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Message from the Director


Barbara DucatmanWhen I was a medical student, women comprised a fifth of the class, the standard patient was a 150-pound man, and certain professors called all their female patients ‘girls.’

Now approximately half of our class is composed of women and all adult females are called ‘women.’  Although we recognize there are gender differences in health and disease, these may not be emphasized in medical schools, with unfortunate results.  Women often suffer more subtle symptoms during a myocardial infarct (heart attack) and are less likely to be diagnosed earlier.  Pap tests are reimbursed at significantly lower levels than PSA although they are more labor-intensive.  Drugs may behave differently in 100-pound women than in 150-pound men and women are less likely to participate in drug trials.

The goal of the West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Women’s Health is to provide comprehensive health care for women, to promote research in women’s health issues, to educate our new generation of health care providers to understand and treat women’s special health care needs, to develop future women leaders in academic health care, and to reach out to improve the health and well-being of West Virginia women… and ultimately all West Virginians.

Barbara Ducatman

Department of Pathology | Bio | Director's Presentation