IS THE MEDICAL PROFESSION TAKING WOMEN SERIOUSLY?
…Have you ever wondered why you may need to see more than one healthcare professional for your routine healthcare needs?
…Have you ever left a physician’s office realizing that your main concern had not been addressed?
…Do you want your healthcare provider to ask you for your input regarding the causes and treatment options for your condition?
IF YOU CAN ANSWER “YES” TO AT LEAST ONE OF THESE QUESTIONS,
Our current healthcare system does not train physicians to comprehensively take care of women in a manner that allows the woman to be an active participant in the evaluation and treatment strategy. The Women’s Health Movement began in the 60’s when feminist women demanded their health needs be addressed in a more comprehensive, woman-centered fashion. This movement diverted care through nontraditional pathways – educating women about their bodies and providing alternative feminist women’s health centers, but had little effect on the traditional biomedical model of medical education oriented toward disease-cure, rather than health care delivery. Women’s bodies (and minds) continued to be “portioned out” among various specialty providers. Women’s health activists in the 90’s are taking the next step – transforming male-modeled medicine into a women-centered science, based on collaborative practice between health professionals to better serve women – a Women’s Health specialty within medicine which is founded on collaboration with nonphysician health providers and complementary forms of healing.
The American College of Women’s Health Physicians was established on March 3, 1996. Our mission is to advance the art and science of women’s health. To do this we must:
- Take guardianship for the translation of knowledge gained through research into the clinical practice of women’s health in a fully integrated fashion – integrating the multiple fields in health care delivery and the specialties within medicine.
- Establish standards for Women’s health residency education.
- Establish standards for Women’s health care delivery.
- Insure that women of all ages, ethnicity, social and economic backgrounds have the opportunity to receive optimal, quality healthcare from appropriately trained and qualified healthcare providers.
Women’s health has received increased attention during the 90’s. The Women’s Health Research Agenda was launched by the Office of Research on Women’s Health and specialties currently providing primary care to women. Namely, obstetrics-gynecology, family medicine, and internal medicine are all making attempts to improve their residency training programs by filling in “gaps”. While these efforts are a step in the right direction, they fall short of our goal – the development of a fully integrated model of women’s health care delivery – comprehensive, interdisciplinary training in women’s mental, reproductive, and non-reproductive health.
To be successful, we need the support of all persons who want to improve the delivery of healthcare to women. Consumers of healthcare will ultimately have the loudest voices in brining about necessary change. We estimate that 4 – 6 million dollars will be necessary to establish Women’s Health residency training programs and a Board examination. Please join our efforts by call our national office at 847-517-7402 or visiting our web page at www.acwhp.org and requesting information regarding consumer membership and/or tax-deductible donations to our Foundation.