The Global Library of Women's Medicine:


Coverage of the 2009 World Congress of Perinatal Medicine

Hello, I am John Sciarra, and I am Chairman Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago. I would like to take a few minutes to tell you a little bit about a new activity in medical education that I am privileged to serve as the editor. It is the Global Library of Women's Medicine. This is a product that is available on the internet with no advertising, and it is available free to all practitioners everywhere in the world.

By way of background the Global Library of Women's Medicine had its genesis as a six-volume loose-leaf series that I edited for many years that was simply called Gynecology and Obstetrics. The publisher in 2004 terminated publication and released the copyright to a new publisher that agreed to put it on the internet as an internet-based product that would be available to physicians everywhere in the world, although the product started primarily as an educational resource for physicians in the United States. So the Global Library of Women's Medicine took the material that was available in the six-volume loose-leaf series and expanded it to cover some of the new dimensions, such as ultrasound and endoscopy, and was available for the first time in November of last year. Since that period of time there has been an exponential growth in the number of participants that have accessed the material from the Global Library of Women's Medicine.

I should tell you that the url is, and the Global Library of Women's Medicine is sponsored by a not-for-profit foundation, however, the Global Library is administered by Sapien's Publishing in the United Kingdom.

Now let me tell you briefly about some of the features of the Global Library of Women's Medicine. There are several hundred specialist chapters that cover every aspect of the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology and women's health. In addition to all of these specialist chapters and the material that is available traditionally in print, there are also video tapes of surgical procedures, there is a nice atlas of photographs from laparoscopic procedures, and there is a whole area of ultrasound. Also there are laboratory values that are available with links to related websites, such as the FDA, a website for pharmaceuticals, and there is the opportunity for individuals who wish to make a comment in comments to the editors. These editors will then determine whether the comments can be incorporated into the future editions of the Global Library. There is patient information material that can be printed out and distributed to patients free of charge, and also there is a whole section on safe motherhood, with a book on post-partum hemorrhage that is available to download, as well as a book on obstetric fistula that is available to download.

So there is a whole variety of materials available to the physicians that they can access without charge from anywhere in the world. We are particularly interested in distributing this material to the doctors in developing countries to allow them to enhance their activities in their medical practice.

The Global Library of Women's Medicine is an internet product as I mentioned that has no advertising and is available free. However, the publisher is indeed looking for sponsors that are willing to participate in the support of this project, and hopefully there will be adequate numbers of sponsors to keep this Global Library moving ahead in perpetuity. All of the collaborators, including the editors, receive no remuneration for their participation because they are all doing it to make this material available to doctors in developing countries. All of the editors and the authors have a webpage so that the readers can determine the authorship of the different chapters, and I think this is the recognition that the authors would like to have for their contributions.

This is a new venture. This is a new paradigm in medical education and one that I think will address the issues of the 21st century. As I said earlier, you can access this through Please do that, we would like to have your comments. Thank you for listening.

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