July 11, 2018
Your women patients could be at a disadvantage in receiving the health care they need, according to reporting in Prevention.
There is growing concern that doctors are more dismissive of women patients’ health complaints and concerns. “Women having a stroke are 33 percent more likely than men to be misdiagnosed in the ER, with potentially devastating consequences, researchers at Johns Hopkins recently reported. Studies show that women experiencing a heart attack are also likelier to be misdiagnosed. Women have an even harder time getting a correct diagnosis for ailments that solely, or mostly, affect women,” the article, by Kenneth Miller, notes.
For example, the author points to research indicating that 75 percent of patients with autoimmune disorders are female, and, on average, they see five physicians over four years before their illness is identified. What’s more, 45 percent of these patients have been labeled “chronic complainers.”
Women also may be expected to tolerate pain longer than men. Miller cites research showing that female ER patients wait longer than males to receive painkillers—a median time of 65 minutes, versus 49 for men—and are less likely to receive those drugs at all.