A woman tells her doctor, ‘I’ve got a bad back.’ The doctor says, ‘It’s old age.’ The woman says, ‘I want a second opinion.’ The doctor says: ‘Okay – you’re ugly as well.’

Tommy Cooper


The Quote in Other Words

A woman complains to her doctor about her back pain, to which the doctor attributes to old age. The woman requests a second opinion, prompting the doctor to insult her appearance by saying she is also unattractive.


Explanation of the Quote

This quote highlights the importance of communication and empathy in the doctor-patient relationship. The doctor’s dismissive response to the woman’s complaint about her back pain shows a lack of understanding and compassion. Instead of taking the time to listen to her concerns and explore potential solutions, the doctor jumps to a conclusion based on her age. This not only undermines the woman’s experience but also perpetuates ageism in healthcare.

The woman’s request for a second opinion demonstrates her agency and willingness to advocate for herself. However, the doctor’s insulting response further highlights the power dynamic at play in the medical system. Patients should feel comfortable seeking out second opinions and questioning their doctors, but they should not have to endure disrespectful or discriminatory behavior in the process.

Overall, this quote serves as a reminder that healthcare providers must prioritize empathy, communication, and respect in their interactions with patients.