Maya Dusenbery is a journalist, editor, and author of the book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne). A New York Times Editors’ Choice pick, Doing Harm was named one of the best books of 2018 by NPR and Library Journal.
Weaving together hard-hitting studies and stats, interviews with doctors and researchers, and moving personal stories from women across the country, Doing Harm provides a comprehensive, accessible look at how sexism in medicine harms women today. Dusenbery explores the deep, systemic problems that underlie women’s experiences of feeling dismissed by the medical system. An eye-opening read for patients and health care providers alike, Doing Harm shows how women suffer because the medical community knows relatively less about their diseases and bodies and too often doesn’t trust their reports of their symptoms. Offering a clear-eyed explanation of the root causes of this insidious and entrenched bias and laying out its sometimes catastrophic consequences, Doing Harm is a rallying wake-up call that will change the way we look at health care for women.
Dusenbery has been interviewed about gender bias in medicine on NPR’s Fresh Air, Good Morning America, and countless radio shows and podcasts. She has given informative and thought-provoking talks on the subject to diverse audiences, including students, health care providers, patient advocates, researchers, and biomedical industry employees.
Dusenbery is editorial director of the trailblazing site Feministing.com, where she has covered a range of feminist topics—including abortion stigma, rape culture, masculinity, economic justice, and pop culture—since 2009. Formerly a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard, she has written for outlets like Slate, Cosmopolitan, HuffPost, The Atlantic, and Teen Vogue, among others, and contributed to the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Dusenbery worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. She received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. A Minnesota native, she is currently based in Portland, Oregon.
Praise for Maya Dusenbery:
“Maya Dusenbery spoke to our audience of more than 400 physicians, researchers, and stakeholders at the 2018 Diagnostic Error in Medicine Conference on the subject of how gender bias contributes to diagnostic delay and errors for women. Her talk was beautifully stated, thoroughly substantiated, and well received. She listened and learned from our other sessions and skillfully related her own material to our content.”
--Ruth Ryan, DEM2018 Planning Committee Chair
Praise for Doing Harm:
"...well researched, wonderfully truculent..."
--The New York Times Book Review
“Dusenbery presents a well-balanced, thoughtful and impassioned argument for change in health care for American women.”
"Ever since the centuries of burning women healers as witches—because they taught women how to govern our own bodies, thus to control reproduction—the medical world hasn't included all of humanity. Doing Harm shows what is left to be done, and directs both women and men toward healing."
"Dusenbery's excellent book makes the sexism plaguing women’s health care hard to ignore... She skillfully interweaves history, medical studies, current literature, and hard data to produce damning evidence that women wait longer for diagnoses, receive inadequate pain management, and are often told they are imagining symptoms that are taken seriously in men."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Maya Dusenbery brings new life to one of the most urgent yet under-discussed feminist issues of our time. Anyone who cares about women's health needs to read this book."
--Jessica Valenti, author of Sex Object: A Memoir
“Maya Dusenbery has added immensely to the literature on women’s health.”
--New York Journal of Books