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Book: The Hidden Malpractice, How American Medicine Mistreats Women


Senior Member
I discovered a book written way back in 1977, which briefly discussed the topic of the dismissal of women's diseases as psychogenic. It is called The Hidden Malpractice, How American Medicine Mistreats Women, and it's written by Gena Corea.

The book comes from the Women's Health Movement in the 1970s. It is a good book, not just for having mentioned this problem related to ME. It mentions this problem as an aspect of a greater problem inherent in medicine with respect to its relationship with women.

The book discusses the history of the medical profession. This is important for ME patients to understand. Many of us have perceived many in the medical profession, as the proverbial "man behind the curtain," speaking loudly to discredit ME, but lacking actual substance to support the argument.

This book shows that this behavior is a bit of habit of a profession which historically tried to justify its existence. It isn't surprising since most other professions follow the same self serving pattern. The problem is that most people are conditioned to not see medicine as an actual profession. Still, doctors do essentially what auto mechanics do, which is hide what they know in order that they may make money by using that knowledge for profit.

I learned from this book that the practice of demanding medical professionals have accreditation began in the 1830s when the standard for medical care was using leaches to cure disease. The book tells of how it was more insecurity within those in the medical field about the lack of efficacy of blood letting and other spurious medical techniques which led to the mandate doctors be certified to practice medicine, rather than protecting patients from quacks. When doctors believed in Galen's idea of the 4 humours causing disease, they likely deep down knew it wasn't working.

For me, the book fills in the gaps of how and why bias against women and dismissal of diseases which affect them could come to pass. It also mentions other things worth learning about. For example, it relates the story the man who discovered that hand washing prevented disease, Ignaz Semmelweis. Semmelweis was attacked as a quack in his day and seen as a threat by the medical community of his time, since his discovery that hand washing prevented disease implicated some doctors in causing an epidemic from their habit of dissecting corpses and then seeing patients with unwashed hands.

This event where the term, "the Semmelweis Effect" comes from. These are just a few tidbits from the book, but there is much more. I recommend this book- it covers some of the same issues discussed in Maya Dusenbery's book and gives a new perspective to them.
Second star to the right ...
Hi @Annikki , and thank you for raising this issue again.

I started a thread on it a few months ago, which was received with general disinterest. Am posting a link for you below ....

Again, thank you, again, for raising this issue. I think it should be of major concern to every woman everywhere, but especially in these forums.

As a personal note, I was dismissed, misdiagnosed, and treated with absolute and complete professional disdain by 5 different Drs, 8 different times, over a period of a little over 2 years. In every instance, I has handed off with 3 month trial packages of 6 or 7 different anti-depressants and told not to worry my little head about it.

I was finally diagnosed in 15 minutes by a Physician's Asst (also male) in the ER of a local hospital, and was immediately admitted to the hospital where I stayed for a little over a month with Non-Hgkins Lymphoma, Stage 3, and treated with massively aggressive chemo for 8 months.

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