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159 - From Opioids to Gender, How Harmful Policies Scale in our Modern Healthcare System with Dr. Carrie Mendoza

"You end up treating the regulation, not the patient."

Sasha and Stella welcome Dr. Carrie Mendoza back to the show for her second appearance with the Wider Lens duo. Together, they dive into crucial topics surrounding medical practice, healthcare education, ethical healthcare standards and policy implementation in healthcare administration. She recently appeared in the GWL live stream event in the aftermath of the release of the WPATH Files

“What was ethical came head-to-head with what the giant bureaucracy wanted.”

Carrie D. Mendoza, MD is a practicing Emergency Medicine physician with over 20 years of experience working in rural, suburban, and urban hospitals treating everything from snakebites to gunshot wounds to Covid-19 patients. She is a healthcare policy advocate, social entrepreneur and a medical technology inventor with two patents for an Emergency Department communications app. Dr. Mendoza is the former Director of FAIR in Medicine with the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism, and was recently named Director of Genspect USA. Her practical experience provides unique insights into the American medical system and how the modern healthcare bureaucracy can scale harmful policies while ignoring the negative side effects. 

Carrie’s insights draw from her experience with the opioid epidemic, highlighting the lessons learned about its origin, scale, and mitigation, shedding light on how these insights can inform our understanding of medicalizing radical gender ideology and preventing its harm.

This enlightening conversation offers reflections from Carrie’s practical experience working in emergency departments across various healthcare systems in the US. Her firsthand experience within the medical system applying medical policies and protocols as an ER physician provides valuable context for exploring:

  • Differences between community healthcare centers and academic hospital settings

  • Challenges encountered by doctors in delivering care, emphasizing the significance of high-quality Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, particularly concerning gender topics.

  • Pressures and incentives that can lead to inappropriate medical practices

  • The over-prescription of medications and the ethical dilemmas surrounding a physician's discretion to abstain from prescribing medication in specific situations

  • Parallels between the opioid crisis and the provision of gender affirming care

A critical discussion relevant not only to healthcare clinicians in the United States but likely, worldwide. From patient satisfaction scores to bureaucratic pressures, understanding the inner workings of the healthcare system is essential for recognizing the necessity for, and achieving successful implementation of, medical policy reforms.

Resources & Links

The Bigger Picture Conference (Killarney, Ireland): Gender Healthcare Issues Primary Care Providers Need to Know About

The Bigger Picture Conference (Denver, USA): How Bad Ideas Scale and Unwind in US Healthcare with Carrie Mendoza

Genspect USA

Environmental Progress

The WPATH Files Press Release

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Therapy First

If you liked this episode, more episodes you might find interesting include:

Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
In this podcast, now in it's fourth year, therapists Stella O'Malley and Sasha Ayad take a deep dive into the psychological and cultural forces impacting the social changes around "gender." Through interviews with researchers, doctors, therapists, parents, detransitioners, and others, Sasha and Stella's podcast is a "must listen" for anyone trying to navigate the current gender landscape. With their sharp analytical minds and deep compassionate hearts, Stella and Sasha have also become known throughout many parent networks as lighthouses in the midst of some very stormy seas. Previous guests include Helen Joyce, Jesse Singal, Leor Sapir, Kathleen Stock, Jamie Reed, Peter Boghossian and more.