The Women's Health Group at Boston Medical Center is located in the Shapiro Center. Established in 1985, it was one of the first in the nation to focus exclusively on the unique health care needs of women, with women caring for women, and actively seeking a doctor-patient relationship based on respect, trust, and understanding.
In 1997, the US Department of Health and Human Services recognized the practice as a national Center of Excellence in Women's Health, a model for best practices in caring for women. BMC’s practice is one of only 21 in the nation, and among the first to be so recognized.
The Women’s Health Group uses a multidisciplinary team approach emphasizing preventive care and emotional wellbeing. While the Group serves women of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, it is focused especially on the needs of women in Boston's underserved communities.
Each patient selects a primary care provider from the internists and nurse practitioners on site. These primary care providers all have demonstrated training beyond their traditional field of expertise, ensuring the incorporation of ambulatory, gynecologic care, mental health screening, and assessment for interpersonal violence, for example, into routine health care.
Each primary care provider is supported by specialists in other relevant clinical fields. Mental health needs are addressed by two licensed clinical psychologists who practice in the same locale and provide consultation and promote ready coordination of mental and medical health care services. Similarly, gynecology consultation is available on a same day basis from members of the department of obstetrics and gynecology, either from within the Women's Health Group practice site or from the Gynecology department of BMC.
Osteoporosis is a major concern for women before and after they reach menopause. In addition to the primary care offered in the clinic, Boston Medical Center has the most advanced technology for measuring bone strength along with a group of specialists to provide or recommend additional services.
Physicians work with the comprehensive Breast Health Center, which offers evaluation and care in one setting. Patients can see an appropriate specialist including medical and surgical oncologists, radiologists and surgeons during one visit.
Physicians provide routine gynecological care, including family planning and Pap test screening. If further treatment, surgery or pregnancy care is needed, patients are referred to physicians at Boston Medical Center who specialize in all aspects of obstetrics and gynecology (Ob/Gyn).
If a patient needs to be hospitalized, the medical team will oversee care while the patient is in the hospital.
Women often have questions and concerns as they approach menopause including whether or not to begin hormone or other therapies. The team is experienced in addressing these issues and will offer advice and care that is tailored to the patient’s needs.
Focusing on overall health may involve coping with stress and other threats to mental health. Psychologists are available to address a number of mental health problems commonly affecting women, including stress, anxiety, eating disorders and depression.
The practice offers a variety of strategies to help promote good health, including cholesterol screening, smoking cessation programs, vaccinations, mammography, nutrition counseling, exercise recommendations and health education programs.
Boston Medical Center offers a full spectrum of medical and surgical specialty services, including cardiology, pulmonary medicine, orthopedics and gynecology. When needed, a patient’s primary care doctor will refer the patient for specialty care and help coordinate that care.
Violence Against Women
Being a victim of violence now or in the past can affect a woman's emotional and physical health, and the team has expertise in helping women cope with these issues.