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December 11, 1996

The Medical Care of Women

Author Affiliations

Stanford University Medical Center Santa Cruz Medical Clinic Aptos, Calif

JAMA. 1996;276(22):1846-1847. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540220070035

Women's Health

The foreword hails The Medical Care of Women, by Carr, Freund, and Somani, as "the first full textbook on women's health [bringing] together topics important to women's health and health care, but not usually found under one cover." However, this is not the first full textbook on women's health, and although many topics are covered, the "body language" of the book betrays a noticeably traditional approach to women's health, ie, a hodgepodge of specialty topics focusing on the usual female body parts and reproductive medicine.

For example, after a brief initial section on preventive medicine, over 400 pages are devoted to diseases of the gynecologic organs, breast disease, reproductive issues, and medical problems in pregnancy. And while this information is very useful, cardiovascular diseases, the major source of morbidity and mortality in women, rate only 30 pages. The color plate section also displays a traditional perspective: immediately after