The attitude on this forum of litigation and to report people is partly why we need tort reform.” – g0-dot
This person who has had experience in the medical field offered their input and also suggested the OP make a request for her medical records in order for her complaint to be taken more seriously.
“NTA, BUT I’ve been an RN for over a decade and maybe can shed some light. (This is my experience and specific to US)”
“When in the ER, the ER doc is your assigned physician. They are trained for emergent situations and call a consult for any specialty work.”
“What I suspect happened is this. Female with Abd pain, call consult to gyno. Gyno says get an ultrasound and call me back before I come down there. (Could very likely be on call from home).”
“Ultrasound tech tells ER doc something is wrong. ER doc tells gyno, who says that is a general surgery thing not gyno. ER doc tells you gyno won’t come to save face (but true though). Surgeons can be hard to get a hold of if they are in the operating day.”
“Surgeon finally takes a look and says let’s operate. This type of nonsense happens allll the time in our ERs. This may not be your case though!”
“I would request my medical records. You have the right to your records.”
“The ER doc has to document every single consult and what they say. Make a timeline according to your own records.”
“This will help with any complaint. This may also clear up who dropped the ball. (It may not be gynecology!)”
“Get info before reporting anyone. Risk management take it very seriously with documented evidence.”
“First file a complaint to the hospital it happened at. If serious enough, complain to the medical board.”
“Only seek a lawyer if you plan to sue, not just complain. Also, keep in mind, some lawyers will still charge you for their time if you don’t have a case.”
“I hope this helps.” – YoMommaHotDog
In edit, the OP clarified a few things after being overwhelmed with the responses.
“I am not from the US. The gynecologist was present at the hospital as they were on the night shift.”
“They could have come but actually told the doctor that if I thought it was necessary to get checked out, I was free to come by their office in the morning.”
“I already called the hospital for my records and will get them as soon as possible.”
The OP has not confirmed if she plans to take legal action or file any form of complaint.