search feedback link archive home

Parathyroid hormone may help battle osteoporosis

Doctors control spread of antibiotic-resistant bug

Healthier cattle feed benefits animals and people

Younger than 55? Alcohol risks outweigh benefits

Women have poorer body image than men

Finding disease genes may not be so difficult

Drug users need regular medical, drug abuse care

Study links child's depression with later obesity

RAND: US faces healthcare 'quality deficit'

Exercise keeps women's minds in shape



April 2, 2001
Introducing Debra Wood, R.N.

s we women pilot through life, health choices constantly present themselves. We're bombarded every day at a feverish pace with an array of alternatives. Some occur so hastily and subtly we don't consciously ponder our options. But still they exist.

Her Health


By Debra Wood, R.N.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, most of us didn't think too much about medical-treatment decisions. Sage doctors willingly stepped forward and pronounced the best course of action. These days, however, Dr. Marcus Welby practices only in celluloid heaven.

The medical professionals most of us depend on expect patients to assume more responsibility for their health and to play a more active role in deciding what their care will be. Overall, I believe the shift in control empowers patients and offers possibilities for improved physical and emotional well-being.

But in order to make good health decisions, we must deftly weigh the risks and benefits of all available options -- and for that we need accurate, timely information. After more than two decades as a registered nurse, I've come to accept that medicine is not a perfect science. Receiving excellent health care presents a formidable challenge, even for those of us who fluidly speak the lingo, relate to front-line care providers' frustrations, and thrive on the quest for solutions to persistent puzzles.

Each of us must take the initiative to stay abreast of the rapidly expanding sphere of scientific knowledge, especially in areas of personal concern. We have the opportunity to be our own best advocates, to make the most of short office visits, to ask the right questions, and to determine the best course of action for our bodies and our lives.


Big or small, well thought through or spur of the moment, our health and wellness decisions affect the quality of our days and nights.


I like to think of myself as a savvy health-care consumer and hope to make you one as well. I plan to share my knowledge and experience with my readers, just as I once did face-to-face with my patients. I aim to make women's health and wellness engaging, entertaining, and easy to understand. I want to start you thinking, spark your interest in making wise choices, empower you with knowledge, and increase your awareness about how being women ups our odds for a variety of conditions and alters the type of care we receive. I'll discuss everything from contraception, dieting, and depression to osteoporosis, hormones, and heart disease.

Big or small, well thought through or spur of the moment, our health and wellness decisions affect the quality of our days and nights. Whether something as mundane as opting to stay up late to finish the laundry rather than catching some needed shut-eye or as life altering as switching careers to accommodate a not-so-hearty body, we feel better about our choices when we're fully aware of the trade-offs.

Healthy habits and thoughtful determinations may help us live longer, but the true essence and beauty of conscious decision-making lies in creating a happier, more comfortable present, focused on appreciating each day. Join me on a journey through women's health issues as I share with you information to make life more energetic, healthy, and enjoyable.

Send feedback on this article.

Debra Wood is a registered nurse and health writer living in Orlando, Florida. Debra calls on more than two decades of nursing experience to effectively communicate medical topics to lay and professional audiences.