No, I'm Not Lying About Medical Issues Becuase Of My Skin Color
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Medicine and practitioners of medicine are held to the highest accords and respects in our society. Perhaps it has something to do with the notorious oath they take after years of rigorous studying and training, in which they swear to do no harm. Yet, any women, especially women of color, who have seen a doctor on any semi-regular basis has at least one anecdote about having their claims and symptoms ignored or minimized, being misdiagnosed and even having their doctor claim they are being hysterical.

I, myself, spent 10 years being misdiagnosed and having doctors accuse me of lying, so I understand the disastrous effects on one's mental and physical health that medical bias can have.

Historically, the bodies of women of color have been seen as expendable by the medical community and have often been a site of unethical experimentation, starting from the times of slavery and continuing through the second wave of feminism and beyond. Often advances in medicine, such as the creation of birth control, came at the cost of the lives of women of color. Modern-day studies of the disparity in terms of access to medications, referrals, misdiagnosis and general trust show that women are less likely to get referrals, access to medication, especially pain killers and proper diagnosis of life-threatening ailments such as heart attacks and when they do receive services on average they have to wait longer, despite there being evidence that women are more persistent about healthcare and seeking medical help.

This is, of course, symbolic of the larger iteration of "You have to work twice as hard to get half as much." Additionally, many textbooks studied by people in the medical field (nurses, doctors, Physicians assistants) have incorrect information in regards to both the physiology of women and people of color. In fact, studies have shown that a significant number of medical students believe that black people have higher pain tolerance and thicker skin than white people.

Just because someone becomes a doctor does not mean they are immune to the biases that exist in every system in our society, in fact, they are prime examples of how much farther we have to go.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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