I actually find pregnancy and fertility stuff really fascinating. Have since I was a teenager, actually. That it has proven so applicable to my life has meant it's actually been a fairly high-yield topic when it comes to reading about it.
But for some reason, my brain absolutely does NOT want to study for my case for tomorrow.
I think largely because it's yet another stereotype case. While Mac actually goes to a lot of trouble to teach us about matters of privilege, social inequalities, oppression, etc. the teaching cases we get far too often rely on stereotypes. We've so far had teen mothers come up three times; twice in PBL cases, once as an optional scenario. The teen moms are always portrayed as ignorant, uninformed, or as rebellious. Basically, "bad kids" from bad family situations.
And this bugs me. A lot.
As a once-upon-a-time teen mom, this really gets to me, and I'm sure there are cases that are representative of stereotypes of other populations that bug other students. This one in particular gets to me personally, though.
Not all of our cases are like this, but some of them, definitely. And this is a problem because doctors stereotyping people is how important things get missed. It's how Indigenous people get ignored to death in ED waiting rooms because people assume they're drunk instead of sick. It's how pregnant teens get scared off from appropriate care because they're treated like shit. It's how obese people end up with serious diagnoses delayed or missed entirely because no one investigates red flags, just brushes them off and tells the person to lose weight.
Doctors looking at a patient as a 'type' instead of an individual can kill.
I'm not ignorant of the fact that, for instance, lower educational attainment or financial challenges are more common amongst teen mothers. Or that certain marginalized populations are more likely to experience, for instance, incarceration or addictions. But do we really need 'representative' cases that only show negative stereotypes? How about a 21 year old mom of a 5 year old who is now in university and working full time, or a high-functioning individual dealing with a hidden drug addiction? Or an eating disorder in a male patient that went unnoticed because of his sex. Give us cases that AREN'T stereotypes.
Challenge our perceptions, don't just reinforce the stereotypes the media forces down our throats.
There's my rant for the evening.