Don’t male doctors treat men’s symptoms more seriously?
The feeling that male doctors treat men more seriously seemed to have been respectably documented when the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported on such a study conducted by Lawrence Schneiderman.65 But when I spoke with Dr. Schneiderman, he explained that he had, in fact, done two studies: one found that men were treated slightly more seriously; the second found no difference. The first study not only made the prestigious JAMA but also received wide media attention.66 The second was published in a small, nonprestigious journal and was ignored by the media.67 In the first study, though, the female patients had visited the doctor 150 percent more often than the male patients; in the second study, the female and male patients had visited the doctor equally as often
Is it necessarily sexism that a doctor will treat a man more seriously? Not if men are more likely to end up in the hospital,68 more likely to die sooner of all fifteen major causes of death, and less likely to seek help until the symptoms have reached an advanced stage. Given that, the second study suggests that men get equal treatment for worse problems. Which is really sexism against men.
None of this denies that many doctors are more sensitive to efficiency than to their patients Insensitivity is the shadow side of dealing daily with death. And there is no doubt that patients feel more condescension than attention. Condescension is the shadow side of protection. Do women get more condescension than men? Probably. Women get more protea ion than men. And condescension is the shadow side of protection. . .