Word Watch: bikini medicine

11949849661308840073female_symbol_dan_gerhar_01.svg.hiCanada’s “word spy” Paul McFedries has been busy this week, posting yet another medically-related new phrase: “bikini medicine.”

McFedries defines this as “medical practice, research, and funding that focuses solely on the female breasts and reproductive system.”

The most recent use he cites is from an October 2013 article in Johns Hopkins Public Health, the magazine of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

But the earliest citation is from a Cincinnati Enquirer article in February 2002. The piece is about heart disease in women, and quotes Nancy Loving, a heart attack survivor and  executive director of the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, as blaming women’s lack of awareness about heart disease risks on the emphasis on “bikini medicine.”

“It’s all breast cancer or the reproductive organs,” she was reported to have said. “The definition of women’s health needs to be re-thought, especially with the aging of the baby boomers.”~TM

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