"Minor injuries clinic sexist - was misdiagnosed..."
About: Hospital Of St Cross (Rugby) Hospital Of St Cross (Rugby) Rugby CV22 5PX
Posted by Anonymous
Very disappointed with the minor injuries clinic. I went in with very severe pain in my big toe - stabbing pains in the joint that were preventing me from sleeping. It was in an area that I had previously broken, and I had recently been very active on it, so I was concerned that it had re-broken or the fracture had healed wrong. I also had a skin rash, which I have self-diagnosed to be pityriasis rosea, but I needed confirmation on that before I could give blood. Given that this clinic was also apparently for skin conditions, I thought I would also ask about that - in case it was syphilis! I went in, and it was evident I was being laughed at by the first gentleman who took my details. He did, however, note down both conditions. I was disheartened, and made to feel like I was making a fuss, but thought that perhaps when I saw the next doctor they would take me seriously. The next doctor looked at my foot, ignoring all my statements about extreme pain in the night, and told me that it was just rubbed up a bit from wearing high heels. I told him that I haven't work high heels in over a year, haven't recently changed my footwear, and indeed go barefoot most of the time at home. I also asked why this would cause stabbing pains in the joint at night, to which he replied 'well, there's not a lot in there [the toe], so it's got to be inflammation from the wrong shoes.' I had not felt any rubbing at all, and the skin itself was fine, but he was clearly not interested. I was about to ask about the skin rash, which he should have had written on his notes, when he said 'ok then' and just walked away. I left feeling humiliated, undiagnosed, and in continued pain. The fact that he assumed I'd been wearing heels, and that I was making a fuss about the pain, shows an unacceptable degree of sexism. I spoke to some friends about the experience afterwards, and they immediately diagnosed me with gout in my toe. This fits all the symptoms, and I am (unsurprisingly) not inclined to see a doctor to confirm this, given my previosu treatment. I shall have to deal with it myself. That a doctor could not recognise this as gout, and that the extreme pain that I was in should be ignored, is absurd. I cannot help but think that had I been a man, the doctor would have believed me about the pain, and not simply assumed that I'd been wearing high heels too often - a diagnosis which even an uneducated layman would discount. Also, the fact that he did not even look at, acknowledge, or attempt to diagnose my skin condition is appalling. The clinic was not busy, there was only one other person, and fortunately the waiting time was only around 15 minutes. If there were lots of other emergencies I would have understood, but this was unacceptable.