Condescending Egomaniac, MD
Pompous Egomaniac, MD

Diane’s knee has been hurting for years, but like so many of us, her plate was full of other peoples’ problems and more pressing issues that always took priority, so when she finally had the chance to talk to a doctor about it, she was distressed at how the exam went. After some poking and prodding, he informed her that there was nothing wrong with her knee.

“Really? How can that be?” She was bewildered. “It hurts so bad that I can’t –“

“You sound disappointed,” he snapped, as he scribbled on his electronic clipboard.

“I’m not disappointed, I’m surprised,” she replied defensively.

“You should be happy. It means there’s nothing to fix.”

“Oh, yes there is: HIS FUCKING ATTITUDE!”

That was me, of course, on the phone with Diane, interrupting as usual,and it was, naturally, the beginning of a rant. But first I had to let her rant. You see, Diane was new to this “middle-ageism” business. Oh, she’s been in the middle of her Fifties for a while, but after taking a brutal beating trying to defend herself in an acrimonious divorce from a sociopath, Diane felt more comfortable holed up in her home, trying to recover and heal from years of lonely battle. She rarely ventured out, so she wasn’t accustomed to the Treatment that we MAW*s are used to.

Now that she was contemplating her treatment aloud, the fire started burning. “He never even asked me how it could have happened,” she realized,   “It never even occurred to him that it could have been a sports injury, which is the first thing he would have asked –“

Welcome to the world of Condescending Marginalization, Diane. It’s crowded  as hell here, and no one gives a shit. But at least we can rant together.

My prescription
Typical prescription for MAWs





*Middle aged woman/women


  1. This is excellent! I am not a middle aged woman but wanted to add: I just had my first baby and this is pretty much what I experienced from the OB/GYNs I saw. Yes, most women have babies, but this was my first so I had no idea what to expect. Every question was met with a condescending, “Well that’s just what happens. Goodbye!” A little bit of understanding would not have taken any more time out of their precious day, as with the example you’ve just given.


    1. Thanks so much, Amelia! MAWs have a LOT in common with New moms, which is why doulas, midwives and women MDs make so much sense. And in that vein, I’m an OLD mom, whose been through the sleepless nights, the isolation, the frustration, so please drop me a line any time. Nothing feels better than helping someone.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually got a lot of the same treatment from midwives and a female junior doc while I was pregnant so just having women in clinical roles or just having midwives doesn’t always help. The medico who listened to me most and considered my wishes was a man. But he was older and more experienced and more confident in his role, which I think is part of it. Also, I’ve experienced that several times with older doctors (who were men), so maybe they used to train them differently??


  3. I realize this post about invading doctors is several years old, but it’s still a relevant topic. As a MAW who had to wade through the verbally-beaten bodies of nearly a dozen docs before traveling from Pittsburgh to Phoenix to finally be diagnosed with a rare disease, I HEAR YOU! I tell everyone to be gentle but firm with doctors, because they are there to serve you, and don’t be afraid to discard the yucky ones.

    By the way, one line in your response above struck me as being profound: “Nothing feels better than helping someone.” This is absolutely true, but many people never find out because they would never think of helping someone. I think this topic deserves it’s own editorial, don’t you?


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