Doctors Misjudge Female Pain and Give Subpar Medical Care as a Result.

  • by: Care2 Team
  • recipient: American Medical Association

It's relatively well studied now that doctors, by and large, ignore female pain. They tend to be more suspicious that women are lying or to assume the pain is less severe in women than in men. This leads to inadequate medical care and pain management in medical institutions, and it's just plain wrong.

Sign now if you want medical schools to require anti-gender bias training for all students. The only way to change the industry is to change doctors' perceptions. 

Women with chronic pain and acute pain suffer longer before receiving any pain management medications. They also get fewer pain medications than their male counterparts, if they are offered any at all. The truth is doctors tend to minimize female pain, period. They disbelieve it, assume it's being exaggerated and, in some reports, even admit to finding it irritating. 

But it's not only that women are not getting appropriate pain management, it's that the actual causes of the pain are then less likely to be investigated. This means that major, life-altering health concerns are essentially being ignored in women much more often than in men. 

Women wait longer in emergency rooms, get fewer pain management pills post surgery, and the causes of their pain are often not properly investigated. The underlying - and hopefully unconscious - bias here is that women must be faking their pain. But it's causing real world, catastrophic results for women seeking medical care. And of course, these disparities become worse when we're talking about women of color, who receive the worst medical care across the board. 

There is a huge gender bias in medicine right now and we must demand efforts to change that. Sign the petition to ask the AMA to require anti-gender bias training in medical school. Tomorrow's doctors must do better.
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