Gynecologists and Menopause Education

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I snapped this photo in Luxembourg when Cliff and I were on our river barge adventure. The blog is never far from my mind! It’s the perfect photo to introduce a post by menopause expert Ellen Dolgen. Ellen recaps a recent study on menopause education and medical students.

More Menopause-Focused Education Required for Doctors- YES PLEASE!

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Despite the fact that nearly two million women every year reach menopause (that’s equivalent to 6,000 women each day), many experts agree that OB/GYN residents are not being properly prepared to address menopause-related health issues. A new study published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), however, demonstrates how adding a menopause-focused curriculum is helping residents to meet this growing challenge.

The study comes out of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where they created a two-year curriculum including lectures and labs focused on menopause and related health issues.  Between 2011 and 2013, 34 OB/GYN residents completed the menopause curriculum annually.  Prior to attending the menopause sessions, a majority of residents—78.7%–did not feel comfortable managing menopause patients.  After the two-year curriculum, a whopping 85.7% reported feeling “comfortable/very comfortable” taking care of menopause patients.

“This is a huge challenge in the medical profession,” says Dr. Wulf Utian, executive director of NAMS.  “There is a tremendous void in healthcare providers understanding the key issues being faced by pre- and post-menopausal women.  As a result, many women are not getting the treatment they need and are suffering needlessly with an array of menopause-related symptoms.

Although this was a small study sample, it provides valuable insight as to the need to provide additional menopause-focused education, and I hope that medical schools, as well as residency programs in OB/GYN, internal medicine and family practice use it as a justification to augment their current curriculums.”

The article, “Effectiveness of a 2-year menopause medicine curriculum for obstetrics and gynecology residents,” will be published in the March 2016 print edition of Menopause.

Me again: I recently wrote an article for Empowher on advocating for your own Health in Menopause.  I came on strongly in the article and included some TMI because I think the topic is so important. Read the full article here. 

caring medical doctor greeting senior patient

10 responses »

  1. This curriculum sounds great. I hope it is successful. Doctors also need a class on how to talk to patients and listen to patients. In my former life I was in pharmaceutical sales for over 2 decades and sometimes docs are the smartest person in the room but never learned how to have a conversation or ask questions of their patients and listen really listen to their answers.

  2. Barbara this isn’t blog related but comment related.
    I see you mentioned congestion with your BP med. My husband had to switch his BP med (Vasotec) due to congestion. Apparently it is a fairly common side effect with BP meds. Our daughter is a physician and she directed her Dad to speak to his family doctor who concurred.
    I don’t mean to disrespect your physician but you may be correct?

  3. I just found this searching quickly on the internet for drug related symptoms for this drug: Less common •Abdominal or stomach pain
    •body aches or pain
    •chest pain
    •chills
    •common cold
    •cough
    •diarrhea
    •difficulty breathing
    •ear congestion
    •fever
    •headache
    •loss of voice
    •nasal congestion
    •nausea
    •runny nose

  4. Well, all I can say is that it is that some wise woman I read on the internet once said, “Be grateful for the training and expertise of doctors, but in the end, you’re the boss of your own body.” Trust your own body, your own self, and your own healing (while being mindful, of course of all of those “experts.”

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