"Endometriosis" is not a common word. Some people associate it with difficult patients, pain during sex, and infertility. Others link it to stigma, grief, and not being believed by their doctors. Healers and Patients Talk provides insight into interactions between patients and health professionals in the clinical setting. The author examines the varied and contested enactments of endometriosis, the multiple ways in which people understand and use the term 'endometriosis', and the complex pathway to the diagnosis. Endometriosis is a label historically bestowed on white, heterosexual, cisgendered career women, but the author offers ideas about how such exclusionary practices developed over time.
This is an important ethnography of endometriosis which discusses new concepts, such as the author's theoretical contribution of the 'a-diagnostic' category. Women living with endometriosis occupy this space and slip in and out of it, struggling to receive a diagnosis and treatment. This conceptual category may well apply to other chronic conditions that affect women.
The author makes a significant contribution to scholarly understandings of endometriosis. The book considers recommendations for improving the care of endometriosis patients, shortening the time to diagnosis, and improving interactions between patients and care-givers.
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Number of pages: 260
Weight: 590 g
Dimensions: 237 x 160 x 23 mm
To tell the tale of endometriosis is to tell a tale of patients and doctors, of waiting for a diagnosis that, at last and at least, validates one's suffering as a medical condition, as opposed to being held in abeyance without it. It is to delve into the medical, sociological, and economic history of endometriosis, into myths of the female body, popular culture and its changing characterizations, and the psychology, for many women with endometriosis, of wearing the 'mask of health' while living with 'the monster inside.' In this book written by a physician-anthropologist with endometriosis, the tale is also an ethnographic exploration of the experiences of patients and doctors that breaks the silence about a disease which afflicts ten percent of women worldwide. Healers and Patients Talk is a high and distinguished achievement as a narrative and study, and it will, as Veronique A. S. Griffith states as her reason for writing it, help many women, and perhaps their doctors, achieve and arrive at better care for patients with endometriosis.--Michael Rowe, Yale University
Healers and Patients Talk makes a significant contribution to scholarly understandings of endometriosis and the gendered nature of chronic conditions more generally. This is, to date, the first ethnography of endometriosis, and the deployment of the ethnographic lens offers important new insights. Healers and Patients Talks provides rich data and rare insight into the clinical setting and the encounters between patients' and health professionals' varied and contested enactments of endometriosis.--Annalise Weckesser, Birmingham City University
Veronique Griffith approaches this ethnographic study of endometriosis from three separate but interlinked standpoints - as a medical doctor, a social science researcher, and as woman with endometriosis. This unique position has facilitated access to NHS clinics, to women with endometriosis, and to the emerging endometriosis advocacy movement. The resulting research brings new and important insights on the experience of endometriosis from NHS professionals, from women, from social media, and presents them in an accessible way. This book is a welcome addition to the endometriosis literature for those with a professional and personal interest in increasing understanding of this disease.--Elaine Denny, Birmingham City University