Primary care physicians can improve the care of women patients by applying new concepts of women's physiology and psycho social development. New developmental models that emphasize the importance of relationships in women's self-concept and well-being have led to effective psychotherapies for depression, eating disorders, anxiety and substance abuse. Many of these therapies can be offered in brief formats suitable to primary care settings. New biological treatments including the use of estrogen, thyroid hormone and bright light for depression and refeeding to increase metabolic rate in eating disorders also promise to expand the range of mental health problems that generalist physicians can treat successfully.
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