Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 21, Supplement 3, pp S5–S10 | Cite as

Women and war

What physicians should know
  • Maureen Murdoch
  • Arlene Bradley
  • Susan H. Mather
  • Robert E. Klein
  • Carole L. Turner
  • Elizabeth M. Yano


Most of today’s 1.7 million women veterans obtain all or most of their medical care outside the VA health care system, where their veteran status is rarely recognized or acknowledged. Several aspects of women’s military service have been associated with adverse psychologic and physical outcomes, and failure to assess women’s veteran status, their deployment status, and military trauma history could delay identifying or treating such conditions. Yet few clinicians know of women’s military history—or of military service’s impact on women’s subsequent health and well being. Because an individual’s military service may be best understood within the historical context in which it occurred, we provide a focused historical overview of women’s military contributions and their steady integration into the Armed Forces since the War for Independence. We then describe some of the medical and psychiatric conditions associated with military service.

Key words

veterans female combat disorders sexual trauma review 


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maureen Murdoch
    • 1
    • 2
  • Arlene Bradley
    • 3
  • Susan H. Mather
    • 4
  • Robert E. Klein
    • 5
  • Carole L. Turner
    • 6
  • Elizabeth M. Yano
    • 7
    • 8
  1. 1.Section of General Internal Medicine/CCDOR (111-0)Minneapolis VA Medical Center, One Veterans DriveMinneapolis
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Minnesota School of MedicineMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.VA Roseburg Healthcare SystemRoseburgUSA
  4. 4.Office of Public Health and Environmental HazardsVeterans Health AdministrationWashington, DCUSA
  5. 5.Department of Veterans AffairsOffice of the ActuaryWashington, DCUSA
  6. 6.Women Veterans Health ProgramVeterans Health AdministrationWashington, DCUSA
  7. 7.VA Greater Los Angeles Center for the Study of Healthcare Provider BehaviorSepulvedaUSA
  8. 8.Department of Health ServicesUCLA School of Public HealthLos AngelesUSA

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