Sometimes, people in my women’s heart health presentation audiences ask me if I’ve ever gone back to confront the physician who had misdiagnosed me with acid reflux and sent me home from the E.R. – despite my textbook heart attack symptoms of chest pain, nausea, sweating and pain radiating down my left arm. No, my heart sisters, I never did. But what did happen was, I think, even more satisfyingly juicy.
Months after surviving that heart attack, and freshly fortified with Mayo Clinic cred after graduating from their annual WomenHeart Science & Leadership training for women with heart disease, I received an invitation to share what I’d just learned at Mayo to local docs and nurses working in Emergency Medicine. I was offered one hour on the agenda of their annual Staff Education Day to talk about my own fateful misdiagnosis – and how, according to the Mayo Women’s Heart Clinic, that scenario might be avoided for future female heart patients like me: women who present with textbook cardiac symptoms but “normal” diagnostic tests. Continue reading “How can we get female heart patients past ER gatekeepers?”