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Mayo Clin Proc. 2010 June; 85(6): e42.
PMCID: PMC2878270

The ACP Handbook of Women's Health

Reviewed by Jacqueline M. Thielen, MD

edited by  Rose S. Fife and  Sarina B. Schrager,  639 pp, with illus,  $74.95,  Philadelphia, PA,  American College of Physicians (telephone: 800-523-1546),  2009, ISBN  978-1-934465-10-3.

Grading Key [large star][large star][large star][large star][large star] = outstanding; [large star][large star][large star][large star] = excellent; [large star][large star][large star] = good; [large star][large star] = fair; [large star] = poor

Type and Scope of Book:

Multiple contributors allow for a review of an extensive number of topics impacting the health care of women.


This informative text encompasses a look at women's issues throughout the life span, starting with adolescence. This broad view may be considered a daunting task to be included in a soft-covered, easily handheld text. The editors accomplished their goal, which is assisted by organizing the topics by organ system and life cycle. Epidemiology, clinical features, etiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and differential diagnosis along with treatment or care plans are consistently outlined where necessary. Primary care–focused topics are emphasized, including traditional conditions such as headache, mood, and menstrual cycles. Additionally, the editors included more narrowed but very helpful topics, such as the care of the lesbian woman and the woman with disabilities.


The incorporation of a “key point” section allows for specific take-away facts. Tables and references are not excessive and are pertinent to the topic. The topics are comprehensive and pertinent to the care of women.


The knowledge base of women's health is evolving quickly as research allows for new data and changes in opinion. As with any text, recent changes may not be up-to-date. The book also relies on small font size to fit all this information in a compact text.

Recommended Readership:

Anyone caring for a woman who wants a broad but quick reference will find this book valuable.

Overall Grading:

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Articles from Mayo Clinic Proceedings are provided here courtesy of The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research