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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Shirley Hartlage, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book includes sections on the history of women's health research, current knowledge about women's health, and political policy in the field, as well as chapters about women as investigators and about recommended medical student education
Purpose: The book's purpose is to define a research and policy agenda for the future. Dr. Haseltine asserts that the public and Congress are influenced when research needs are clearly defined and explained by authorities whom they respect. The book is needed to help insure that women's health becomes a permanent priority for policy makers in the United States.
Audience: The book is written for women's health researchers and health policy specialists. It is appropriate for readers at all levels of training. As once the only gynecologist in senior management at the National Institute of Health and currently the President of the Society for the Advancement of Women's Health Research, Dr. Haseltine is well qualified as an authority on the subject.
Features: The references are current and pertinent, although occasionally sparse. The book includes a helpful and generally comprehensive index.
Assessment: The book provides a comprehensive definition of women's health research as well as fascinating insights into the ways in which policy in the field has evolved and may evolve in the future. However, it sometimes falls short when defining a research agenda. For example, some of the chapters surveying women's diseases fail to highlight recent findings and to suggest the next step. The book should help women's health researchers gain valuable understanding about political decision-making processes that affect funding. It broadens the definition of women's health research for researchers and policymakers. The chapter on funding gives an overview, some interesting facts, and valuable tips, but it may be disappointing to investigators in that it provides few details and focuses on governmental rather than other sources of funding. The book is recommended for purchase by libraries and individuals for the stated purposes.