An Open Letter to Health Professionals

from those of us who struggle to find one who will respect us

Try not to let your cultural biases overshadow the point of my visit.

If you suggest something, whether it’s a mouthguard I know I won’t wear or the latest version of some ridiculous diet that you read one JAMA article about over lunch, I have the right to choose whether or not to take that advice. I retain that right, just as I would with any other professional that I pay for services. If I choose to reject your advice, I am not “non-compliant” because, as a sentient adult paying for your services, I am under no obligation to take your advice.

My intention is for this to be an invitation to do better.

Your first and most important job should be to listen to me and believe me when I tell you what’s going on with my body. Just because I’m a woman, doesn’t mean that my pain is less serious or that you should ignore it. The same is true for people of color or with other marginalized identities. Many of us avoid seeking treatment because we know that we’re likely to encounter bias and maltreatment so if we’re here, you can bet your ass it hurts.

feminist life coach, shame resilience teacher, justice advocate, cocktail queen and cat lover. jenpavich.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store