Disrespectful Interactions

The fourth most commonly reported challenge was disrespectful interactions. Healthcare challenges worsen when our practitioners are patronizing, invalidating, and dehumanizing.

Patronizing interactions

  • “I’ve been to a few different places where I’m made to feel really stupid. And I’ve never quite understood it because I’m clearly not a healthcare professional. That happened with a neurologist recently. He talked to me very patronizingly because I didn’t know something. But that’s why I’m here, he’s supposed to tell me.”
  • “Practitioners sometimes take it personally when treatments are not working and then they project it back as ‘You didn’t do it properly. You should be more disciplined. Do these exercises more frequently. It’s your fault it didn’t work.’ My day would be ruined after every appointment I went to, because I would be thinking about how they said I was lazy.”
  • “There are a lot of hospitals that treat patients like we don’t know what we’re doing, like we’re children. Then we don’t want to see our doctors. It gets hard.”

Invalidated experiences

  • “The doctors will tell me they know how my treatment should be going because they studied it. But my condition is not getting better, it’s getting worse. I feel it every day. Over time, what they learn changes, but my feelings are constant.”
  • “Anytime I tell my doctors why I want to change my contraception, they're like, ‘Well technically we have no studies saying that, so it's not true.’ Studies or not, this is how I'm feeling. This is what’s happening to me.”

Dehumanizing practices

  • “There are teams that help manage the increasing rates of HIV in BC. Most of the times, these teams share information about folks as case numbers. That is not okay. I had to leave those spaces because I was not comfortable being there as an HIV positive individual.”
  • “In general, our healthcare system is very rushed- it’s kind of in and out. When that happens, it feels like they don’t really care about what you’re going in for.”