Health & Fitness: Total Care at the Ms. Mayo Clinics

Women's health centers are one-stop body shops

On the ooh-and-aah scale, it rates a nicely curved 9. Painted faux arches on pastel-tinted walls. Plush mauve carpeting. Bathrooms papered with Marimekko designs. Dressing rooms with spacious lockers. Cheerful, friendly staff. And on the way out, visitors receive a single carnation. "It's nice to be treated like a woman," sighs Susan Arcidiacono with pleasure. A ritzy health club? An elegant hair salon? Not at all. The swanky suburban San Diego setup belongs to Women's Health Centers of America and is a model of a hot '80s health-care fashion: the women's clinic.

About 20 centers now dot the nation, and experts...

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