Sarah Hyland Is Fed Up With Doctors and Has a Question for You


If there’s one thing that unites so many chronic illness warriors, it’s the frustration of dealing with doctors who don’t quite understand your illness and seem to have a difficult time listening to your concerns. And figuring out how to respond to these doctors in a calm, constructive manner is another struggle entirely.

“Modern Family” actress Sarah Hyland, who has kidney dysplasia and underwent a kidney transplant in 2012 and has been open about her own struggles with chronic illness, posed this dilemma to her Twitter followers on Wednesday.

“For those who are chronically ill and in chronic pain: Have you had the experience of doctors not listening to you? If so, how do you not tear their heads off with your bare hands?” she wrote.

Hundreds commented, describing their own frustrations with doctors.

Hyland also responded to one tweet with, “Preachin to the choir sister.”

sarah hyland responding preachin to the choir sister

Hyland wasn’t specific about why she posed the question or what health challenges she may currently be going through, but she did post two Instagram stories on Tuesday that alluded to possible health issues. One was a photo of her sitting in a chair with her dog and a bag of chips with the caption “My life for the next 6 to 8 weeks. I’m OK with it,” and the other was a photo of flowers with the first aid sign and the caption “@wellsadams… best boyfriend ever? Yep. #doggiehowser.”

sarah hyland instagram story my life for the next 6 to 8 weeks

sarah hyland's get well soon flowers

When you’re confronted by a doctor who isn’t listening to you, at that moment it’s not always easy to know what to do. It can help to have a few possible responses ready to go. So we posed Hyland’s question to our Mighty community to get some ideas and find out how they deal with it. Here’s what they told us:

  1. “Normally I give them the same respect, ignore them and move on to another specialist. It took seven for me to find my diagnosis and right surgeon.” — Jamie T.
  2. “Honestly, I’ve dealt with it several times. And unfortunately, with lasting damage as a result. But I’ve done different things from having raised all kinds of a ruckus, I’ve gone to different doctors, I’ve even complained to supervisors/patient care advocates. I am even contemplating legal action against a couple of them. It depends on the situation, and depends on how that doctor (or nurse) is disregarding me as a patient. Sometimes it is as simple as a stern conversation and insistence; and sometimes, it has to be much more of a serious reaction to get their attention.” — Sherri R.
  3. “I went to a doctor once complaining I cannot do night shifts due to several metabolic disorders and he laughed me off saying that I probably party like crazy and miss so much night’s sleep drunk that few night shifts won’t do me harm. And many others misdiagnosing and ignoring me… I just walk off and never come back.” — Paulina K.
  4. “I’ve cried in doctor’s offices countless times. You let it knock you down, then you get up and find a new doctor and try again. Rinse and repeat until you get what you need.” — Kat E.
  5. “You keep believing in yourself and know that you will be vindicated eventually. Took me 15 years for a diagnosis and still, 37 years of fighting doctors in ED, [it] never ends.” — Nikki M.
  6. “I remind myself that they are only human first, then proceed to remind them that it is my body. I can feel it, and I know it, better than anyone. I only have the one body attached to me to keep track of, whereas the doctor has many patients he/she is trying to treat, so I will literally stand up and get in between them and the door to make them stop and take note if it’s necessary. The more medical knowledge you have about your issue, the better, so you can speak to them on their level. Many tend to dismiss information from the patient, that isn’t in line with their own thinking, until you prove to them you understand what you are saying. Don’t let them get you discouraged. If you must- fire them and find someone who will listen because it’s your life on the line.” — Candida K.
  7. “I just remind myself that it would hurt me too much to rip their heads off.” — Angela L.
  8. “It happens now and then. How I respond depends on the situation and if I feel up to dealing with it. One, in particular, I literally just stood up and walked out. In another case, it was a one time with a doctor I saw often and typically liked, so I assumed he was having an off day. I was right. I am working on finding a replacement for a third doctor who seems to be in the habit of spewing out preprogrammed scripts no matter what my current symptoms are. Doctors can be replaced.” — Sarah N.

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