No girls allowed? Exploring bias, discourse, and exclusion in the old boys club of medicine
LE3 .A278 2016
Bachelor of Arts
Understanding how family physicians conceptualize and speak about health is crucial given that family doctors are at the front lines of health, however there is very little literature on the discourses of health. Through interviews with two female and two male family physicians in Saint John, New Brunswick, their understandings how gender, poverty, race, and the environment affect health were analyzed. The interviews were framed in critical health and feminist theory, so that the social structures which contribute to their understandings could be explored. The female physicians echoed the refrain of “I don’t know” when discussing the relationship between industry and health. This is attributed to rigid gender roles which ultimately deny female physicians the freedom to speak out and engage in the way their male counterparts do . The female physicians shared views of health as largely a structural problem, whereas the male physicians understood health as an individual problem, mirroring the biomedical approach. This differing standpoint is problematic as medicine has historically and still is controlled by men, the dominant discourse continues to be shaped by men, and women’s standpoints are dismissed. Understanding the forces that govern health discourse is a crucial first step in creating medicine that better serves female physicians and patients.
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