Episode 40

Dr. Alyson McGregor - Sex Matters


September 9th, 2020

47 mins 23 secs

Your Host

About this Episode

Why has Western medicine so persistently focused on men when observing health conditions that affect both men and women?

Dr. Alyson McGregor is a physician, researcher, writer, and advocate for women's health. She is the Director for the Division of Sex and Gender in Emergency Medicine for the Department of Emergency Medicine at Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She is a TED speaker with over 1.6M views and recently published her book "Sex Matters: How male-centric medicine endangers women's health and what we can do about it."

Men and women are different and modern medicine has not recognized or accommodated for that. We need to do better.

  • Western medicine has largely ignored women and women’s health.
  • In the medical world, we are sorely behind in our understanding of women’s health.
  • When Alyson started to express her interest in women’s health, she was often mistaken as being interested in gynecology or obstetrics, and yet women present differently than men in so many areas.
  • We have a system-wide problem because doctors learn about male pattern disease.
  • Western medicine was built entirely on male physiology.
  • Not only are we not discovering the classic conditions of women but many of the additional issues women face such as autoimmune disorders have not been studied.
  • We need to have a new model of disease.
  • Right now we are at ground zero of understanding how man and women are different in the medical world.
  • Ambien was prescribed for women for over 20 years at double the dose and women were getting into accidents and unable to function based on the assumed way women metabolize the medicine based on how it works for men.
  • Alyson has created a collaborative network of knowledge so that professionals can share data on women and discuss the issues that women face.
  • NIH is the flagship for US funding for clinical trials.
  • Alyson believes that doctors and physicians want to do the right thing now that this issue has been revealed.
  • Alyson encourages women to take ownership of the accuracy of their health records and feel empowered to ask lots of questions.
  • Look at your physician as a well-informed consultant on your health and feel free to bring an advocate with you, especially if you are ill or in pain.
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