Chalk it up to toxic gender roles or implicit bias, but gaslighting in medicine is common. Female self-reporting often falls on deaf ears, be it the racial disparities implicated in disproportionate maternal death or doctors flat out telling women their pain isn't real.
In my case, multiple optometrists told me my searing eye pain was "impossible," until a young doctor—a woman—believed me and diagnosed me with clogged tear glands. A few easy lifestyle changes later, and I haven't experienced this dangerous, randomly searing pain in years. The point is, the anecdotal evidence is just as shocking (and common) as the results from massive scientific studies.
The Academy of Emergency Medicine found women's emergency room waits to be 33 percent longer than those for men with the same symptoms. The same study found women to be 13 to 25 percent less likely to be administered opiates, the most effective pain reliever, compared to male counterparts with identical complaints. This occurs within