Doctor Reacts to John Oliver | Last Week Tonight: Bias in Medicine

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  • Published on:  Wednesday, August 21, 2019
  • John Oliver discussed medical bias on his latest episode and you requested that I react to it. This episode is slightly different than most of my other reaction videos as I gave a watch before doing the reaction video in order to vet the research discussed on the program. If you'd like for me to cover this topic in more detail please do comment below.

    Original Video: https://www.faceclips.net/video/TATSAHJKRd8/video.html
    Diversity Video: https://www.faceclips.net/video/KWkF2N4BFRA/video.html

    If you have an idea of something you want me to cover in-depth, please let me know because I take your requests seriously. We will be back with more Doctor Reacts Series, Memes, & Responding to Comments so please submit more names of shows/episodes & questions you'd like for me to watch. Love you all!

    - Doctor Mike Varshavski

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    ** The information in this video is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained in this video is for general information purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional professional **
  • Source: https://youtu.be/RhArakH5cTU
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Comment

  • rachel

    rachel

     9 hours ago +2

    Female presentation of pain isn't atypical. It is typical for the female sex.

  • Nipplepotamus

    Nipplepotamus

     10 hours ago

    Doctor mike do you think some maternal death rates may be related to more popular c-section births?

  • mandas677

    mandas677

     11 hours ago

    Sit with your discomfort and listen. Stop jumping on the defensive and realize that “lower quality” hospitals are just that because they treat mainly black people. That in itself is part of the prejudice in the medical field. Hospitals are allowed to crumble and have high mortality and infection rates as long as their patients are majority black. Hospitals treating white patients have more funding, are held to a higher standard, employ experts in their field, have better patients to nurses ratios, etc. Why is that? Racism.

  • Nightengale64

    Nightengale64

     11 hours ago

    I am a woman that has MCAD and POTS. So I go to the ER all too often. I have found that is my husband says what has been going on they accept it. If I say what has been going on they argue with me. I fucking hate it. But I understand the bias so I have trained him to speak up for me when we are in the ER so I can get treatment rather than sit there and argue for hours and get sent home without treatment. I do everything I possibly can to stay out of the ER and don't go when I probably should. But I did "try it out" a couple of times only for them to send me home for faking problems.
    The main problem is that I can get into a flair where I have a mild reaction for days. I can't really eat anything because I will have an allergic reaction. Can't watch tv cuz emotions cause reactions. I can't read because of the same thing. I basically just sit in a corner by myself cuz any stimulus screws me up and take Benadryl every few hours. Now, we have found out that a steady infusion of Benadryl (like 15mg per hour) through a pump will get me over it in a day. Home treatment of oral I am left like that 3-4 days. My specialists have proved that I need this treatment every once and a while. ER, for whatever reason, doesn't agree. So I would much rather sit in the corner at home doing nothing for 3-4 days to get through a flair than go to the ER just be told I am lying and sent home. And before you ask google mastocytosis.

  • aligateronline

    aligateronline

     15 hours ago

    John Oliver stated that the USA has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the developed world, not that it's the highest it's ever been in the USA. The study that Doctor Mike looked at was discussing the latter point moreso than the former. Why the US has worse health outcomes for pregnant people is definitely something that needs looking at on its own merits. Mama Doctor Jones did an interesting video about it.

  • saultube44

    saultube44

     18 hours ago

    Great job Doc

  • Annabelle Salibi

    Annabelle Salibi

     yesterday

    What about people from the Middle East like me ?

  • One Trundle

    One Trundle

     yesterday

    Women are partially at fault for their lack of care?! Dr. Mike, you're making me so sad here! Why highlight this excuse for the flaws in the system?? Women who have children and work, still take on the great majority of the household tasks and child rearing, even if they have a partner. So of course they're less likely to go to the doctor quickly, they can't! They are busier than their male counterparts! Besides, it's irrelevant to the (very real) biases in medicine....

  • One Trundle

    One Trundle

     yesterday

    There's a big difference between bias and discrimination. I think sometimes you were defending something that's a bias, by explaining how discrimination might not be at play here. Bias is just a skewed perspective. Example: I've never had chai tea, however, I love green tea and drink it every day. So if someone asks for a tea recommendation I could say green tea, because I'm biased toward green tea. Even if Chai tea is better!
    It's well known that medical studies have focused on male outcomes over female outcomes -- if women are even well represented in the study at all! So, medical treatments are biased toward men, and women are treated as medical conundrums (unless of course they present like the typical male).

  • Jennifer Braud

    Jennifer Braud

     yesterday

    I honestly can't believe that nobody brought up in discussion about racial disparity the condition Sickle Cell Anemia. Since this is a condition which affects only those of African descent, that would account for more complications and death in circumstances such as childbirth or trauma. Are there any common caucasian-specific diseases? Doctor Mike-good job on your knowledge & presentation. Well spoken, & you display obvious compassion for humans in general. I know you make your Mother proud.

  • Conformist138

    Conformist138

     yesterday

    24:11 - 25:19 Cool info, but he didn't say there was an increase in maternal deaths. He said that our maternal death rate is the highest in the developed world.

  • Olga Campos

    Olga Campos

     yesterday

    When I was in my early 20’s I was suffering from terrible migraines and decided to see a doctor to just hear him say, “you’re to young to be suffering from migraines, just take Advil” ( A male doctor said this), I almost decided to commit suicide because my migraines was unbearable. Thankfully by some miracle it just stopped one day... I now know that the food sensitivity I have to wheat and eggs was the cause of my migraines. The reason it stopped all of a sudden was because I wasn’t able to eat and I wasn’t able to consume the food that was causing my migraines. Now 15 years later after seeing a doctor that actually cared to find out what was wrong with me, I now know that those foods caused my migraines. I haven’t experienced any migraines for 3 years. The doctor that helped me was a young woman. I will love her for ever.

  • Allie Iacobelli

    Allie Iacobelli

     yesterday

    You missed your own bias, stats 101. Just because your one class, one year, was majority female means NOTHING in regards to women in the medical field. When you use a sample size of 1, it's anecdotal and not actual evidence

  • Allie Iacobelli

    Allie Iacobelli

     yesterday

    Also your language furthers bias even more. AFAB individuals don't present heart attacks "atypically". They present the typical symptoms for AFAB people. Comparing AMABs as the "typical" just confirms the point that historically they are studied more deeply and used as the default in health care.

  • Allie Iacobelli

    Allie Iacobelli

     yesterday

    If we're seeing "so much improvement" in the bias against AFAB individuals then why does endometriosis do undiagnosed and untreated for years? Why are hysterectomies denied to young women who want to cure their pain and don't want children? Why are doctors allowed to make that decision for them? Why is our pain dismissed as drama or drug seeking, today, in 2019?

  • Allie Iacobelli

    Allie Iacobelli

     yesterday

    The rise of maternal mortality is not false bc of a survey. Its because with the anti vax movement more and more pregnant women are choosing to refuse doctor care, dilation checks, fetal heart monitoring(vit k too but thats another issue) and rejecting hospital births for home births supervided by under trained homeopathic midwives and doulas who don't call 911 when mother is in crisis because they fear being charged with negligence or misconduct.
    Please, Im genuinely imploring you to do your research before spreading misinformation on important topics like this, to your tens or hundreds of thousands of subscribers. You're gonna indirectly kill someone if you keep going like this.

  • Allie Iacobelli

    Allie Iacobelli

     yesterday

    Generic pain meds are cheaper than some ibuprofen. That's not a reason not to rx.
    Just say what you mean; black people in low income areas don't deserve pain medication.

  • Allie Iacobelli

    Allie Iacobelli

     yesterday

    Wow, really disappointing Mike. What a condescending way to dismiss racist and sexist bias in a field you're active in and maintain a huge public platform for. Your only experience with bias in medicine is reading about it in med school ethics. You're a rich white man so your opinions on these matters are totally invalid. You have never experienced not getting care due to not having insurance, gone without necessary surgery because you're being accused of exaggerating symptoms; never cried in the ER for 11 hours scared out of your mind because you woke up from a nap not being able to feel your legs, while your muscles are breaking down and kidneys and liver swelling and shutting down because the er doc thinks you're scamming for drugs, you've never been forced to stand up and walk as you wail thay you literally cannot. You've never suffered for decades with constant abdominal pain and GI issues because 6 specialists swear its not endo. You've never had to pay out of pocket to see 12 surgeons just for them to deny you a hysterectomy, despite your resolve to not want kids, despite your spouse standing in agreement. "We're making progress" is not good enough. This whole video is literally you justifying bias.
    ITS THE WOMEN'S FAULT FOR NOT SEEKING MED ATTN FOR A HEART ATTACK BC SHE NEEDS TO CARE FOR HER KIDS? CHECK YOUR FUCKING PRIVILEGE. You should delete this video, you're just telling on yourself.

    You ccould've helped doubled down on John's attempt to bring this issue more into the public light with this huge platform you've created for yourself but you chose to do the same old debunking style over something that does not need to be debunked.

    Minor biological differences matter, of course. But having extra collagen does not equate to "thicker skin" i.e. "higher pain tolerance" and if you can't see the point in addressing why that's a problematic idea that can lead to putting a pt in more pain or lead to a lethal mistake you shouldn't be practicing medicine on anyone but white men, since thats only population you understand and are effectively trained to listen to and treat.

    For fucking shame.

  • sylversyl

    sylversyl

     2 days ago

    Medicine has from ancient times been heavily focused on the male body, using male physiology and male body models as the norm in all literature, teachings etc. Often this was further enforced due to social and religious restrictions (women not allowed to study these subjects and religion declaring the female body as forbidden). Women have therefore been painfully underserved by medicine, up to modern medicine. it's a real systemic problem and many women are still not aware their care may not been care centered around women but men.

  • FlyingDwarfman

    FlyingDwarfman

     2 days ago

    In regards to maternal mortality rate, you ended up talking about a notably different statistic than Oliver. He was referring to rates in the US vs other developed countries while you discussed only the apparent change in rates within the US. You didn't add to the discussion as to whether the reporting is different in the US vs other developed nations or not.