Susanna Weiss: Women’s Pain and the Healthcare Gender Bias


Journalist Susanna Weiss has recently documented her struggles with the gender bias in the healthcare system. It took Weiss eleven months, seventeen doctors, and several misdiagnoses before receiving the medical care she needed. Her experience shines a light on the ways women’s chronic pain is rarely taken seriously and received with skepticism by medical practitioners. Many other voices joined Weiss’ testimony on Twitter, emphasizing how women of color, non-binary, trans, and queer folks are rarely taken seriously by their doctors. This bias in the medical industry is dangerous and leaves many women suffering. Research shows that women are not only taken less seriously but are also underrepresented in clinical trials and female health issues are highly under-researched. Women need to constantly self-advocate for their health and fight for fair medical treatments.

Discussion Question

Have you ever experienced discrimination in a medical environment?

Further Reading

Women’s suffering has been minimized and dismissed for centuries. Read more about gender discrimination when it comes to women’s pain in Leslie Jamison’s essay “Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain.”

Action Item

Often we dismiss our own pain because of internalized sexism. Listen to your body and keep advocating for your health, you know your body better than anyone else!

Read more on TeenVogue | Image: Lydia Ortiz