The Smart Woman's Guide to Midlife and Beyond
by Janet Horn, M.D. and Robin Miller, M.D.

New Harbinger Publications, 2008. ISBN 1-57224-556-3.
Reviewed by Trilla Pando
Posted on 08/19/2008

Nonfiction: Active Life; Nonfiction: Elders; Nonfiction: Cultural/Gender Focus

These days, when I go to a doctor for anything more severe than sniffles or a sore throat, I take two things—my list of questions and concerns and a companion. I need all the help I can find to be sure that I ask the right questions and remember the doctor's answers and instructions. As we grow older, it's important to take every health issue seriously.

I have two new friends who will be helping with my office visits. Janet Horn and Robin Miller, authors of The Smart Woman's Guide to Midlife and Beyond. Both are medical doctors over fifty, and both know what concerns women of our cohort. They have combined their professional skills and experience to craft a readable, wise, and candid book that I will turn to when I prepare that list of questions. In fact, it will probably have the answers to a good many.

As the title suggests, the authors assume an intelligent reader. They present the basics on older women's health with both candor and completeness. It's all there, from the areas of major concern (cancer, heart disease, senility) through nutrition, exercise, and even plastic surgery. In case the reader needs more information, there is an extensive section of recommended readings and websites.

One appeal of the book is that the authors do not always agree. They have practiced in different parts of the country and have different specialties. (Miller is an internist and integrative medicine specialist, while Horn is certified in internal medicine and infectious disease and is trained in obstetrics and gynecology). They bring their various expertise to each topic and leave it to the reader to make her own choices.

The book is peppered with the personal experiences of patients and of the authors themselves, so it's not heavy reading. Even doctors get into unusual, and sometimes amusing, medical situations. All women, not only those beyond fifty, will find it a welcome addition to their personal libraries. Add it before the medical issues arise. Forewarned is forearmed.

Friends since their medical fellowship days at Johns Hopkins, Jane Horn and Robin Miller are both practicing physicians. They have combined their friendship, personal experience, and medical knowledge to co-author this guide to health for women of a certain age. Learn more about them and their book on their website.

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