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March 6, 1996

Primary Care of Women

JAMA. 1996;275(9):725. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530330069034

Despite the debates over which specialty "owns" women's health care and whether there should be a new, separate specialty in women's health, and despite the daily rearrangement of health systems by managed care corporations, many primary care physicians are attempting to provide more comprehensive health care to women. These exemplary endeavors by some internists, family physicians, allied health professionals, and a few gynecologists bring a much wider scope of issues into primary care. The three books reviewed herein exemplify this clinical trend beyond the traditional biomedical paradigm to a truly biopsychosocial model of women's health.

The texts imply that today's ideal primary care provider for women is expected not only to know about medical and gynecologic health and disease, but also to screen for and treat a complex spectrum of psychosocial conditions. This model of care leaps far beyond the standard breast exam, Pap test, and blood pressure check. Consider,