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Includes information on issues that affect women, including cancer, perinatal/peripartum care, breastfeeding, dermatology, female genital cutting and other topics.


Breast Cancer in Asian Women
By Denise Little. This article contains information about beliefs and attitudes that guide Asian women's health care seeking behavior, with particular focus on Vietnamese women and screening and treatment of breast cancer.

Clinical Pearls

Clinical Pearl: Dysuria Symptoms in Somali girls and women
By Elinor A. Graham, MD, MPH. This is a short clinical pearl about dysuria in Somali females who have had ritual genital surgery.

Clinical Pearl: Skin Decorations in East African Patients
By Elinor Graham, MD, MPH. A short clinical pearl about the use of henna as skin decoration.

Female Genital Cutting (FGC)

Optimizing Care of Women & Girls Affect by Female Genital Cutting
Global Alliance for Nursing and Midwifery (GANM) - Johns Hopkins 

The PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for Nursing Knowledge, Information Management & Sharing hosts the Global Alliance for Nursing and Midwifery (GANM), which allows for equitable access to knowledge and discussions regardless of internet bandwidth to nurses and midwives a global voice.  This series of 4 video blogs features experts on FGC.

Part 1 (8 min): Dr. Christa Johnson-Agbakwu is founding director of the Refugee Women's Health Clinic, Phoenix AZ and an OB/GYN at Maricopa Integrated health System.  

Part 2 (4 min): Zeinab Eyega, Ex. Dir. of a community based multiservice organization based in the South Bronx, NY provides an overview of the work they do with women.

Part 3 (4:45 min): Dr. Janine Young, MD, Medical Director of the Denver Health Refugee Clinic talks about understanding what the medical and legal issues are when seeing a child with FGC and the ethical questions that might arise when dealing with parents.  She also raises questions about the lack of training pediatricians receive about examining girls genitalia.

Part 4 (2:45 min):  Christina Fleming Marea, MA, MSN, RN, CNM is a PhD student working with WHO to develop a survey to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices of health care providers to work towards best practices.


Highlighted Resources on Female Genital Cutting Bridging Refugee Youth & Children's Services (BRYCS)
BRYCS reports that FCG is commonly practiced in about 28 countries predominantly in Africa and Asia. It can be performed for a variety of reasons including 'coming of age' or rite of passage from child to adulthood; it can signal in a physical way the full membership of a girl or young woman in their clan, lineage or ethnic community; it can be used to indicate marriageability within the community. FGC is a multi-generational issue, and must be addressed across generations. Women from these countries are migrating with increasing frequency to Canada, the USA, the UK, Europe and Australia.  

They have chosen some resources to assist service providers who work with newcomers that have experienced Female Genital Cutting (FGC). The topics include: Research & Background Information, Legal Considerations, Resources for Service Providers and Personal Stories. 

A Talk on Female Genital Cutting (Female Circumcision) - video slideshow
Harborview Medical Center/Univ of WA

By Adelaide Hearst, MD and Alexandra Molnar, MD, University of Washington/Harborview Medical Center, Seattle. A 40-minute video discussing terminology, prevalence, types of circumcision, possible complications and other issues that might be encountered when caring for patients in a clinical setting.

Female Genital Cutting: An Evidence-Based Approach to Clinical Management for the Primary Care Physician
Article by Hearst and Molnar published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, June 2013:88(6):618-629. This review discusses the different types of FGC, important cultural considerations for physicians caring for patients with FGC, the common early and late medical complications and their management, and psychosocial issues associated with FGC. Current laws pertaining to FGC are briefly reviewed, as well as implications for patients seeking asylum status in the United States because of FGC. Finally, the article presents evidence-based, culturally sensitive approaches to discussions of FGC with girls and women for whom this is an issue.

Ritual Female Genital Cutting: Promoting Cultural Versatility and Safety in Medical Practice

December 5, 2014 Event organized by Seattle University Students for Sexual and Reproductive Justice.

The following materials were presented or referenced at an event "Ritual Female Genital Cutting: Promoting Cultural Versatility and Safety in Medical Practice" organized by Seattle University Students for Sexual and Reproductive Justice on December 5, 2014.

Ritual Female Genital Cutting (RFGC) Powerpoint slides
13 slides, PDF. This presentation gives an overview of ritual female genital cutting practices around the world, addresses some common misconceptions and provides some guidance about how to discuss this issue with women whom providers may see in their medical practices. Prepared by Dr. Elinor Graham, MD, MPH Associate Professor Emeritus UW Department of Pediatrics, Harborview. Photos and illustrations in this presentation are used with full permission granted by UW Medicine/Harborview Medical Center’s Center for Sexual Assault & Traumatic Stress. Note: these materials contain graphic images.

Ritual Female Genital Cutting (RFGC) Video
A 1hr 18 minute video documenting the presentation made Dec. 5th to health care students at Seattle University. The presenters include Dr. Elinor Graham, with Anab Abdullahi and Dr. Anisa Ibrahim. Click here for more information about the presenters. The presentation slides and presenters' discussion with each other and the audience cover topics including: the definition of RFGC, types of procedures, anatomy, historical, cultural and medical misconceptions, patient care approach, and impact on gynecological exam. See table of contents by cursing over left side of the video screen.

Intake Form for Women with a History of Female Circumcision
2-page PDF Example of intake form used to document patient history and exam as related to circumcision.

The Seattle Compromise: Multicultural Sensitivity and Americanization
Article by Dorian Lambelet Coleman published in the Duke Law Journal, about an effort by a group of Somali immigrants in Seattle seeking to have their daughters symbolically circumcised by a hospital (the procedure would have involved no tissue removal or subsequent scarring, and, according to those concerned, would have prevented the immigrants from seeking to have their daughters cut in the traditional way.)

Common Gynecologic Problems in Prepubertal Girls
Article by Naomi F. Sugar, MD and Elinor A. Graham, MD, MPH published in Pediatrics in Review aiming to review normal anatomy and physiology in infants and prepubertal children, emphasizing developmental changes, normal variants, and the differential diagnosis for common signs and symptoms. This article may have institutional restricted access. Reference: Pediatrics in Review Vol. 27 No. 6 June 1, 2006 pp. 213 -223 (doi: 10.1542/pir.27-6-213)

Perinatal and Peripartum Topics

Breastfeeding Clinical Topics
A collection of information on EthnoMed or providers about breastfeeding and related topics, especially as related to culture.

Peripartum/Perinatal Care Clinical Topics
A collection of information on EthnoMed about issues around childbirth for both mother and baby.