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June 5, 1991

Stress and Women Physicians

JAMA. 1991;265(21):2877. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460210123044

Bowman and Allen have arranged and organized the now considerable body of information, observation, and comment that bears on women in medicine and in training for medicine into the following chapters: "Women in Medical School and Academia," "Specialty Choices," "Productivity," "Practice Characteristics," "Mental Health Status," "Women Physicians' Way of Healing," "Physician Stress," "Female Physician Stress," "Physician Marriage and Dual Career Couples," "Childbearing," "Child-Rearing," "Stress Prevention and Management," and "The Future."

Unfortunately, the book is not well edited. Parts (for example, the "Overview") are so poorly written that the critical reader may be distracted by a desire to copyedit. Nevertheless, there are offsetting merits. The described "studies" are summarized (in some cases tabulated) and presented as critically as they can be, in many cases with considerable insight and on occasion gallows humor. For example, on page 80 the author remarks that depression is so common in both male and female physicians