Sex-Different Patient Care
Mentor: Deb Harris
Many of the most influential leaders in medicine and research strive to crack the toughest, most ‘untreatable’ cases, and study the rarest and least understood diseases. Following their lead, the medical and scientific communities have shifted toward seeking personal recognition for specialized findings and achievements, leaving behind the dated desire to help as many people as they can with their limited resources. It seems that with each advancement in technology and newly specialized treatment comes a greater lag in care for more common patient presentations. One of the largest groups affected by these inadvertent setbacks – making up half of the total population – is women. In fact, a multitude of data support that being a female will automatically predispose a patient to a lower level of care and poorer outcomes, regardless of their purpose for seeking medical attention. Even more striking is the reality that most physicians and female patients are unaware of this statistic. Inspired by the wide-ranging effects of women’s health issues and their corresponding lack of awareness, I will be creating a dynamic, multi-media blog that explores a myriad of specific, veiled issues related to women’s health and representation in the sciences. My goal is to create a platform with which I can educate my own generation of future scientists and medical professionals, while also reaching those already active in these fields. With each blog post will come curated research of scientific and epidemiological data, interviews with experts, and a nuanced approach to understanding why each issue exists and how it can be resolved. Individual topics I intend to investigate are the untold depressive effects of hormonal contraceptives, the present gap in patient care for sex-different illnesses, the high mortality rate of childbirth in the United States, and more. Using a feminist approach to research and reporting, I hope to learn about these disparities along with my readers as I continually chase these sex gaps in the realm of science and medicine.
This project is a multimedia blog platform with which I report and analyze issues in the realm of Women’s Health. I apply a feminist approach to my investigation of topics such as sex-different patient care, maternal mortality and complication rates in the United States, and the underreported depressive effects of hormonal birth control.
Read more in this excerpt from the blog that I will be creating over the summer.