There are relatively few famous fictional OB/GYNs. Among the most notable is Dr. Wilbur Larch, the hero of John Irving’s great novel, The Cider House Rules. Dr. Larch is based on the life of Irving’s grandfather, who was the physician in chief of the Boston Lying In Hospital at the turn of the 20th century. Dr. Larch’s motto was “I must be of use.”
I truly hope that this website will be “of use” for all of its readers. Women really want to understand the changes that our bodies, indeed our lives undergo as we mature through our reproductive and post-reproductive years. To my sensibilities, a good OB/GYN should be a woman’s health physician, rather than exclusively a reproductive specialist. Female health encompasses all of our body’s organ systems, and we need an integrative appreciation of how these systems interconnect and evolve.
I developed this site with the aim to educate both women and physicians learning how to care for them. One primary focus of the site will be the `madameovary videos`, medium-length discussions focusing in on a single topic. Our initial two topics are menopause and cancer; each of these are discussed in two segments, split naturally by subtopics. Shortly we will be adding new videos on other women’s health issues. I have also provided several flavors of companion written content, in the form of excerpts from my published guides, pdf copies of a few of my academic papers that I think are especially `on point`, and a list of important recent references on the subject matter. Additionally, under the Lady Parts Podcasts pulldown category, there are a number of clips that cover a wide range of related content, presented as podcasts developed by me or archived audio/podcasts hosted by well-established medical communicators.
Finally, I would encourage all of my visitors to look at my Blog. This is co-written and researched with my MIT-educated mathematician husband, and is built upon daily discussions over the last 30 years of the evolution of medicine and health care within our society. The initial set of Posts was developed as a single intertwined unit, introduced and motivated by the first entry, which is entitled `Prologue: Why I Left Electronic Medical Recordkeeping`. We hope that this will provide a clearer understanding of some recent changes to health care, and their potential longer-term implications, and that many more folks “outside of a small circle of friends” will be inspired to act to improve the system in ways large and small. Let us all be of use.