health

Why doctors are being called 'dickheads' right now.

The hashtag #DoctorsAreDickheads is trending on Twitter, after a YouTube presenter made the remark in a video.

Stevie Boebi shared the story of her diagnosis with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a tissue disorder, which causes pain in the joints and muscles, as well as sensitive skin which can take a long time to heal.

After suffering for eight years, and in her words, being “gaslit by doctors and nurses”, Boebi was diagnosed. She ended the 11 minute video with the words: “Doctors are dickheads”.

The phrase was then adopted by many women who have struggled with chronic pain conditions historically dismissed by the medical profession, like fibromyalgia, PCOS, and endometriosis.

One user wrote: “I discovered that I most likely have PCOS. My doctor basically said ‘you don’t want to get pregnant so it doesn’t matter if we diagnose you or not’. NOT LIKE PCOS can cause diabetes, depression and anxiety, and endometrial cancer or anything :)

Other tweets included:

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The grievances shared by patients failed by the medical system are insightful and valid.

We know that there is a lack of research behind ‘women’s issues’ like endometriosis, which can be crippling for the person suffering.

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Some doctors have perpetuated myths about pregnancy being a cure, which not only fails to address the problem, but can cause more harm to the patient.

But two things can be true at the same time.

There are, of course, doctors who make the wrong calls. Doctors who dismiss women’s health issues. Doctors who misdiagnose and prescribe the wrong medication and shame patients who are at their most vulnerable.

But there are also doctors who call patients on their days off. Who comfort the person who has just received a life-threatening diagnosis. Who go above and beyond what is expected of them – because they are there, first and foremost, to do good.

It’s interesting that this hashtag has emerged in the same week that three Jewish doctors tended to Robert Bowers, the man who yelled “I want to kill at the Jews” as he attacked the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh.

Bowers murdered 11 worshippers.

But those doctors, who knew their patient had shot innocent people simply because they were Jewish, upheld their Hippocratic oath.

Despite the circumstances, they did their job.

Sure, some doctors are dickheads.

But most – we ought to remember – are not.

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