New study shows value of educating OB/GYN residents in addressing health issues of booming number of menopausal patients
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 today 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 percent -- did not feel comfortable managing menopause patients. After the two-year curriculum, a whopping 85.7 percent 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."