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It is increasingly common to see health professionals writing for patients: Dr. Denise Howard discusses her book The essence of you: your guide to gynecologic health [1] in the IGHPE podcast. The book was written in response to the lack of health literacy she found among many of her patients. Regardless of educational or social background, Dr. Howard found that many of her patients knew surprisingly little about their own bodies, the medical conditions they might experience, or the treatments they might undergo. Furthermore, the problem was often not that medical information wasn’t available, but that it was fragmented or aimed at specialist audiences. Dr. Howard discusses how she attempts to address this problem with her book, and the role that health professionals and students can play in creating trustworthy, consumer-oriented information for healthcare consumers.

Dr. Howard is a member of the American Urogynecologic Society, the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, the Society of Gynecologic Surgeons, and the American Association for Physician Leadership. She is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a Certified Physician Executive. She has degrees in English and biology from the University of Mississippi, and in medicine and public health rom Johns Hopkins. Since 2015, Dr. Howard has been a Senior Attending Physician at Sidra Medical and Research Center in Doha, Qatar, and an Assistant Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar, where she serves as Associate Director for the Obstetrics & Gynecology Clerkships.


  1. Howard D. The essence of you: your guide to gynecologic health. [S.l.]: WAT-AGE Publishing; 2017. 313 p. ISBN: 9780990634355 (print). ISBN: 9780990634362 (electronic)