Congratulations to the New ISSWSH President

The International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (, the preeminent organization focusing on the biopsychosocial aspects of women’s sexuality, welcomes Dr. James A. Simon, M.D., Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at The George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington D.C., as its new president.

Dr. Simon’s goals for his two-year term presidency include doubling the ISSWSH membership by expanding the knowledge of physicians (gynecologists, urologists, internists, and other primary care givers), advanced practice nurses (nurse practitioners, midwives, etc.), physician assistants, mental health providers (e.g., psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric social workers, certified sexual health counselors and educators), and pelvic floor physical therapists in the oft-neglected field of sexual medicine, a discipline with similar quality of life impact as arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and irritable bowel syndrome. Further, Dr. Simon vows to pressure the FDA into removing sexually discriminatory barriers to the development of new medications focused on improving women’s sexual health.

Dr. Simon served most recently as the president-elect of ISSWSH. He is also a past president of the North American Menopause Society, and The Washington Gynecological Society.

Dr. Simon is a prolific clinical researcher, holding distinctions for his involvement in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, the earliest advancements of in vitro fertilization, menopause, osteoporosis, and sexual medicine. Dr. Simon’s research has been supported by more than 360 research grants and scholarships from a wide range of sponsors, including the National Institutes of Health, The American Heart Association, The Heinz Foundation and the pharmaceutical industry. He is an author or a co-author of more than 550 peer-reviewed articles, chapters, textbooks, abstracts, and other publications, including several prize-winning papers. Dr. Simon is coauthor of the paperback book “Restore Yourself: A Woman’s Guide to Reviving Her Sexual Desire and Passion for Life.” A short list of his other honors and achievements includes being selected to “Top Washington Physicians,” “America’s Top Obstetricians and Gynecologists,” and “The Best Doctors in America.” Dr. Simon and his care team continue to treat patients from all around the world in his private practice in Washington, D.C.

Have questions regarding medical or women’s sexual health issues? Contact his office at (202) 293-1000.


For media/speaking inquiries, contact:
Nancy Rose Senich (Agency)
Phone/Text: 1-202-262-6996

Rachel S. Rubin

Now that Dr. Rachel S. Rubin has joined the practice and is treating men primarily for intimacy issues, including sexual dysfunction, we have taken notice of women making medical news lately. Pioneers in the fields of surgery and general medicine are getting noticed for their patient care. As we see more men in nursing scrubs and more women in the surgery theater, patient care can only improve with collaborative care.

Female Surgeons Make the Cut

An interesting study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) asked whether patients fare better undergoing surgery when the person holding the scalpel is a woman. The research data suggests it is true in some cases. For example, in the study fewer patients treated by female surgeons died (4%), were readmitted to the hospital, or had complications within 30 days. But why? Surgery, a male-dominated field until very recently, is beginning to change. With the influx of women, who have to compete with male counterparts for sought-after assignments in their specialties, perhaps they have to be exceptional in every area of academic focus and surgical practice. Keep in mind these are small, but statistically significant differences in surgical outcomes between patients treated by female and male surgeons in this study. More data on gender influence of patient outcomes would be needed to learn more.

Talking to Patients

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health looked at a group of patients seeing general internists and found that those with female doctors tended to have lower death rates and were less likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days than those with male doctors. Why is this? For one reason, it may be that female doctors may have a different communication style than their male counterparts. But is this always the case? Probably not.

At the end of the day, medicine is largely a collaborative effort and when we can have men and women on a more equal playing field, those who benefit most, are the patients. Drs. Simon and Rubin, Lucy Treene and Carol Mack and our caring staff, are truly a team, treating one patient at a time, with great results. Have questions about women’s and men’s sexual health? Contact us at (202) 293-1000.

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) –A Balanced View

screenshot_5148_432x324One of the cornerstones of The New Government Health Plan is the use of the electronic medical record (EMR), sometimes called Electronic Health Records (EHR).  Proponents offer these as some of the advantages of those systems:

  • Universal coding of medical diagnoses and procedures so that insurers can better understand the public’s health and properly allocate resources
  • Avoidance of problems interpreting various handwriting styles
  • Ability to incorporate automated reminders and alerts (i.e. patient due for colonoscopy or bone density test, or vaccination) as part of the system.

Most hospitals and large practice administrators support the EMR concept. In addition to having the staff and resources to make the system  function, the system is effective in capturing more charges and assists in better collections.  And the federal government subsidizes the initial purchase an implementation of the system.

Practitioners are a little less enthusiastic.

Enormous amounts of time are required to fill out electronic templates, complete countless electronic forms and respond to automated questions not impacting patient care, while often negotiating frustrating electronic roadblocks. The time required for the process occupies the staff and diverts the practitioner’s focus from the patient to a computer process. As a result, practitioners are spending less time interacting with their patients and more time looking at the computer screen. Overall, patient’s best interests seem to have largely been lost in this conversation.

Our practitioners – James A. Simon, MD; Lucy D. Treene, MSHS, PA-C; Carol J. Mack, MSHS, PA-C, MPH – are not Luddites (people just down on technology). Quite the contrary!  We use many facets of the EMR systems, such as e-prescribing, e-scheduling, electronic billing to Medicare, all of which improve patient care, reduce medical errors, or, in the case of Medicare billing, are required by the government. But we are selective because we are, particularly in our field, first and foremost concerned with the privacy of our patients.

Consider the recent cyber attacks at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) and the successful electronic security breach at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) affecting 22.1 million people (“Hackers stole vast amount of sensitive data” according to The Washington Post), which resulted in the resignation of OPM Director Katherine Archuleta. The Carefirst® BlueCross BlueShield family of companies was also recently and successfully hacked for personal information (including that of James A. Simon, MD, PC employees).

Being one of the foremost specialty medical practices in women’s sexual health in the world, the risk of our patients’ private records becoming public is simply not worth taking.  Our patients’ sexual problems, predilections and peccadillos are private and, unlike your FICO “credit” score which can be restored if your credit card is lost or stolen, once the details of your private sexual life are “out there,” that information can live forever on Google, Facebook or Twitter. And in case you should think, even for a minute, “who cares about MY sexual life,” don’t forget our offices are convenient to many in the public eye, five blocks from The White House, 2 ½ miles from The Capitol, and 3 miles from The Supreme Court.  Patients, many of them quite prominent, come to see us from all over the world as well.  No matter who you are, your health information is private at James A. Simon, MD, PC, and no one’s business but yours!

In our world of internet immediacy and electronic everything we agree with author Lisa Gardner’s comment, “There are things that once done can’t be undone, things that once said can’t be unsaid.”


Interested in women’s sexual health? Contact us for an appointment.

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