COMMENTARY

January/February 2004: What's in Store for Medscape Ob/Gyn & Women's Health

Ursula Snyder, PhD

Disclosures

February 20, 2004

The aim of Medscape Ob/Gyn & Women's Health is to provide a wealth of clinical information that is useful to professionals whose work focuses on some aspect of women's health. Although we have a particular responsibility to serve Ob/Gyns and primary care physicians in the United States, we work to ensure that the site is also useful to healthcare professionals the world over. It is also our goal to provide content that engages health professionals as human beings who have chosen to work to improve the lives of women. I believe that physicians who have chosen to work with women are a special breed, because women's health and illness and their healthcare cannot be considered without dealing with, on some level, the sociocultural and political context of women's lives.

So here is a preview of what you will find on Medscape Ob/Gyn & Women's Health in 2004.

This year we are scheduled to cover the following conferences:

  • The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine 24th Annual Meeting, February 2-7, 2004

  • The Society of Gynecologic Oncologists 2004 Annual Meeting, February 7-11, 2004

  • The 11th World Congress of Gynecological Endocrinology, February 26-29, 2004

  • The 2nd World Congress on Women's Mental Health, March 17-20, 2004

  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 52nd Annual Meeting, May 1-5, 2004

  • The American Urogynecologic Society/The Society of Gynecologic Surgeons Joint Scientific Meeting, July 29-31, 2004

  • The American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists Annual Meeting, November 10-14, 2004

If you are interested in finding out about other conferences taking place in 2004 in fields relevant to women's health, take a look our conference calendar. We may be covering additional conferences, and if so, we'll let you know! We covered the 25th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research last year, which is still an active CME program.

Medscape Medical News CME. We will continue to bring you lots of Medscape Medical News CME. This is a wonderful way to keep up on the latest research in many areas of medicine and earn CME credits at the same time. You can find a list of the recent programs geared more toward the women's physician on the Medscape Women's Health CME Center, but if you would like to see a complete list of News CME, click here. Here are just a few examples:

Clinical Updates. We have a number of recently posted CME programs that we highly recommend, if you haven't already seen them. The archived Web conference, Emergency Contraceptive Pills and Adolescents, is obviously timely, and it provides an excellent review of current data and current thinking about emergency contraception. "Advances in Osteoarthritis Research: Investigating Subchondral Bone as Etiologic Agent and Therapeutic Target" is also notable. Dr. Thomas Schnitzer, Professor and Assistant Dean for Clinical Research, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, reviews current understanding of cartilage pathophysiology, which has gone far beyond the notion of "wear and tear," and current thinking about means by which it may be feasible to clinically assess changes in the pathophysiologic processes involved in osteoarthritis. He then discusses the results of recent studies that have investigated pharmacologic intervention designed to alter the disease processes and the disease state. "Therapeutic Options for External Genital Warts" provides a concise up-to-date review, but it also showcases a new interactive component we've been testing. Finally, "Improving Screening of Women for Violence - Basic Guidelines for Physicians" has been one of the Medscape Ob/Gyn & Women's Health site's most popular CME programs. It is an important program, and if you haven't taken it, we hope you will. We have several new programs in development, and one that will post soon concerns the management of endometriosis in the context of infertility and assisted reproduction. New programs are announced in our weekly newsletter, Medscape Ob/Gyn & Women's Health MedPulse and featured on this site's homepage. For a complete list of CME programs by specialty, click here.

We continue our monthly journal reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology with a new Journal Scan author, Sally Faith Dorfman, MD, MSHSA. Dr. Dorfman has extensive experience in clinical practice, teaching, research, management, and public health. Her first issue has just posted. Board member Peter Kovacs, MD, continues as author for our Reproductive Endocrinology Journal Scan.

Our Publishers' Circle is growing, which allows us to feature selected articles from well-respected journals (eg, Seminars in Reproductive Endocrinology, Journal of Women's Health,) among others. In addition, we have Medscape's flagship general medical journal, Medscape General Medicine ,™ or MedGenMed for short. MedGenMed is a fully electronic, MEDLINE-indexed, peer-reviewed general medical journal. As part of Medscape, MedGenMed has the potential to reach more than 800,000 physicians and more than 3 million other healthcare professionals in 249 countries, plus millions of consumers. MedGenMed also has specialty sections, including the Ob/Gyn & Women's Health Section. I encourage readers to submit original research, topic reviews, and commentaries to me at usnyder@webmd.net. The first article of this section to be published this year is a case report from researchers in India, "Uterovaginal Packing With Rolled Gauze in Postpartum Hemorrhage."

We are continuing with our very popular feature, Ask the Experts. We receive many questions, and unfortunately we are limited to answering just a few in a given month. But please keep sending in your questions. Even if we are not able to answer your particular question directly, we may address the topic relating to your question by another means. For example, it may help us to decide what we need to cover in a clinical update. A recently posted response to a question about sildenafil (Viagra) and endometrial development in infertile women has been of interest to physicians around the world.

The discussion forums are becoming an increasingly popular spot on the Medscape Ob/Gyn & Women's Health Web site for our physician audience. We are delighted. The forums provide a convenient means for physicians to discuss with their colleagues any professional issue of interest to them, or for that matter, nonclinical issues. (Note that Medscape Specialty discussion forums are limited to registered physicians.) One of the discussions that has been quite active relates to obesity. Obesity and poverty is the subject of my next issue of From the Editor.

I am especially pleased to say that not only are we renewing columns that we began in the past 2 years, but we're adding new columns to the roster. The first column we began in 2002 with board member Peter Bernstein, MD, MPH, was Field Notes in Obstetrics and Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Dr. Bernstein will continue with this quarterly column, which addresses practice-oriented issues for the obstetrician and maternal-fetal medicine specialist. Veteran medical writer Kate Johnson brings us a bimonthly news column, Ob/Gyn Practice Today. The stories are based on studies, new guidelines, and topical clinical issues and interviews with key researchers and experts. Lawyer and health policy writer Gwen Mayes, JD, MMSc, returns with the quarterly column Beyond the Examining Room, which focuses on medico-legal and ethical issues that are particularly relevant to obstetrics/gynecology and women's health.

The first of the new columns is Women's Health in Context with Martin Donohoe, MD. This quarterly column addresses women's health issues from social, cultural, and political perspectives for a physician audience. The inaugural issue, "Violence and Human Rights Abuses Against Women in the Developing World," was published in December 2003. Another new column that provides context to women's health issues is Nutrition, Culture, and Women's Health, by a new Medscape author, Patricia Lockyear, PsyD. This quarterly column examines the impact of sociocultural and developmental aspects on eating habits, health, and nutritional status of women at different life stages. The first issue is Childhood Eating Behaviors: Developmental and Sociocultural Considerations. Finally, we are beginning a quarterly column with Medscape author Siobhan Dolan, MD, that addresses issues in genetics. The column is simply titled "Issues in Genetics for Ob/Gyns," and the first issue, "New Approaches to Screening for Down Syndrome," will post soon.

I just wanted to remind you that we update our Resource Centers about every 2 weeks. These centers are categorized collections of information that focus on a given condition or disease, for example Pregnancy (which also covers infertility and assisted reproduction) or Women's Sexual Health-From Adolescence to Postmenopause. In addition, I have just recently revised the Health Diversity Resource Center. This Resource Center examines the ways in which sex/gender, race/ethnicity, culture and religion, socioeconomic status, and physical or mental disability affect health and illness and the access to and delivery of healthcare and its quality.

As always, if you have questions, comments, or concerns about what you see on the site or wish to suggest a new program that you would find useful, please send an email to womenshealtheditor@webmd.net. If you are experiencing technical difficulties, please contact our customer support staff at Medscapecustomersupport@webmd.net.

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