Dr. Legato shares why women advocate for their loved ones more often than for themselves.
I think that the tendency of women to advocate for the members of their family much more for themselves, is in my experience, a wish to hide from the possibility that something could be wrong with them. "If I ignore it, it will go away. If I don’t know about it, it won’t trouble me."
I have patients in their 80s who have never been willing to have a colonoscopy or even a mammogram because what they don’t know doesn’t exist. And so I think that this is in some ways and I think in a very significant way, an effort to hide out and say, “It doesn’t matter about me. It’s important that my children and my husband are cared for.”
So I think there’s a displacement of concern, if you will, away from the woman herself to the members her family, which serves no one very well.
About Dr. Legato:
Dr. Marianne J. Legato is an internationally known academic physician, author, lecturer and specialist in women's health. She is a Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and the Founder and Director of the Partnership for Women’s Health at Columbia University. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School. Dr. Legato founded the Partnership for Women's Health at Columbia University in 1997. It is the first collaboration between academic medicine and the private sector focused solely on gender-specific medicine: the science of how normal human biology differs between men and women and of how the diagnosis and treatment of disease differs as a function of gender. Dr. Legato has received many awards for her leadership role in women's health.
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