Doctor Reacts to John Oliver | Last Week Tonight: Bias in Medicine

John Oliver discussed medical bias on his latest episode and you requested that I react to it. This episode is slightly different than most of my other reaction videos as I gave a watch before doing the reaction video in order to vet the research discussed on the program. If you'd like for me to cover this topic in more detail please do comment below.
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- Doctor Mike Varshavski
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  1. Chani Sterling

    Chani Sterling19 時間 前

    ME/CFS is an illness that affects more women then men. I can’t help but to believe that this illness can’t get funding because it affects women more then men. Please watch “Unrest” on Netflix or “Forgotten Plague” in Prime.

  2. Ulonda Evans

    Ulonda Evans22 時間 前

    Check out the book called Medical Apartheid if you’re interested in medical bias and the history of how black people are treated in medicine. It’s even better as a audiobook.I personally have experienced medical bias when it came to pain and not being taken seriously.

  3. Chelsea Arnold

    Chelsea Arnold23 時間 前

    Best Vlog yet thanks Dr Mike!!

  4. GodspeedHero

    GodspeedHero日 前

    I would like to make one single statement here: Black Americans are not necessarily African and African-Americans are people who moved from Africa to America and became citizens or residents, not descendants of slaves.

  5. skdaniels1

    skdaniels12 日 前

    No, dude... It's because these hospitals are serving people of color. Also... the "African community"... your privilege and bias is showing.

  6. Rob Fed

    Rob Fed3 日 前

    Doctor Mike stop it. Who should I blame for this my keyboard is ready. Stop being so understanding smh

  7. alaa bdu

    alaa bdu3 日 前

    Honestly the fact that he doesn’t notice how biased he sounds both from a professional and white male pov is ridiculous. He should have just not talked about this.

  8. Kristen Ellsworth

    Kristen Ellsworth3 日 前

    Women speaking in a “more narrative style” sounds like a bad excuse for sexism. A “more narrative style” gives MORE information about what’s going on and should be leading to more accurate diagnoses and care. The fact that it does the opposite is inherently problematic. Saying that men receive more comprehensive care because they speak in a more “businesslike” manner is in and of itself a bias towards stoic masculinity. Being businesslike and giving less information should have the opposite effect that it does. The reality of that only further displays sexism in the medical community.

  9. Julio Hernandez

    Julio Hernandez3 日 前

    Women lie a lot especially when its not them that are hurt my own mom has always been pulling symptoms out of nowhere but i was smaller at the time

  10. Candida Wojcik

    Candida Wojcik3 日 前

    I had seen something about women having a higher pain tolerance than men and it being part of the bias.I have also seen on myth busters where they had tested this. Just wondering your thoughts on this.

  11. Emily Davidson

    Emily Davidson4 日 前

    As a white, straight, cis, male doctor a lot of this comes off as you excusing things that you could never experience. While I appreciated most of our your take on and support for these issues I think you need to hold up doctors of color who can better address these issue and don’t have the shield of white privilege to be dismissive of these issues as so many are.

  12. legendhero 45

    legendhero 454 日 前

    Thank you for the video! All of you friends are super awesome! Oh, moments in this video are sad.

  13. Laura May

    Laura May4 日 前

    When we look at this topic it is helpful to remember no one will say “I treat women different because they are women” for the most part people who possess a bias are not typically aware of the bias. I have first hand experienced this. I was diagnosed with C-Diff at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. The doctor did not prescribe any medicine (later they cited communication issues internally), when I called repeatedly as my symptoms worsened, I was dismissed as hysterical. You rarely hear medical professionals referring to men as hysterical

  14. blarghts

    blarghts5 日 前

    These stories about doctors ignoring peoples problems is crazy while in my life I have been blessed with good health when I was younger the doctors would take my mother vary seriously on all of her issues or issues with us. I suppose we just had a good doctor

  15. Dekunutcase

    Dekunutcase5 日 前

    I myself almost died because the local HIGH RISK pregnancy doctor wouldn't even look at my swollen legs and ignored my symptoms and didn't see the need for the urine test because, "It never catches anything." I even called in and asked if my symptoms matched my diagnosis and was told to simply go to my next appointment a week later. I didn't last another two days and was hospitalized for preeclampsia and HELLP. (We all survived the experience, luckily, but that's a whole 'nother story.) It's insane how some doctors won't just be thorough, even when asked to be.

  16. Housewife Revolution

    Housewife Revolution5 日 前

    Now I want to know what John Oliver's reaction to him is.

  17. Irkalla C

    Irkalla C5 日 前

    LOL so the study finds that the reason women are treated the way they are is because of the way they describe their symptoms? Despite what you want to believe, there IS a bias. I injured my back in 2007 at work. Despite having the psychiatrist at the pain clinic tell them that it's highly unlikely that I'm just trying to get drugs, the fact that I didn't fill even one of the pain killer prescriptions they handed to me like candy. To this day if I go to the doctor they don't take my complaints seriously. I'm a 52 year old woman who can't walk without pain. I'm pretty sure I have plantar fasciitis in my left foot, severe pain in both knees and the pain from my back injury which includes hip pain and muscle spasms in my lower back. Will I go to the doctor? No, because he won't take me seriously. He'll bend my foot this way and that and declare all my pains due to "over exertion and irritation", again and give me a prescription for ibuprofen and send me home. My room mate went to the same doctor with the same foot pain complaint they did x-rays, had a consultation that lasted longer than 2 minutes and in the end determined he has plantar fasciitis. He was shown stretches, got custom orthotics for his shoes, and a splint to wear when he sleeps. This was 3 months ago and he's now pain free. And the reasoning why is because I described my symptoms differently? That's as bullshit an excuse as any other.

  18. Ocean House

    Ocean House5 日 前

    I'm a white male and I can assure you my care sucks as much or more!!!

  19. Taylor Barnett

    Taylor Barnett5 日 前

    It’s not just because of economic status.. even when corrected for, rich black people still experience disparities

  20. WatchingDude

    WatchingDude5 日 前

    The biggest problem is the American health care system.

  21. Ivan Platonov

    Ivan Platonov5 日 前

    Isn't the most contributing factor in all of those cases money? A man is sconsidered to have more money than a woman; A white person is considered to have more money than a black one. (More money= better schools, better schools=better jobs, better jobs=more money, and so the cyrcle goes). The same for "lower quality" hospitals. is there some disparity in financing a hospital that is placed in a high rise district and one placed in minorities populated are? - i imagine that all problems, misconceptions and treatment is the result of "who can pay more"mentality

  22. a. inthenameoftequila

    a. inthenameoftequila5 日 前

    I hope things start to change, I've stopped trying to get things fixed because every time I've been to the doctors in the last 2or more years, I've been told it's "just lady pains" I've given up....

  23. Shelby Durand

    Shelby Durand6 日 前

    After 3 months of puking everyday after I ate anything and feeling like I was honestly having a heart attack I went to urgent care (ya I know I should have been seen earlier 😂😅) I told the doctor what was happening and the first thing he asked me was “are you pregnant?” Then Said I probably just had a stomach bug and sent me on my way... I ended up getting in with my dr. He poked around my abdomen and told me to go to a gi specialist... I ended up having to have my gallbladder removed. That was fun lol I’m happy that I have been very lucky with the doctors I’ve had, I just refuse to go to that urgent care now 😂

  24. Shannon Leonard-Day

    Shannon Leonard-Day6 日 前

    I love watching ur videos I have ASD (aspergers/autistic spectrum disorder) and ADHD and I was thinking of becoming a nurse or a doctor or someone in the medical field and Ik doing my GCSE’s now

  25. 💕Presouz💕

    💕Presouz💕6 日 前

    I had some very scary debilitating symptoms that I put up which happened 4-5 different times in the course of three months I was very scared scared enough that I finally went to the doctor and guess what she said to me. The exact same thing I can’t tell you what’s wrong with you but I can tell you what’s not wrong with you it’s not your gallbladder 🤷🏻‍♀️ fml

  26. Jeka E Franco

    Jeka E Franco6 日 前

    How do I talk to my doctor about checking my heart? I keep having this horrible pain front and back on left chest and my arm feels sore.. unfortunately I've been sedentary for the past two years and the pain started a year ago.

  27. will tuders

    will tuders6 日 前

    85% female is diverse?

  28. lamontshandy

    lamontshandy6 日 前

    Men hardly go to the doctor... in comparison. Why are you watch this “liberal hack”? (McSally, 2020)

  29. Steph D

    Steph D7 日 前


  30. Matty

    Matty7 日 前

    As a trans person of color and someone assigned female at birth, I've had issues with doctors. Luckily, my family doctor is a woman of color and she's wonderful, but I still noticed the way she started talking me more seriously when I came out to her as male and she started seeing me as that. Another issue I've ran into is, I suffer from chronic pain that limits my mobility; I can't walk or stand for longer than few minutes. And I've been dismissed by doctors in the ER or other places because I'm young. They think just because I'm young, I don't suffer from this debilitating disability and it's awful.

  31. Pascale N

    Pascale N7 日 前

    In Europe, doctors or in the ER do not prescribe that easily all those highly addictive drugs. Oxycoton for exampl, I never ever heard it described or someone taken it. But we read about those kinda of drugs taken legally in the US.....and mostly when someone dies. For us here it's weird.

  32. S Sarkar

    S Sarkar8 日 前

    You have shown that John Oliver stretches the facts and cherry picks claims in studies. As a talk show host his incentive is to come up with bombastic claims that maximizes his publicity. Oliver is aware of what his woke audience wants to hear.

  33. Jai Parwani

    Jai Parwani9 日 前

    When 85% of residents are of same gender(female), how are they a diverse group

  34. Tera Banks

    Tera Banks9 日 前

    Let's face it. your care is as good as your insurance.

  35. Kasey Richardson

    Kasey Richardson9 日 前

    I hope no POC goes to this "doctor" for major medical issues. Especially women of color. There is literally an epidemic going on right now with an alarming high rate of WOC dying after childbirth because doctors like him blow their pain and concerns off, thinking that they have a different genetic makeup of whites. Know who also thought this? HITLER. This wanna be attention seeking fake GQ model should have his license revoked.

  36. Madison Myers

    Madison Myers9 日 前

    Doctors need to chill on the over perscribing of opioids and this country needs an accessible healthcare system. It needs to stop putting so much money into the military and instead put it into making healthcare accessible and free or at the very least affordable for everyone. Healthcare shouldn't be a luxury. To put it simply U.S. would you please stop putting money into ending people's lives and instead put it into saving them.

  37. ThePaintedLady

    ThePaintedLady9 日 前

    Thanks for covering this issue. There are absolutely a tendency within medicine to be disimissive of women's health concerns and to assume symptoms are 'all in your head' or just an expression of stress, anxiety or emotional imbalance. Women are far more likely than men to be put on psych meds for conditions like anxiety and depression, when that may not be what's actually causing their symptoms or struggles. Apparently more than 40% of women who go on to be diagnosed with autoimmune disorders are initially told that they are hypochondriacs. Which is completely shocking and unacceptable that this seems to be the status quo. Here's the study on that: And look no further than Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, for perhaps the best example of medical bias. This condition disproportionately affects women, with a disease burden similar to HIV/AIDS. Research has been chronically underfunded for decades, receiving just pennies per patient, compared to other major chronic health conditions and a big part of this is due to the fact that it's largely a women's condition. Even now, women presenting with symptoms of CFS are routinely ignored, dismissed or assumed to be suffering from some type of female hysteria, hypochondria and/or mental illness. Just have a look at Jennifer Brea's TED Talk on this subject for further insight.

  38. Alab

    Alab9 日 前

    doctor mike is becoming a leftist.

  39. Alab

    Alab6 日 前

    @Nunnayo Bidnez he is dropping some intersectional words here, "oh we must not look at it as an indiviual thing but as a systemic thing. " soon before you know it, he'd be playing the internationale, and then finally this website would have some worth. inb4 a lib comes here and says something about the death toll of communism, ignoring the millions that die everyday.

  40. Nunnayo Bidnez

    Nunnayo Bidnez6 日 前

    Because he is pro-vaccine?

  41. Laura Freise

    Laura Freise9 日 前

    I really appreciate Dr. Mike’s attention to the issue of casual inference. He’s right, correlation does not equal causation. But ALSO, it should be recognized that the “gold standard” of research- a randomized controlled trial, is NOT possible when your main variable of interest is gender or race. The fact of the matter is that you cannot randomly assign people into a gender or race condition, so the best we can do is make sure that these quasi-experiments use sound methodology otherwise. Remember to always criticize research for what it is, not what it is not.

  42. Sandra Llewellyn

    Sandra Llewellyn10 日 前

    Research the history of gynecology... this country and the medical profession have a history of not believing black people feel pain that goes all the way back to slavery.

  43. Raven Star

    Raven Star10 日 前

    Human bias is deadly

  44. tangysarazin

    tangysarazin10 日 前

    I get where you are coming from when explaining that the reason why there is higher black mortality is because black people inherently have lower quality hospitals. But isn’t the fact that predominantly black communities have lower quality health institutions in and of itself already discriminatory and racist. Like you are trying to explain the racism away with saying “well they typically only have access to lower quality hospitals” but that in and of itself is racist. Why isn’t the medical community making sure every institution is of quality not only the ones in the white communities. Its institutionalized racism. Thats all you can explain it with. Love your videos but trying to say there is no discrimination because they only have access to bad healthcare its contradictory.

  45. cheesecake106

    cheesecake10610 日 前

    Dr Mike, you're in a position of privilege in many ways, so cool it with a lot of the defensiveness. If you're going to defend these supposedly real biological differences in a race (a social construct), you at least could have addressed what happens when med students believe black people physically feel less pain than white people. It's not about if you agree or disagree.

  46. Angel Rachael

    Angel Rachael10 日 前

    please stop getting defensive, this is an international issue, My grandmother was turned away while having a stroke, now she's paralised down one side of her body. My friend had a history of cysts and was dismissed as over-reacting. Coming from Ireland, it's a huge structural issue, the research needs to change, then the teachers need to change, then the doctors, it' going to take a while

  47. Melissa Lucero

    Melissa Lucero10 日 前

    Ok Dr. Mike you are definitely adorable and I enjoy watching a lot of your videos. I do feel the need to point out that disparities if they exist as you say in care between men and women is a seriously rose colored glasses and maybe male perspective. These sex and race discriminations have always been there and we have yet to get to a place of equality between white men and anyone else especially in healthcare. I postulate that the reason for the difference between the male/female opioid medications vs. non opioid analgesic treatment has a lot to do with the opioid addiction crisis of the recent past. I have a chronic pain disease with no cure and I am fairly certain that patients who suffer from chronic pain disorders are more often women which just increases the problem from a women's perspective. I don't have enough fingers and toes to count the number of times I would have greatly benefited from a trip to the ER due to break through pain yet I stayed home rather than dealing with the attitudes and lack of treatment from the doctors. I don't even use daily narcotic medications anymore because I am getting ok coverage with 2 spinal cord stimulation devices that are implanted in my back and non-narcotic meds but I still get treated like a drug seeker and I have even been refused treatment for acute breakthrough pain atan emergency room. I thank God that I am at least considered to be a white woman, women of color have the worst of it all between time in trying to obtain proper unbiased care and proper treatment.

  48. CharlotEYUT

    CharlotEYUT11 日 前

    Very comprehensive analysis Mike. Thanks!

  49. EbinElm

    EbinElm11 日 前

    This is why I always take John Oliver with a grain of salt as, honestly, you should with any information source. But I feel with comedic news/political/sociological commentary shows that you should be even more careful. Because, while I highly enjoy Last Week Tonight, and the comedy plays a huge role in getting people to pay attention to serious subjects, it is really easy for objective facts and rationality to take a hit in favor of delivering a joke or persuading the audience. And John Oliver's primary objective is to persuade. The show seeks to infor and entertain, but it is still a propoganda style commentary show that has an obvious bias, just like most other news shows out there.

  50. willl nifemi

    willl nifemi11 日 前

    i'm more than grateful for this video :')

  51. Vinita Sharma

    Vinita Sharma12 日 前

    There are always biological differences between the same species... its genetics. The question should be difference in biological processes is there or not? and the answer is no.



    What I find troubling about this video is the doctor's insistence on harping on ZIP codes and incomes when it comes to racial bias in medicine. Studies have clearly pointed out that African American, Hispanic, and indigenous patients are consistently denied healthcare and services, regardless of wealth and income--just as they are less likely to receive employment offers than whites (even if they are better qualified), and are more likely to obtain credit (at favorable rates), even after having similar or better scores than their white counterparts. I appreciate that not everything is all doom and gloom, BUT whitesplaining these issues by reflexively slapping a bright side to everything (i.e. ACCEPT THAT THESE ARE SERIOUS PROBLEMS), you're encouraging otherwise disaffected people to disregard the problems altogether (remember the black woman who said her doctors thought she was exaggerating her symptoms and making things up), and thus are actually making them worse.

  53. Kida001

    Kida00112 日 前

    Naw, some doctors are just plain prejudiced. This is why I pick doctors from foreign countries. Never had them not take me seriously.

  54. mary Roberts

    mary Roberts12 日 前

    My two favorite JPgors - Dr Mike, and John Oliver! The only thing that could top this, is if the TARDIS landed at Hogwarts!

  55. Alli R

    Alli R12 日 前

    you should react to the whole "glamorizing obesity" stuff thats going on right now

  56. Steph D

    Steph D7 日 前

    Omg yes

  57. Alli R

    Alli R8 日 前

    Yeah you're right that's definitely true. I guess I'm just referencing how some health experts and just regular people point out a lot how there's a fine line between celebrating people no matter their size but also recognizing and being concerned about the health risks that come along with being over or underweight- for example the controversy over Jillian Michaels talking about health when asked about Lizzo.

  58. K C

    K C11 日 前

    Alli R I don’t think it’s being glamorized. It’s more about not bullying people who are over weight. It’s so so so hard to lose weight, and if people are being bullied about it, they’re less likely to get healthy. Just my thoughts.

  59. Amanda Snider

    Amanda Snider12 日 前

    I'd say there's also automatic bias when you are also overweight and happen to have quite a few pre-existing health issues.

  60. Amanda Snider

    Amanda Snider12 日 前

    I've gone to the emergency room about 4 times now with extreme pain in my chest, diaphragm, lower back and shoulder blades. Every time, they just assumed it was heartburn because I told them that I have IBS. I could label the pain as being an 8-9 but they will only give me a antiacid. I eventually stopped telling them about the IBS because I have a strict diet that helps me avoid acid reflux. Eventually, after two years my family doctor diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia but I'm still not convinced it's that. I think it very likely could be MS, specifically a symptom called the MS hug.

  61. kimbolijalovescats

    kimbolijalovescats12 日 前

    I personally fully believe in universal healthcare, living in Canada. Sometimes our healthcare isn't great, but it's because it needs more funding for better service. The thing is, I'm baffled that in the U.S., that you are all still having these problems. It's a real kick in the face to be told you're faking your pain, which is common in Canada. But to pay HUNDREDS of dollars for appointments, And be told you're faking it just does not make sense to me at all. Your healthcare is ludicrously expensive, and you all pay so much money to be told to go home and take some advil. I can't wrap my head around this.

  62. Foggy Kosby

    Foggy Kosby12 日 前

    Do you think any of the over prescribing men opioids is perhaps a disregard for the potential risks for men, and an urge to protect women(thus taking away their agency)?

  63. el steel

    el steel13 日 前

    Do a review on the US vs AUS healthcare systems. Maybe someone will see it and sort out America’s healthcare system so that people can actually afford to see a doctor.

  64. LaShonda Allen

    LaShonda Allen13 日 前

    Had a stroke that ended up worse because the doctors sent me home even though I had the symptoms of the stroke right in front of him. I had to go to another hospital 29 minutes away to get help . Lost use of my left side and eventually my job because of that ... I'm still recovering. Very thankful of my family that helped me.

  65. Sibby

    Sibby13 日 前

    As a child my mother and I were told verbatim "it's all in your head" by a GP. It took 7 more years and no longer being able to walk flat for me to be diagnosed with a rare neurogenetic disease.The usual story. Single mum, a bit anxious. So when I was complaining of one leg feeling shorter than the other and toe walking in the mornings the doctor begrudgingly pulled out a tape measure and dismissed it outright. Just being a hypochondriac, right? What he failed to miss was my limited dorsiflexion (ankle range) a very common problem in kids which doctors couldn't believe wasn't picked up. Which in my case turned out to have a rare cause. I don't doubt if I'd been taken to the doctor by my father we'd have been taken more seriously and saved a whole lot of time.

  66. Angelica Nila

    Angelica Nila13 日 前

    When his talking about biological differences between races. I think race doesn’t exist in humans and was made up to force darker skin into being a “inferior person.” But this a interesting point in medicine is there a real difference between “races.” I don’t know, if their was a study on biological differences between “races.” Then I would believe it not to create more racism but more understanding in Medicare for different “races” if it’s their.