Don’t Tell Me I’m Fat; Just Fix My Broken Leg

By Radhika | 30-Oct-08 in Society
Radhika

Dear Doctor,


I am a plus size woman and need medical care and check ups just as much as anyone else. But I often feel like you’re biased before you even know me and that makes me dread the thought of visiting you. Maybe you don’t understand but it hurts my feelings and even angers me. These are some guidelines you might want to follow – not just for me, but whenever you’re treating a plus size patient.


Don’t Judge Me
Every patient isn’t the same, so why should every plus sized person be the same? Treat me like an individual. Don’t judge me because of my weight. I may be healthy even though I am big, so don’t make assumptions about my lifestyle before you know me. Just because some fat people are lazy and don’t do anything about their weight, doesn’t mean all are. I do care about my health. Be more open-minded and stop assuming my health issues will be complicated because I am a BBW.


Respect me and be Sensitive to the Reason I’m there
I may be fat, but I am definitely not stupid so please don’t be condescending. I am not a second class citizen and I deserve to be treated with as much respect as anyone else. While I understand there may certain health issues where my weight can be a factor, please don’t lecture me on my weight at every given opportunity. If I need a weight or nutritional counselor, I will go to one.


Have the Right Facilities and Equipment for Every Size
It’s bad enough having to confront a doctor without knowing whether you’re size friendly, but it makes it worse for me when you don’t even make simple considerations for us. The chairs in the waiting room could be a little bigger to accommodate people of sizes. And if you didn’t already know, a too small cuff can give wrong blood pressure readings.


Train your Staff
You may be fat friendly but the staff may not. Educate your staff. I don’t need the nurse to go tsk-tsk every time she weighs me and I shouldn’t have to hear her complain that she has to look for a hospital gown that will fit me.


Be Honest
If you can’t be unbiased, and think your medical advice won’t be entirely objective because you think I’m overweight – tell me. I’d rather not suffer the prejudice, and I will respect you for your honesty.


Thank you,


The Plus Size Woman


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Have you had to deal with prejudiced medical professionals? Do you hate going to the doctor because you keep getting told how fat you are. You’re definitely not the only one. There is no exact science to finding a doctor you’re comfortable with but don’t be afraid to look around. Ask your friends or other BBWs for referrals. You could even interview the doctor with a list of questions before you decide to go in for a medical appointment. Remember, it is important to form a relationship with a doctor so if you’re not comfortable with your physician, don’t hesitate to find a new one.


The Doctors Office
photo by heather_r

Not all health professionals are biased and it may take you a while sometimes, but you will find one. This website I found lists fat friendly physicians and encourages others to contribute as well. So go ahead and contribute if you have an understanding physician.


I’d like to hear about your experiences of going to the doctor and if you have any tips to help BBWs find a good unbiased medical professional, leave us a comment.


(2 Comments)
  • Jen
  • 31-Oct-08 02:47

Interesting article. Luckily, my current doctor has no issues with my weight and has never in fact brought it up. However, I remember a different doctor told me I had to lose weight while she sat there bigger than me and reeking of cigarette smoke. Needless to say, I never saw her again. BBWs encounter predjudice everywhere, and doctors are no exception.

I have been a BBW most of my life and spent 10 yrs going from Dr to Dr feeling exhausted, heart palpatations and shortness of breath. My blood results all showed I had very low iron, but their cure was to lose weight and all would be fine. I tried but try exercising with shortness of breath and palpatations whilst being beyond exhausted. FInally when I was 29, and having suffered from deep depression for 2 yrs on top of everything, I said to a DR I know I am fat but treat me like a thin person. They sent me to a specialist and I now have iron pumped into my veins every 3 months and I feel like I am alive again. I was very close to dying because my O2 was so low. My eye sight has been effected as has my kidneys and liver slightly all because it took 10 yrs to get me treated like a thin person. I would like to see all Drs have conversations with larger people and cure them of their prejudice.

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