Women’s Health Is Not a Niche

In episode 14 of The Heart of Healthcare Podcast, we discuss how women’s needs are too often ignored in healthcare, and how we can upend the paternalistic system to achieve health equity.

Women control 80% of healthcare decisions in the US. At an individual level, studies have shown that women utilize more healthcare services — in fact, we are 76% more likely than men to have visited a doctor within the past year. At the family level, women are more likely to be the primary caretakers of the family — making appointments and healthcare purchasing decisions on behalf of partners, children, and parents. We even pick up 70% of prescriptions at the drugstore. Simply put, we are the Chief Medical Officers of the home.

Yet many of us feel like we are not heard by the traditional medical system. One in five women report having felt that a healthcare provider has ignored or dismissed their symptoms, and 45% of women said they’d been labeled as chronic complainers. Women generally have less favorable opinions about their health insurance compared to men, and we feel generally less favorable toward healthcare organizations we have to deal with. Moreover — women’s health founders, including myself, have heard over and over again that women’s health is too niche.

Could it be because our healthcare system has largely been built and controlled by men?

In this episode, I interview Julia Cheek, a unicorn in the world of healthcare — she’s one of the few founders who has built a multi-billion dollar healthcare company from scratch.

Everly Health’s mission is to deliver better care for better health by providing modern, diagnostics-driven care. Women’s health was the inspiration for starting the Everlywell brand and remains a key area of focus. In addition to at-home testing, the company operates a 50-state clinician network to provide telehealth services for a wide range of clients, including many of the largest health plans in the nation.

Topics we cover

  • The role women play in healthcare as Chief Medical Officers of the home
  • The biggest unmet needs for women in our healthcare system
  • How personalized medicine can do a better job of tackling issues for underrepresented and vulnerable populations
  • What we can do about junk science (like vaginal steams) peddled to women


Trying to make a difference.