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Doctor Phobia

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How does someone with a fear of doctors, and a trauma history, see a doctor like a “normal person?” I have tried different PCP’s through the years, and always have a similar experience. I never get through the Physical Examination: I become horribly uncomfortable, they guess my history, give me a PTSD diagnosis, tell me to get more therapy, and never call me back in.

I have had therapists since I was 12, and discussing this with my current therapist only resulted with a recommendation of finding a woman doctor under 25. I don’t know how to find a doctor who might meet that criteria, and at the same time: explain to me what they are going to do to me – before doing it, and not be afraid of me and send me away – never to be contacted again.

I have had health insurance for many years that covers annual visits (and much more), yet I don’t know how to find a doctor that would be willing to do that, at least.

Part of my trauma history, was a dehumanizing multiple doctor examination when I was 11. I understand they needed evidence for the court case. I understand that complicates my ability to not be extremely nervous around doctors. I understand not all doctors would, or should, treat someone like I was then. Most of all, I understand that finding a doctor I could trust, and communicates well, would help me not be so nervous.

All I want is to be a normal healthy person. I am good at forcing myself to do a lot of things, if I know what is going to happen. I have tried to do research on what exactly a Physical Examination consists of, and how to find a doctor who would work with a person like me. I have not had much success.

My questions are:
How does one find a doctor that is not afraid of someone with a trauma history?
Are there resources, information, for someone like me? (From the USA)

Doctor Phobia

Answered by on -


 I am sorry it has been so difficult for you to find good medical care in your area. I did a google search with the name of your town by putting in Women’s Center near__________. This returned a number of good possibilities, many of which deal with woman’s issues related to trauma. I would invite you to contact each of the ones that seem like they are good possibilities. Typically, woman’s centers will either have someone on staff who is trained and helpful, or they will know who to refer you to.

If this doesn’t work I would also look for therapist who specialize in helping with traumatic events. You can find someone in your area by checking the Find Help tab at the top of this page.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Doctor Phobia

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Doctor Phobia. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 14 Sep 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.