Women's Physical Health, Mental Health, and Practical Hints for Common Practice Issues

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In this March–April 2009 issue, we have articles from 2 different community health center (CHC) groups.1,2 CHCs provide much care, particularly for the uninsured in the United States.3 As such, research in these offices is of value because they reflect real-life practice and an important group of practices in the United States; we would like to encourage more such research. Hicks et al1 demonstrate that, with minimal instructions, CHC patient self-collection seems to function as well as physician collection of group β streptococcal specimens during patients’ pregnancies. Using patient self-collection would save physician time. In the second CHC study, Ani et al2report that the rate of diagnosis in depression patients seemed unchanged by concurrent chronic medical illnesses. In an editorial reflection on the Ani et al2 paper, Bowman4 has provided a provocative perspective about the “competing demands” theory: moving away from focusing on competing demands within the specific patient and visit, as commonly occurs, and instead spreading demands over time and across patients allows family physicians to be TOPS at prioritizing the most important issues in their practices.