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

By Maya Dusenbery
Read by Dara Rosenberg

13.56 Hours 03/06/2018 unabridged
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In this shocking, hard-hitting exposé in the tradition of Naomi Klein and Barbara Ehrenreich, the editorial director of Feministing.com, reveals how inadequate, inappropriate, and even dangerous treatment threatens women’s lives and well-being. Editor of the award-winning site Feministing.com, Maya Dusenbery brings together scientific and sociological research, interviews with experts within and outside the medical establishment, and personal stories from women across the country to provide the first comprehensive, accessible look at how sexism in medicine harms women today. Dusenbery reveals how conditions that disproportionately affect women, such as autoimmune diseases, chronic pain conditions, and Alzheimer’s disease, are neglected and woefully under-researched. “Contested” diseases, such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, that are 70 to 80 percent female-dominated are so poorly understood that they have not yet been fully accepted as “real” conditions by the whole of the profession. Meanwhile, despite a wealth of evidence showing the impact of biological difference between the sexes in everything from drug responses to symptoms to risk factors for various diseases—even the symptoms of a heart attack—medicine continues to take a one-size-fits-all approach: that of a 155-pound white man. In addition, women are negatively impacted by the biases and stereotypes that dismiss them as “chronic complainers,” leading to long delays—often years long—to get diagnosed. The consequences are catastrophic. Offering a clear-eyed explanation of the root causes of this insidious and entrenched bias and laying out its effects, Doing Harm will change the way we look at health care for women.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times Editor’s Choice

A Library Journal Best Books of the Year selection

A New York Times Pick of Books of the Times: the Crisis in Women's Health

A Bitch magazine pick of 15 Books Feminists Should Read This Month

A Library Journal Editor’s Pick of Books for Women's History Month

In this shocking, hard-hitting exposé in the tradition of Naomi Klein and Barbara Ehrenreich, the editorial director of Feministing.com, reveals how inadequate, inappropriate, and even dangerous treatment threatens women’s lives and well-being.

Editor of the award-winning site Feministing.com, Maya Dusenbery brings together scientific and sociological research, interviews with experts within and outside the medical establishment, and personal stories from women across the country to provide the first comprehensive, accessible look at how sexism in medicine harms women today.

Dusenbery reveals how conditions that disproportionately affect women, such as autoimmune diseases, chronic pain conditions, and Alzheimer’s disease, are neglected and woefully under-researched. “Contested” diseases, such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, that are 70 to 80 percent female-dominated are so poorly understood that they have not yet been fully accepted as “real” conditions by the whole of the profession. Meanwhile, despite a wealth of evidence showing the impact of biological difference between the sexes in everything from drug responses to symptoms to risk factors for various diseases—even the symptoms of a heart attack—medicine continues to take a one-size-fits-all approach: that of a 155-pound white man.

In addition, women are negatively impacted by the biases and stereotypes that dismiss them as “chronic complainers,” leading to long delays—often years long—to get diagnosed. The consequences are catastrophic. Offering a clear-eyed explanation of the root causes of this insidious and entrenched bias and laying out its effects, Doing Harm will change the way we look at health care for women.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Ever since the centuries of burning women healers as witches, because they taught women how to govern our own bodies, thus to control reproduction—the medical world hasn’t included all of humanity. Doing Harm shows what is left to be done and directs both women and men toward healing.” Gloria Steinem, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“An orderly blizzard of studies and statistics examining sexism at every level in medicine, from medical school admissions on up…An alarming story about how difficult it is for women to access quality care…These new ‘doctor stories’ cut deep, especially in a moment when ‘believe women’ has become a rallying cry.” New York Times
“Dusenbery peels back the sick layers of America’s paternal health-care system, proving that, from the dismissive ‘it’s all in your head’ to painful sex being shrugged off as ‘frigid wives disease’…the medical world has always been one sided. She plays both patient and journalist, seamlessly combining history, research, and interviews into an easily digestible must-read.” Bust magazine
“A canny and candid analysis of how modern medicine treats women in pain. She skillfully interweaves history, medical studies, current literature, and hard data….Backed by patient stories that range from hopeful to horrifying…Dusenbery’s excellent book makes the sexism plaguing women’s health care hard to ignore.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Within an organized, well-balanced combination of scientific and social research and moving personal stories, Dusenbery makes a convincing case for the need for drastic industry reform and clinical refinement.” Kirkus Reviews
“Maya Dusenbery brings new life to one of the most urgent yet under-discussed feminist issues of our time. Anyone who cares about women’s health needs to read this book.” Jessica Valenti, author of Sex Object: A Memoir

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Maya Dusenbery

Maya Dusenbery is the editorial director of the award-winning site Feministing.com and regularly addresses college audiences on feminism and online media. She was a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and has worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 13.56
Audience: Adult
Language: English