In recent years, awareness of sex and gender inequalities in healthcare has been gaining momentum, following a number of paradigm-shifting developments in the bioclinical and cultural fields. Although not immune to complexity, gender medicine has led to a number of positive steps towards a more nuanced understanding of healthcare inequalities based on sex and gender. The effects of those discoveries on the way popular culture represents and narrates gendered health are already visible. Yet medical dramas, which might seem like an ideal vehicle for gender medicine communication, occupy an uneasy position in relation to it. After an introduction to gender medicine from a bioethics perspective, this chapter will proceed through a number of close readings of specific scenes from recent medical dramas and other genres of seriality to examine two broad gender medicine examples: women’s cardiac events, and eating disorders. Through the encounter between the medical drama format and gender medicine-related patient cases, our analysis foregrounds the importance of the question of temporality in accounting for complexity in the audiovisual representation of health and illness.
Gender-specific medicine; TV series; women’s heart attacks; eating disorders; temporality.