They didn’t believe her pain: My education in interpersonal violence

Amelia Goodfellow, Curtis Bone, Lillian Gelberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In my first year of medical school, I began to care for patients who were survivors of interpersonal violence. As I transitioned from didactics to clinical experiences, I was struck by how common the hidden threads of physical and sexual violence were in my patients’ stories of chronic pain, depression, and poor health outcomes. Their symptoms often seemed intangible and challenging to treat, unable to fit neatly into typical diagnostic and therapeutic algorithms. In response, I saw clinicians become frustrated and dissatisfied with their ability to treat these patients. Better care for survivors may begin simply with believing our patients’ pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-363
Number of pages3
JournalAnnals of family medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Domestic violence
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Physical abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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