If you are a woman listening to Introductions Necessary we might have some unsettling news for you–much of the medical science discovered over the past century was only tested on roughly 50% of the population – the male half.
Dr. Alyson McGregor is examining how sex and gender differences impact emergency medical care and the overall health of women and working on communicating these differences to medical professionals and the public. Explaining in a 2014 Ted Talk that is was decided after World War II that medical testing, including drug trials, would be performed on men and then the findings extrapolated to women as it was assumed women’s bodies reacted the same way as men’s –we have learned that is not the case as 80% of medications that went to market had to be removed due to the devastating side effects for women. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the medical community challenged this belief and the strides made in understanding the difference between the sexes in terms of anatomy and physiology are staggering.
Leading her group at the Division of Sex and Gender in Emergency Medicine in efforts to establish research and educational endeavors that promote sex- and gender- specific medicine and women’s health as they relate to emergency care, McGregor is on the forefront of sharing these strides with the world.
In 2016 she was an editor of the book Sex and Gender in Acute Medical Care which serves as a guide to clinicians interested in the impact of sex and gender on their practice as well as researchers interested in critical future research directions and the current state of the art techniques in the field. Another way she helps to communicate the importance of recognizing sex and gender differences is in her role as the co-director of the organization Sex and Gender Women’s Health Collaborative. The mission of SGWHC is to integrate sex and gender knowledge into medical education and practice to improve healthcare for all.
Written by Angela Goad