For some doctors, the biggest concern in the emergency room is not the patient, but the patient's parents. This does not mean that there is anything wrong with them. In fact, they would be the first to argue that they are the second coming. Yet, they still demand the finest in medical attention and will not accept anything that falls below standard.
To provide a few examples of the like, doctors took to Reddit to share their experience with the most entitled parents they have ever met. Content has been edited for clarity.
"This happened a few years ago, but it’s still stuck with me. I was working in the ER night shift around 3 in the morning. With me there was one other doctor, two nurses, and a nice lady at the front desk managing everything. We were treating two people when this 'Entitled Mom' with her 4 or 5-year-old kid entered. The kid fell from his high bed and his knee was bleeding and his ankle hurt.
They were told to wait a few minutes since we were not really busy. I was just helping the gentleman I was treating when we got the message of a really bad car accident and three emergency transports were on the way to us, a child included.
I immediately called two additional doctors, a pediatrician, and additional nurses and told them to prepare the operating rooms just in case. So they arrived. It turns out we could treat everyone without operation except for the child. He had been injured pretty bad and needed surgery. It was looking really bad. So, the pediatrician and the operating doctors rushed him to surgery.
In the mean time, I cleared a room and got to the Entitled mom and her kid. They had complained to the front lady three times within an hour. Since everyone was busy, I went out to them myself to get him into my small ER room. She was fuming.
ENTITLED MOTHER: 'WHY DID WE HAVE TO WAIT THAT LONG?!'
ME: 'Well, I’m really sorry, but we had a really bad emergency and -'
ENTITLED MOTHER: 'I don’t care! We were here first! Don’t you hear my kid crying?!'
The kid was playing quietly.
ENTITLED MOTHER: 'HE IS IN PAIN AND YOU LET HIM SUFFER! YOU LIKE TO DO THAT TO KIDS, DON'T YOU!?”
The front lady came.
FRONT LADY: 'Is there a problem?'
ME: 'Oh, I guess not. I’m going to take them to treatment.'
Not good enough for the mother.
ME: 'Can you bring your kid in the room so he doesn’t have to walk?'
ENTITLED MOTHER: 'Won’t you apologize to him?!'
ME: 'Listen. I’m sorry you had to wait but I just can’t see the future. There was an emergency and we had to treat them first. Please come with me now.'
ENTITLED MOTHER: 'But we were told we had to wait a few minutes.'
FRONT LADY: 'Yes, but we can’t plan everything. Now, bring your kid in the room.'
She actually did it. The kid wasn’t actually in pain as long as he didn’t walk around, so I could start without the kid being really scared. I treated the knee. He had to wear a supportive splint for the ankle for a few weeks, but that was it. This kid was very brave. He didn’t cry at all and asked many questions. I rewarded him with candy afterwards.
I get it somehow. I’m a mom too and I’m also scared when my child is hurt (even if I’m a professional). You are both tired and don’t want to be there at night. But imagine if the child in the emergency was yours and dies because of a scratched knee."
"I am a nurse and a mom. This took place in an affluent community in Southern California. When my son was about five months old, he was in the hospital for a kidney infection. A sick baby girl, maybe three months old, was admitted into the next crib. The father was present when the baby was admitted, then immediately took off. He said something to the effect that he was paying tons of money for his baby to be taken care of in the hospital, so he was going to go home and get a good night's sleep with his wife (who hadn't even bothered to show up).
Meanwhile, my husband and I were camped out at our baby's bedside through the night. Keep in mind, this was just a regular pediatric unit. This was not a locked unit and anyone could come in and out through the night (meaning anyone could come in and pick up their baby and leave).
Well, as you can imagine, that poor baby cried all night. The nurse did her best, but with multiple patients to care for, she eventually had to call the parents and demand that one of them come back in to hold their baby. They were not happy. I was blown away that they would just leave their baby like that.
I was shocked they let them leave, especially because it was not a locked unit. My son has been hospitalized several times at a few different hospitals and this was the only time I have seen a child left alone."
"I was inspecting a child's rash.
ME: 'It’s impetigo.'
MOTHER: 'What’s that?'
ME: 'School sores. It’s a - '
MOTHER: 'It can’t be that. We are rich.'
MOTHER: 'Can we see someone more senior?'
I got a consultant to review.
CONSULTANT: 'Hello! Oh, what do we have here? Oh, look, impetigo!'
The mother stared in disbelief and asked to see a pediatric dermatologist as they could not possibly have a 'poor' disease.
The consultant was a super relaxed guy and said, 'Yep,' and called our most pediatric skin specialist. He is a big deal in the pediatric dermatology world and he is our weird rash expert. He came to review the patient. We watched him enter the cubicle. A couple of minutes later exited, asked for a script pad, scribbled his order, went back, and handed the mother the script. She profusely thanked him for his time and expertise. She glared at us as she left.
Dr. Weird Rash Expert turned to us and said, 'Impetigo. I just told her it was an unusual variant that children of wealthy people get when in the tropics.'"
"I'm a resident doctor. I was working in a surgical ward taking care of the post-operation patients. A surgeon called me to tell me I needed to send a script for Oxycodone to a young patient who was sent home from theatre directly after minor surgery. I had the script faxed over to the pharmacy of the patient.
An angry dad called me next day saying his son was out of Oxycodone and I needed to give him another script. I tried to reason with him that if he was using that much Oxycodone, he needed medical review before he could be issued another script. Dad wouldn’t have it.
He said I didn’t do my job as a doctor to take care of his kid after the surgery. He then proceeded to file a formal complaint against me. All I did was give his kid a script and told him to see his family doctor if he needed more pain relief. Somehow I had the gut feeling that the patient wasn’t the one taking the Oxycodone."
"I had been hit by a car going 25 and I was on my skateboard (totally my freaking fault, by the way) and I had broken my pelvis. I had originally thought I had just popped my hip out but I was wrong. Anyway, I went in with my parents and I was standing there with crutches because it hurt to sit and my mother was screaming at these nurses to get me into X-ray because I was obviously in tremendous pain. I was fine. I’ve had a lot worse.
I calmly hobbled up to the nurse she was yelling at and played the, 'I don’t know who this lady is and I will calmly wait my turn I’m very sorry,' card. The nurse gave me a candy bar because I was calm and levelheaded, so that was nice."
"A local politician threatened to sue and ruin an entire hospital because his son (who was 15 or 16) was told to wait in the ER. The doctors and nurses there had to care for four people who got in a car accident and another two that had to be put in emergency surgery. The politician even went to one of the patients and told him off for having the gall to get in an accident.
He took his son to the ER because his son stapled himself.
What made this even more stupid was that the area the accident happened in was an unfinished road with no barriers that the politician promised to have fixed for the past 10 years. It was also re-election time. The entire community learned of the fiasco and some people went to his rallies dressed up as patients, booing him. He wasn't re-elected."
"I worked in a pediatric emergency department for a bit. Once, at the start of my shift, a mother asked me if I could get a cup of water for her child. Since some patients are supposed to be NPO (nil per os, a Latin phrase that translates literally to English as 'nothing through the mouth'), I told her I would check with the doctor.
Before I could say anything else, the mother screamed, 'You freaking useless ginger witch!' and threw her purse at me. She had terrible aim and her purse split open all over the floor at my feet. I just walked away when she told me to pick it up. She screamed at me one more time and, by then, the rest of the unit was just silently staring at her.
Security was called and she eventually had to be escorted out of the building with her kid because she was refusing to leave without her child receiving antibiotics. He was there for a cold, was told to go home and rest. I felt so bad for the kid. She spent the entire day refusing to leave and asking for different medicines for her kid, ranging from penicillin to Percocet, and becoming more and more irate when she was told no. So, asking for water and not being told 'Yes' straight away set her off.
But I was known as GW ('Ginger Witch') by my coworkers for the rest of the time I worked there so at least I got a funny nickname, I guess."
"I lived in Bergen, Norway at the time and I was working as a receptionist at a doctor’s office for some work experience. Also I can speak English pretty well and this conversation is translated from Norwegian.
It was an early Saturday morning. I was called in for the Saturday morning shift because the normal Saturday morning receptionist called in sick. So, I was already in a foul mood. This woman and her 6-year-old son came in and she walked to the desk.
ENTITLED MOTHER: 'Hello. I’d like a check up for my son. He’s been running a fever.'
ME: 'OK, what time is your appointment?'
ENTITLED MOTHER: 'I didn’t schedule one. I thought you guys would just squeeze me in. It is Saturday.'
I checked the system and found a brief time slot for 10 am.
ME: 'OK ma’am, there is a free time at 10 am. Is that OK?'
ENTITLED MOTHER: [passive aggressive] 'That’s fine.'
I got all the information and she turned and starts walking, grumbling to her child about how 'ludicrous' this was. I wasn’t mad. It’s happened before. Eventually her child’s name was called and 15 minutes later she walked out. The protocol is, after you have an appointment, you stop at the receptionist's desk (me, in this case) to pay. She walked right past my desk and was almost out the door when I stopped her.
ME: 'Excuse me ma’am, you need to pay.'
ENTITLED MOTHER: 'Pay? Why should I have to pay? The doctor didn’t do anything.'
ME: 'Well, the time is still value. Your 15 minutes could have been used by someone who payed.'
ENTITLED MOTHER: [grumbling] 'Fine, how much is it.'
At the office I worked at, a standard sick check with no prescriptions, vaccinations or major tests is $103.
ME: 'It's $103.'
ENTITLED MOTHER: 'One hundred three dollars? That’s freaking insane! The doctor didn’t even do anything. He just shoved a freaking thermometer in my son’s mouth.'
ME: [slightly taken aback] 'I’m sorry, ma’am. That’s the standard rate.'
ENTITLED MOTHER: [turning red] 'Standard rate? That’s absurd. I think you're just trying to rip me off for a better price. Let me talk to your manager.'
The place I worked was a family owned doctor’s office, so the manager was the head doctor who was doing an examination.
ME: 'The manager is currently doing an exam.'
ENTITLED MOTHER: 'Well, then get me someone who isn’t trying to rip me off!'
I remembered that the head doctor’s wife was probably there doing some lab work. I went back to the lab and told her the situation.
MANAGER'S WIFE: 'Is there a problem?'
ENTITLED MOTHER: 'Yes! Your employee was disrespectful to me! I demand a free checkup for my child!'
MANAGER'S WIFE: 'She told me you were trying to get away with a free checkup anyways.'
ENTITLED MOTHER: 'That little piece of crap is lying. I was going to pay full price but he started harassing me for being overweight!'
ME: [shocked and angry] 'Come on, we both know I didn’t do that.'
ENTITLED MOTHER: [to the managers's wife, screaming] 'Give me the checkup free or you’ll lose my business for life!'
ME: [not being able to contain myself] 'Good, I don’t want your business.'
The look on her face was enough to give the toughest war hero PTSD.
ENTITLED MOTHER: 'DID YOU HEAR HIM? THIS DISRESPECTFUL, LAZY PUNK NEEDS TO BE FIRED.'
There were a few people already watching gasped in shock.
MANAGER'S WIFE: [calmly] Ma’am, you’re causing a scene. Now, I’m going to have to ask you to pay and leave or I’ll call the police.'
The mother realized at that point she couldn’t fight anymore. She dug out her credit card and shoved it in the machine. She walked out yelling about how we lost a customer and flipped off me and the manager's wife. I expected to be scolded for being rude, but she said she would have done the same thing and gave me $5 to go eat with my family."
"The one time I went to the ER, I encountered what I'm fairly certain was an entitled parent/daughter combo in the waiting area. I was in for a shattered thumb and got put into the triage seating. It was a slow, late night and there weren't a ton of people. I remember looking over, and they were both angrily staring at me. I could practically read on their faces, Why are YOU there? You don't look hurt! How dare you!
I then overheard the daughter being approached by a nurse asking her to reiterate her issue (I think), and the daughter replied, 'You know, I feel like I'm really holding myself together pretty well, considering that I FEEL LIKE I'M BEING STABBED IN THE STOMACH right now. So, yeah.' It was in the most valley girl, entitled type of voice you can imagine. Her mother was also staring angrily at the nurse with the How dare you? glare.
To clarify, this girl was in her late teens, had been sitting there since before we arrived, and she was basically just pouting with her arms folded and didn't look sick or in pain at all. The girl continued to be questioned, though I forgot most of the actual exchange since this was a few years back.
Just before I got admitted, I heard the nurse advise her that it was likely just an upset stomach or mild flu bug, and to go to a clinic the next day if she wasn't better or if she started to feel worse. They left in a huff, and the girl was walking perfectly fine, as well."
"I was a patient visiting the orthopedics clinic of a major hospital in Minneapolis for a follow up on my destroyed arm. We were in the lobby waiting when this black guy came out from the rooms dragging his 6 or 7-year-old son. He started screaming and screaming about how the nurse asked him to stop talking on his cellphone on speakerphone when his son was getting examined.
He called the (100% innocent) front desk ladies 'racist' over and over and that the entire hospital was full of racists. Finally, after four or five minutes of this, security showed up and asked him to leave and he yelled back, 'Ya'll racists better not be here when I get back with my Glock.'
I have no idea if they arrested him or let him go, but I was happy to get the heck out of that place. I felt so bad for his son. What an absolutely horrible role model."
"My little brother, Dewey, was severely disabled. He wound up passing away at the age of 10 but the 9.75 years between his brain injury and him passing were full of a LOT of bizarre, crazy, and often entitled run-ins. When he was 1, we moved back to be with my parents' families, within an hour drive of a major, very highly respected, children’s hospital. Prior to this, my mom was making a six hour drive to get him to the correct doctors, so the move was good for everyone. This meant, however, that we were now, unbeknownst to us, using the same children’s hospital as a celebrity’s child.
My little brother and this celebrity's child were diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis only a few months apart. For Dewey, the diagnosis was a complete shock. We had no family history of the disease and he was already brain damaged. What force in this universe thought it was fair to make him deal with both things? For the celebrity's child, the diagnosis was also a shock, as their family also had no history of the disease.
Back then, the average life expectancy for kids with CF was the late teens to early 20s. It’s now much longer, thankfully, but things were a lot worse 26 years ago. The celebrity threw himself into trying to raise money for research, a noble enough cause, except he then used those connections to get his kid top priority with everything, whether or not they needed it. This culminated in him donating a bunch of money to the hospital for a new Cystic Fibrosis clinic. Once again, sounds noble on the surface, but the reality was so very different.
Around this time, my baby brother had started wearing leg braces and using a wheelchair when out of the home. He also was non-verbal, flapped his arms when excited, drooled, and was generally a goofy kid. It was very obvious something was very wrong with him if you spent even a few minutes with him. We got used to the odd looks, so none of us were paying attention when the looks in the Cystic Fibrosis clinic waiting room were consistently those of panic and not just confusion. The clerks finally told us that people with newly diagnosed infants and toddlers would come in, see Dewey, then have a panic attack, convinced their kid would end up like Dewey. The staff spent a LOT of time trying to calm these parents and explain that the little boy in question also had brain damage totally unrelated to his Cystic Fibrosis.
After several minutes of conversation between my mom and the clerks, it was decided that instead of sitting in the waiting room with everyone else, we would be left to wait in an exam room in the back. Wait times could top three hours there, so the clerks were fine with me coming out alone to the waiting room to play with toys, watch TV, or get books to take back.
On the fateful day in question, the celebrity and his child had arrived, checked in, and were told the wait would be one to three hours. About 30 minutes later, Mom, Dewey, and I walked in, checked in with the clerk, then were immediately taken into the back. This did NOT sit well with the celebrity! He apparently tried harrumphing and angry looks for the first few minutes before laying into the desk clerk. I had gone out to grab a book and came back to where Mom and Dew were waiting and told her some 'really big man' was 'yelling a lot.' Mom was curious and bored, so she told me to play with Dew and she slipped out of the room.
I never heard what happened until years later, but my mom remembers it very well. The celebrity was screaming, and I mean screaming, at the top of his lungs at the desk clerks. How DARE they make his precious angel wait while some 'stupid basket case' was seen first? Didn’t they know who he was? Then he started yelling about how he had donated all this money for a new clinic because his kid deserved better than the 'dirty' old clinic that used to be there (it was spotless, just out of date) and how donating money meant he should never have to wait for anything, ever. He’d only done the fundraising and media interviews so that his kid could be on the medicine trials (whether he qualified or not), get instant help at the hospital (Not how that works, bud), and so that his kid could get a double lung transplant without waiting. First off, back then lung transplants for Cystic Fibrosis were rare and, second off, the feds control those wait lists, so not how that works, either.
He apparently ranted and raved until a clerk was literally dialing security. He finally lowered his volume, but kept telling everyone who worked there how they all sucked, and he’d tell the doctor to fire everyone. He was truly convinced that a donation meant he had the power to decide who worked there!
Mom apologized to the clerks at our next visit a few weeks after all this. They assured her that it wasn’t her fault. He was just a giant imbecile and he was always like that. Apparently, the hospital had told him before he made his donation that he wouldn’t get some of the things he was asking for in return, but he didn’t listen to them. Mom asked if he’d calmed down when finally told we were, in fact, still waiting, just out of sight. The clerk laughed, winked, and said they had never told him. He’d been so rude to them for so long that all of the staff let him think someone had gotten preferential treatment over him just to tick him off.
Morals of the story: being rich and famous doesn’t mean you get everything you want, and don’t tick off the front desk clerks at a doctors office. They control everything."
"I had broken my left leg and sprained my right foot in a car crash years ago. I used a wheelchair to get around the hospital for the two weeks I was there. It was one of the wheelchairs you can move yourself. I was told by the doctors to not put any pressure on either foot for the two weeks, but some idiots don’t take no for an answer.
I was in the cafeteria in the hospital. It was a pretty large place with plenty of seats. I was just about finished eating when I heard a woman calling for someone. I wasn’t sure who she was calling for but it was lunch time so I assumed she just lost someone. Not a minute went by and she ('Entitled Mother') stormed over to me.
ENTITLED MOTHER: 'Jesus, are you deaf. I’ve been calling you for two minutes.'
ME: 'Oh, sorry, I couldn’t hear you. Do you need anyth...'
ENTITLED MOTHER: 'Yes, I do. My daughter is very tired and I was wondering if she could use your wheelchair for an hour or so.'
Already, I was thinking, What the heck is she on about? She must be joking. Her daughter clearly didn’t want any of this. She was already looking away and trying to tell her mom that she was fine and she could just find a seat.
ME: 'I’m sorry, but I kind of need this to get around.' [pointing to the cast on my left foot]
ENTITLED MOTHER: 'Please, it’s only for an hour. We have been here for the whole night with her father. He is very sick.'
ME: 'Sorry to hear that, but I do need this. There are some benches over there if you nee-'
ENTITLED MOTHER: 'OH MY GOD, CAN YOU SHUT UP AND JUST DO WHAT I ASK? WE WANT TO SEE HER FATHER AND WE CANT BRING THE BENCH THERE!'
ME: 'Calm down and listen. I need to go now.'
I tried to leave as she was drawing a ton of attention to us and I am not a fan of people staring at me. I just get really nervous when they do, but she tried to block my path!
ENTITLED MOTHER: 'YOU ARE NOT LEAVING THIS CAFETERIA UNTIL THIS IS SORTED.'
ME: 'It is sorted. You are not getting my wheelchair and I’m leaving.'
DAUGHTER: 'Mom, stop. I don’t need a chair. I can walk.'
ENTITLED MOTHER: 'HOW DARE YOU SPEAK TO YOUR MOTHER LIKE THAT? I'M ONLY TRYING TO HELP YOU.'
DAUGHTER: 'You are not helping anyone and everyone is staring at you.'
They were. By that point, the other people in the cafeteria were telling her to let it go and leave me be, but she wasn’t having it. She claimed I was misogynistic and that I was faking my injury. They went on like this for a few minutes and, finally, a nurse came along and told her to either go back to the patient she was visiting or leave.
The mother ended up leaving but, the daughter ended up going back to her dad. I ended up running into her on the way back to my hospital bed and she apologized and told me that her mom did that a lot. I was pretty OK with the situation and found it quite funny, so I just told her it doesn’t matter that much. That was the last I ever heard of that woman, but her daughter ended up in my secondary school, so we still talk from time to time.
In terms of my leg, I was fine after three months of healing and rehab."