Unfortunately, many people in New Jersey go to the doctor to find they are constantly interrupted or do not take their concerns seriously. Healthcare workers may blame the patient for the condition or suggest a mental health challenge causes it. The worker may show disinterest in helping the patient. All these scenarios are examples of medical gaslighting, and they are more apt to happen to women and people of color.
Effects of medical gaslighting
People seeing a provider who is medical gaslighting may start to feel that the problem is a mental one or start questioning their judgment. Women and people of color often become depressed or anxious when they are gaslighted. Furthermore, people who are gaslighted often become isolated. It may take them longer to get a correct diagnosis or receive appropriate treatment. In some cases, they may stop seeking medical care.
How to stop being a victim of medical gaslighting
If you think you are a victim of medical gaslighting, you must become a strong self-advocate. Most medical facilities have patient advocates on staff who can help you get appropriate treatment. Always be bold and ask questions if you need help understanding something your provider is saying. If you are unhappy with the level of care you are receiving and have tried working with the provider, consider choosing a different doctor as this is one type of medical malpractice. You can even ask the provider if they will send you to someone for a second opinion.
Medical gaslighting occurs when providers do not listen to patients. Women and people of color may be more likely to be the targets of this type of malpractice.