Unconscious bias: gynaecological pain, the elephant in the womb!
Unconscious bias, which is deeply ingrained and often hard to recognise, impacts decisions in ways we may not realise (Bourdieu, 2001). Implicit bias, shaped by repeated exposure to real-world interactions, also plays a significant role in this phenomenon (Chapman et al, 2013). As such, in health care, intuitive decision-making can be a double-edged sword. It can help during emergencies but can also lead to discrimination and biases, especially in complex situations. In addition, hidden and automatic biases, which are further strengthened by unquestioned repeated practices, have a significant impact on daily healthcare interactions (FitzGerald and Hurst, 2017).
Historically, gynaecology occupied a marginalised position within the realm of surgical care, often relegated to the status of a ‘Cinderella service’. This perception stemmed from societal attitudes and gender biases, which influenced how gynaecological surgeries were viewed in comparison with other surgical specialties. Gynaecology, being predominantly focused on women's reproductive health, was sometimes considered less prestigious or less prioritised than other surgical fields such as orthopaedic surgery or general surgery.
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