Gender Bias in Medicine — the CJSM podcast with Dr. Esther Choo

@choo_ek (a.k.a. Dr. Esther Choo) — a definite follow on Twitter!

We are excited to share the first CJSM podcast of 2019 with you.  Special guest Esther Choo M.D., M.P.H. joins us to discuss issues of gender bias in medicine:  “From Mansplaining to Bromotion — How We Can Move the Needle on Gender Bias in Sports Medicine.” 

For those not familiar with Dr. Choo’s work, I would direct you to a CJSM blog post from December 2018 where I shared with you some of my thoughts about one of her more recent commentaries published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ): “A Lexcion for Gender Bias in Academic Medicine.”

I would also direct you to her Twitter feed and heartily encourage you to follow her @choo_ek to continually learn from her, as I do on a nearly daily basis.  She argues strongly that issues of equality inform all our attempts to deliver high quality medicine; that issues of bias should be of interest to us all, because they affect not only our fellow professionals, but the patients we serve.

She also does this typically with a sense of humor, which has often put me in mind of Mark Twain’s quotation, “Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”  This work and this tone can be hard to achieve, because many of the issues Dr. Choo and others are tilting against can be dark.  In thinking of our own word of sports medicine, the complicated and horrific story of Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics comes to mind.  I’m also mindful of stories like that of Eva Carneiro, former team physician of an English Premiership Club, whose summary dismissal was entwined with these issues of sexism.  Or the exceedingly common phenomenon of attending a sports medicine conference only to find that all the keynote speakers are male

The world we serve is rife with issues of gender bias.  On his recent retirement, Andy Murray was lauded as an all too rare light in men’s sport — a man who would publicly stand up for women’s issues, a #HeForShe.  Or what to make of the arena of NCAA Division I coaching, where the sight of a man coaching a women’s team is common (think Gino Auriemma of UConn Women’s Bball), but the reverse is an exceedingly uncommon phenomenon.

There is light in this darkness.  Dr. Choo and groups like Feminem.org are doing great work.  I am also mindful of the lead that the IOC 2020 Prevention Conference has taken on this — the organizers publicly stated their intention to assemble a gender balanced planning committee, and they got it right, I think, including many luminaries in our field including Margo Mountjoy, Kate Ackerman, Caroline Finch, and Christa Janse van Rensburg, among others. Bravo!

I hope you go to our podcast page on our main website, or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to listen to our conversation with Dr. Choo and sample all of our podcasts.  Please let us know what you think. Take the time if you can on our iTunes feed to give us your opinion on the podcast in general, as we always take feedback seriously and use it to ‘tweak’ our media to make it ever better for you.

 

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