Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick

Maya Dusenbery. HarperOne, $27.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-247080-5
Dusenbery, editor of the website Feministing, presents a canny and candid analysis of how modern medicine treats women in pain. She skillfully interweaves history, medical studies, current literature, and hard data to produce damning evidence that women wait longer for diagnoses, receive inadequate pain management, and are often told they are imagining symptoms that are taken seriously in men. Dusenbery exposes the biases underlying treatment for established conditions such as heart disease and discusses the “circular logic built into psychogenic theories” that keep conditions exclusively or commonly experienced by women, such as endometriosis and autoimmune diseases labeled as “contested illnesses.” Backed by patient stories that range from hopeful to horrifying, Dusenbery illustrates how often modern physicians dismiss women’s symptoms as arising from anxiety, depression, and stress. She’s fair to doctors, who are “fallible human beings doing a difficult job,” and her solution is simple—more funding for research that can find the causes for “medically unexplained” conditions and that can close the knowledge gap about sex and gender differences in disease. But the biggest paradigm shift Dusenbery suggests is to eliminate the trust gap and believe women when they say something’s wrong. Dusenbery’s excellent book makes the sexism plaguing women’s health care hard to ignore. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/15/2018
Release date: 03/06/2018
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-280123-4
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-06-247081-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-2448-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-5384-2449-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-2447-6
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