Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Gender Pharmacostereotyping

Yesterday in the ER I went to see a young man with abdominal pain, a big, tough, muscular guy who worked construction. The big, tough co-worker who brought him in was there, too. As part of my regular history-taking I asked him if he'd taken anything for the pain. He hesitated a second, then said "Midol."

Um, Midol?

"Yeah, my buddy's wife had some and said it worked for her, and I was hurting so bad I was willing to try anything."

Did it help?

"You know, I think it did."

Then last night I was momentarily caught off guard by a gentleman who was taking an old-school antibiotic that I have only ever seen or read about being used for UTIs in women. I like to think of myself as being pretty good about not making gender-based assumptions, but you just can't take anything for granted in this business.

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