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Working together in Illinois to stop medical gaslighting

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2022 | Regulatory & Other Items

Unfortunately, many people in Illinois have experienced medical gaslighting. You can define it as having a medical doctor or other health care provider dismiss you without considering your symptoms. While medical gaslighting can occur to anyone, women, people of color and members of the LGBTQ community are at the highest risk.

What are some typical medical gaslighting scenarios?

Medical gaslighting can take on many different forms. For example, a doctor may look at your chart and dismiss the symptoms that you are experiencing. They may also ask you if you are sure when you recall details. The doctor fails to acknowledge that they told you or failed to tell you to do something. Medical providers may also act like they fail to understand you.

How the medical community can help prevent gaslighting

Doctors who must see many patients daily are often guilty of gaslighting. Therefore, limiting the number of patients seen by a provider can help. Medical schools need to educate their students about the bias, so they can recognize it in themselves and their colleagues before it becomes a bigger problem.

How patients can help stop medical gaslighting

Especially if you are a member of one of the groups where gaslighting is common, bring a trusted friend to your appointments with you. Come prepared to ask questions and take detailed notes about things the provider tells you. If necessary, seek care from another provider. Seeking care from a member of a minority group can also help. You may also want to consider filing a medical malpractice suit.

Medical gaslighting occurs when a medical provider dismisses a patient’s symptoms without trying to find a cause. While it can happen to anyone, it is more prevalent among minorities, the LGBTQ community and women. Medical communities and patients need to work together to stop it.