COMMENTARY

November/December 2003: The Year in Review

Ursula Snyder, PhD

Disclosures

December 29, 2003

Introduction

If 2003 is a year to remember in the field of obstetrics, gynecology, and women's health, it is one that probably generates mixed feelings. There has been good news to be sure, but there has also been much distressing news. On the whole, it seems to have been a difficult year for women in the world and for those involved in their healthcare, and this is reflected in this year in review. I haven't covered everything, of course, but I think I have captured some of the key issues that have stood out in 2003: professional issues; some of the advances in gynecologic and obstetric research; current threats to women's health, and issues concerning reproductive rights and freedoms and ethics. Issues I haven't covered -- the effect of the environment on women's health is a notable example -- are not going away with the passing of the year, and will be covered in the coming year. In addition, the news and issues surrounding conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mood disorders will be discussed in reviews by my colleagues in their specialty end-of-year reviews. Be sure to read them!

I should add that perhaps this review need not or ought not be read all at once. Some of the sections are more detailed than others -- the section on hormone therapy, for example, which I chose to spend some time on because the ramifications of Women's Health Initiative really manifested in 2003 and we didn't have a comprehensive review on the site. Perhaps the way to read this is to give it a skim and then choose a section and explore some of the links and references. At any rate, it has been quite a year in women's health, and I hope this review gives some sense of things.

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