The Pain Gap: How Sexism and Racism in Healthcare Kill Women

Tiller Pr. Oct. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9781982177775. $26.99. HEALTH
Growing up in Bangladesh, journalist Hossain (host of the podcast Spilling Chai) thought the United States had better women’s and maternal healthcare; upon immigrating to Washington, DC, she found the truth was very different. This debut recounts Hossain’s own traumatic pregnancy, reports other women's experiences of American medicine, and presents deep research that outlines gender and racial inequities entrenched in the U.S. health care system. The book’s tone effectively conveys Hossain's determination to change Western medicine's model of care, particularly for patients who are women of color; it's a call to arms for patients, to advocate for themselves and others. Pregnancy and childbirth are a central focus, but there's also valuable general information about patient empowerment; it pairs well with Unwell Women by Elinor Cleghorn.
VERDICT Hossain synthesizes a great deal of qualitative and quantitative data in this effective overview of bias in American medicine, particularly women’s and maternal health care. An especially welcome addition to health care policy, women’s studies, and race studies collections at public or special libraries.
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