Female Genital Mutilation: Cultural Awareness and Clinical Considerations

Authors

  • Cathleen M. Braddy MD,

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    • Cathleen M. Braddy, MD, was a Resident in the Division of Community Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ, when this article was written and is now a Fellow in Women's Health, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, and an Instructor in Medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN.

  • Julia A. Files MD

    Corresponding author
      Address correspondence or reprint requests to Julia A. Files, MD, Division of Women's Health Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 13400 East Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale, AZ 85259.
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    • Julia A. Files, MD, is Chair of the Division of Women's Health Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN.


Address correspondence or reprint requests to Julia A. Files, MD, Division of Women's Health Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 13400 East Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale, AZ 85259.

Abstract

Clinicians in the United States are increasingly encountering girls and women who have undergone female genital mutilation. To foster a more trusting relationship with such patients, health care providers must have an accurate understanding of the cultural background surrounding this practice, a working knowledge of the different types of female genital mutilation procedures that may be encountered, and an awareness of both the acute and long-term complications. Some of these complications are potentially fatal, and the correct clinical diagnosis can be lifesaving.

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