Gender Bias in Medicine

Medical education has been a developing thing that has resulted in the positive development in the medical field. However, the medical training does not focus on the the teaching of ethics and “psychological biases that contribute to gender and ethnic disparities in health” (Stone). One of these psychological biases being gender bias. Gender bias in the medical environment has resulted in many of the “conscious bias in medical decision making” (Stone). Medical employers should train future workers on gender bias in the medical field because it can educate the uninformed scholars on the controversial topic concerning their field of work and lead to the problematic matter being resolved in the future.

` Gender bias in the medical field has resulted in the mistreatment of patients. Gender bias in medicine is when a medical health care provider makes the sole decision to treat a patient a certain way based on their gender. Several studies indicate that the stereotyping and prejudice that surround a gender has had an impact on how medical professionals treat and diagnose female patients. In a article published by The Atlantic titled “How Doctors Take Women’s Pain Less Seriously” the author stated, “Nationwide, men wait an average of forty nine minutes before receiving an analgesic for acute abdominal pain. Women wait an average of sixty five minutes for the same thing”(Fassler). This report can only be due to the judgment that medical workers have based on their opinion that “women are being more irrational and emotional than men”(Fenton). These health providers are so unaware of these false judgment they possess that it even affects the way they diagnose this high percentage of female patients that come to them. Take for instance, endometriosis a disorder in which tissue grows outside of the uterus which can cause chronic pain (WebMD). In the article “The Healthcare Gender Bias: Do Men Get Better Medical Treatment” author Mary Schopen states, “One in 10 women suffer from the disease, but it takes, on average, seven to eight years to be diagnosed”. Though the disease is not deadly it does cause a some of pain and because women are not “believable” in the medical field they have to suffer.

Training health care providers in gender competence will take part in reducing the acts of carelessness that discourage female patients from taking health services and also eliminating the biased acts health care providers partake in that prevent patients from getting the care that they are entitled to. Though medical workers may not be aware of their wrongful doing research has shown that, “health care providers automatically have negative stereotypes about the female patient”(Stone). This is important because once an individual sees a person as something, they will act in that manner. This automatic assumption that ,”women in emergency departments are less likely to be taken seriously than men”(Billock) is due to the social norms that society grows up on believing that women are emotional and over exaggerators. Training medical professionals may take away this issue because of the fact that it will enhance their gender competence. The training will promote how in the future, medical health care professionals interact not just with females but male patients as well. If these “conscious bias in medical decisions” are taken away when a doctor or nurse first interacts with a patient, it will further influence the way they choose to treat the patient. Instead of the doctor regularly choosing not to act toward a patient based on their physical appearance, they will now be able to make an unconscious decision.