A trending hashtag on Twitter is giving rise to a difficult conversation about how doctors treat their patients.

Believed to be started by Twitter user Kim Sauder, the hashtag #DoctorsAreD*ckheads started gaining traction on Tuesday after YouTube personality Stevie Boebi said doctors are “d*ckheads” in one of her videos and a doctor took offense.

Sauder commented that she hoped to see the hashtag #DoctorsAreD*ckheads trending with patients sharing stories of times they were mistreated, ignored, or manipulated by their physicians.

Since that remark, Twitter has been flooded with anecdotes of doctors misdiagnosing conditions, dismissing concerns, and treating patients poorly.

For example, one woman using the hashtag shared that she spent 20 years in both chronic and acute pain before she was diagnosed with a group of disorders that affects connective tissues supporting skin, bones, and other organs.

“My right hip and shoulder dislocate on a daily basis. I have a dozen comorbidities. I was told it was my weight, anxiety or all in my head. It was undiagnosed Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome,” she wrote.

Another woman recalled a blunt conversation she had with a neurologist about the symptoms she was experiencing from multiple sclerosis.

“Asked neuro what I should do about pain and numbness from multiple sclerosis. He told me I should be grateful I wasn't in a wheelchair, and come back when I needed one,” she said.

In another example, a user tweeted out a hurtful exchange she had with her doctor.

“Me I’m trans. Doctor: So you don’t want to be as God made you?” she said.

The patient stories inspired some doctors to weigh in on their own profession.

Dr. Philip Lee, a consultant acute physician and geriatrician in the U.K., apologized to patients on behalf of his colleagues in the industry after reading stories with the hashtag.

“Sorry for all the times we didn't listen, all the times we hurt you, all the times we let hubris get in the way of care. We have to do better, we have to care better,” he wrote.

B. Bobby Chiong, a radiologist in New York, said he completely understands why the hashtag is trending.

“Good hashtag to checkout if you need to be reminded what it's like to be on the other side of the exam table,” he said.

While some users took issue with the use of the insult “d*ckhead” in the hashtag – arguing that it detracts from a respectful dialogue – a number of Twitter users defended its use.

“The provocative hashtag #DoctorsAreD*ckheads drew people's attention to widespread, systemic medical maltreatment. A more polite hashtag couldn't have done this,” one man wrote.

Asher Wolf, one of the first people to use the hashtag, said she hopes these stories will convince doctors to reflect on their own conduct and how they treat vulnerable patients.

“If you're a doctor you *should* be uncomfortable with the #DoctorsAreD*ckheads hashtag. If you're not, then you're probably missing something. How you react is indicative of how you respond to patient medical trauma & serious harm committed by doctors,” she said.

That message appeared to resonate with at least one doctor in Michigan who shared her thoughts on the online discussion.

“Reading the #DoctorsAreD*ckheads stories and letting them break my heart. No defenses up. We fail patients, daily. And there are pervasive, systematic issues we need to come together to address and to heal. And that will come. Just not today. Today is for listening,” Rana Awdish said.