Doing Harm to Women’s Health with Maya Dusenbery

 In Addiction, Anxiety, Autoimmunity, Depression, Hashimotos, Headaches, Health, Heart Disease, Hormones, Lyme Disease, Pain, PCOS, Stress, Women's Health

Doing Harm to Women’s Health with Maya Dusenbery » Listen

Date: August 13, 2018

Episode Description

After her own diagnosis of an autoimmune disease, Maya Dusenbery realized that women are often mistreated by the medical system.  Ignored, labeled as hysterical, anxious or depressed, women are facing years and many doctors later before they are finally diagnosed with the illness that is ailing them.  In a thorough exploration of Women’s history in medicine, as well as how they are presently treated, Maya is sharing her research in this interview featuring her book “Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick.”

Dr. Risk’s Thoughts

I was so excited to do this interview.  It wasn’t until this year that I realized that how I had been treated by the medical establishment was also sexist.  In my journey to get diagnosed with Lyme Disease, I often hit walls being told I was anxious, I was young and would get over it, I was thirty, so live with it.  Not one of these is correct, and millions of women are even afraid to approach their doctors for fear that they will be labeled as a hypochondriac.  But, as Maya points out in her book, the facts are the opposite.  Women are affected more by pain and autoimmune diseases and spend 5-10 years getting diagnosed.  This time is not because they didn’t report the symptoms, but because doctors didn’t believe them when they did.  The sad truth is that most women can relate to this book, and as I read it I got excited to finally understand the culture I had been dealing with.  There is nothing to do about this situation but to work for change, and I am thankful that Maya is one of the women bringing that awareness forward. 

Guest Information

Maya Dusenbery is a freelance writer, editor, and author of the book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick. Between 2013 and 2018, she was editorial director of the trailblazing feminist site She has also previously been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard. Her writing has appeared in publications like, Slate, HuffPost,, Bitch magazine, Teen Vogue, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before becoming a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health.

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