Thursday, June 9, 2011

Quickie: Another thought on insiders & outsiders

One of my favorite anecdotes in Henci Goer's The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth was this:
Someone once asked her what her credentials were. What gave her the authority to write books about medical research?

Her answer: "I can read."

I love this. So empowering! How fantastic is it, that she is communicating that anyone who can read has the right and the ability to understand and critique medical research? It totally goes against the idea sometimes espoused by OBs that only doctors can understand medical research, and so only doctors can make decisions about medical care. (Like: a woman who asks questions or tells her OB about some research she heard about it, and getting asked with a sneer, "And where did you get your medical degree?" Most OBs are nicer than this, thank goodness, but this has happened to plenty of women nonetheless!)

Not everyone who can read can be a doctor. But pretty much anyone who has the cognitive abilities to read can educate themselves enough to be active participants in their medical care, not just passive recipients of care.

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