New medical illustrations challenge lack of representation in women’s healthcare
Women’s social network Peanut has released a digital gallery of illustrations that aims to challenge the lack of representation of women in healthcare.
The gallery, titled “The Reframing Revolution” is free to use and was developed in collaboration with a gynecologist and an illustration studio specializing in science and medicine.
The campaign hopes to highlight that there is no “normalcy” when it comes to the appearance of women’s bodies and that traditional representations of women’s anatomy as white, thin, hairless and able-bodied are not representative of most women.
Dr. Somi Javaid, a gynecologist, surgeon and founder of HerMD who worked with Peanut on the gallery, said the illustrations could “change the course” of how patients are treated.
“As practitioners, it is our duty to treat each patient to the best of our abilities. When there are obvious biases in the tools we use to diagnose, we are not bringing our best to every patient,” Javaid said.
“These new illustrations will showcase the diverse bodies and skin tones healthcare providers will see on their daily rounds and change the course of how we treat patients who have been underrepresented and undertreated for so long. long time.”
A 2018 study, which analyzed 4,146 images from textbooks used by top medical schools in the United States, found that only 17% of the images were of black and brown people, while 75% were of people with darker skin tones. Claire.
Additionally, a 2016 survey of 443 GPs in Australia found that 97% of gynecologists had been asked about genital normality by women, but only 75% were confident in their patient assessments.
In November 2021, a report by MBRRACE-UK found that maternal mortality rates are four times higher among black women, twice as high among women of mixed ethnicity and almost twice as high among Asian women.
Women reported feeling unsafe, having their concerns ignored or dismissed, dealing with microaggressions that caused distress, and being denied pain relief due to racial stereotyping.
Michelle Kennedy, founder and CEO of Peanut, said the network’s artwork will educate both the medical field and society as a whole.
“The women were misdiagnosed and abused because their health care provider failed to recognize their physical symptoms on non-white skin,” Kennedy said.
“Women and mothers in all their shapes, sizes and identities must be represented.
“These illustrations serve to create an open dialogue. better represent women’s experiences and address the knowledge gap surrounding women’s health.
The full gallery of images can be viewed here.