Paula Johnson: His and hers - healthcare

TED Talks

Every cell in the human body has a sex, which means that men and women are different right down to the cellular level. Yet too often, research and medicine ignore this insight -- and the often startlingly different ways in which the two sexes respond to disease or treatment. As pioneering doctor Paula Johnson describes in this thought-provoking talk, lumping everyone in together means we essentially leave women's health to chance. It's time to rethink.


Dr. Paula Johnson is a pioneer in looking at health from a woman's perspective.

Ever think you were having a heart attack? It turns out that many of the well-known early symptoms, such as chest pain and pressure from left arm to jaw, are more typically experienced by men. Women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, unusual perspiration and abdominal discomfort. Dr. Paula Johnson was one of the first to ask big questions about women's experience of cardiac care -- and their access to care that meets their needs.

Johnson and her team at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston focus on mentoring, measuring and bringing together expertise from practicing clinicians and academics to improve women's health. She says: "One of our core responsibilities will be to address critical questions ... such as, 'How do sex and gender impact health and health outcomes?' and 'How can health disparities among different groups of women be eliminated?'"

"Addressing women’s health globally is critically important. Creating a powerful movement to lift the health of women globally could transform the health of the world."
Dr. Paula Johnson, BigThink

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