Her findings are persuasive and troubling. Salenger sounds the alarm at women being prescribed significantly more medication than men (despite, as she asserts, women experiencing increased side effects from those medications), reveals the nuances behind their reluctance to question doctors, and argues that women allow their own health to suffer because they blame themselves for getting sick or they’re too busy taking care of others to prioritize their own well being. She attributes a large share of these issues to women themselves, contending that their “caretaking mindset” leads them to postpone needed medical procedures and gives rise to a wait-and-see approach to their own health. Salenger’s goal is to help women break these “negative and potentially vicious cycles.”
The emphasis throughout is on what women can do to more effectively communicate with the medical establishment rather than what changes and accommodations that establishment itself must make. She encourages women to take charge of their medical treatment, including recommendations for changing their conversational style with doctors. Sidelined urges readers to challenge some tendencies of mind it ascribes to many American women—especially the fear of being labeled a difficult patient, or the belief that it’s not one’s place to disagree with doctors—that feed that vicious cycle limiting women’s access to quality healthcare. Women seeking ways to better navigate medical systems will find some helpful suggestions.
Takeaway: An eye-opening examination of gender bias in healthcare, with advice for women to take charge.
Great for fans of: Bernadine Healy’s A New Prescription for Women’s Health, Jennifer Block’s Everything Below the Waist.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A-