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Doctors under fire as patients' claims of 'medical gaslighting' go viral: Need to 'be our own advocates' | Joggingvideo.com
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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Doctors under fire as patients' claims of 'medical gaslighting' go viral: Need to 'be our own advocates'

Patients who don’t feel heard by a health care professional are finding a voice on social media — with the hashtag #medicalgaslighting now garnering more than 226 million views on TikTok.

“Medical gaslighting” is a term used to describe the situation in which patients — often young individuals, women and minorities — feel their symptoms are inappropriately dismissed or labeled as psychological when they go to see a doctor.

The term “gaslighting” originates from a 1938 play about a diabolical husband who plots to drive his wife insane through treacherous mind games.

TINA TURNER SUFFERED FROM KIDNEY DISEASE BEFORE HER DEATH: ‘I HAVE PUT MYSELF IN GREAT DANGER’

Mira helps women conceive with a home fertility tracker that provides personalized insights into menstrual cycles to maximize the chances of getting pregnant.

Some 65% of American women felt that their doctor dismissed, ignored or minimized the severity of their medical concerns.

The survey also found that female millennials felt especially impacted, with 72% feeling ignored or dismissed by doctors, per a press release on Mira’s website. 

Medical gaslighting is not new

In 1977, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that reproductive-age women be excluded from early clinical drug trials. 

There was a concern that the studies could potentially harm the fetuses of pregnant women and that hormonal changes during pregnancy would complicate the study’s results, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Research shows there’s still a gender gap in how providers are evaluating women compared to men.

“Experiencing medical gaslighting throughout my fertility journey was deeply disheartening, especially as a woman with hormonal imbalance and a higher BMI [body mass index] who sought to be well-informed and actively participate in my own care,” Kristy P., 33, a member of the Mira community who lives in Orlando, Florida, told Fox News Digital. 

She said she felt “disregarded and frustrated” when her providers immediately pushed for invasive procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) — solely based on her weight — rather than considering alternative treatment options based on her individual circumstances.

Couple meeting with doctor

Some experts suggest bringing a loved one along to a medical appointment to avoid feeling discounted by health professionals. (iStock)

One example of how some providers may not consider differences in symptoms between genders has to do with chest pain.

“But women may experience other symptoms that are typically less associated with heart attack, such as shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain,” the association noted on its website.

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More women die from the condition compared to all types of cancer combined, per the American Heart Association.

‘A powerful reminder’

Some experts suggest bringing a loved one along to an appointment to avoid feeling discounted by health professionals.

“Women have the power to speak up and challenge dismissive attitudes in health care to receive the care they deserve,” Moore said. 

By simply talking to and examining patients, doctors can make the proper diagnosis without performing any further testing in 80% of cases, according to multiple studies.

Many doctors work hard to follow this practice — but some patients feel a subset can do better.

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“As women are diagnosed an average of four years later than men, there is no shame in asserting yourself by asking plenty of questions, expressing any concerns and seeking second opinions when your gut tells you something is off,” she said.

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