HYSTERIA : THE CHASM BETWEEN PATIENT AUTONOMY AND GYNECOLOGICAL CARE

by Shweta Ramkumar

I recently listened to an episode on Christine J. Erickson‘s podcast where she and Rachael Jablo discussed the lack of patient autonomy, dismissal and minimization of symptoms of prolonged pelvic pain and misdiagnoses, late and incorrect diagnoses of chronic gynecological conditions in female patients such as endometriosis, adenomyosis and fibroids.

As a healthcare professional who champions heavily for women’s reproductive rights and respecting patients’ bodily autonomy, the episode left me feeling disappointed and disheartened.

Why do healthcare professionals treat female patients as second class citizens ?

Why are they constantly imposing their own uninformed judgements and opinions (as opposed to medical facts that stems from research and treatment) about what a woman chooses to do with her reproductive system and the extent of pain she is and isn’t allowed to feel ?

Why do they sweep diagnoses of life threatening and debilitating chronic reproductive conditions under the rug ?

Is it just one of the many by-products of patriarchy ?

Is it due to outdated cultural beliefs and values dictating how they view patients ?

Is it because a woman’s worth and value in society is viewed solely by her fertility, ability and willingness to bear children, even at the expense of her quality of life ?

Is it due to the assumption that women have a greater tolerance threshold for pain and hence have no right to seek support for pain experienced during ‘natural’ processes such as menstruation ?

Who knows the needs, symptoms and pain level of our bodies best ?

Commonsense would say the patient, but the episode says otherwise.

These reasons, together with the social taboos’ on discussion of female reproductive health, why patients rely on false information on the internet to diagnose and treat themselves, which presents its own problems.

The bottom line remains, healthcare professionals’ job is to work TOGETHER with the patient, respect an acknowledge how they feel and come up with strategies to correctly diagnose and treat whatever they’re experiencing

Let’s change this biased narrative, demonstrate true empathy, compassionate care, respect for our patients’ bodily autonomy and empower them with the right tools and medical guidance to help them decide what’s best for their long term reproductive health and quality of life

My upcoming video series focuses on patient autonomy and informed consent. if you’d like to learn how to excel and stand out as a healthcare professional by exemplifying patient autonomy, schedule a complimentary 30 minute discovery call with me to see how I can best support you in your journey

https://lnkd.in/gXzgdFPV

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Hi, I'm Shweta

I coach non-native English speaking healthcare professionals how to advance in their career and build better relationships with their patients and colleagues by expressing themselves more articulately and confidently in the English language.

I work closely with healthcare professionals who work with patients regularly. I help them improve their communication skills when interacting with patients and colleagues, teach them how to show up authentically, assertively and articulately in their field of work in order for them to ultimately gain credibility, validation and respect.

If you work in a clinical role in the healthcare industry and would like to learn more about how to better connect and communicate openly with your clients / patients, book a complimentary 30 minute discovery call with me to see how I can best support you.

Shweta Ramkumar - English Language Confidence Coach