Is Menopause Overlooked in U.S. Medical Schools?05/17/13
FRIDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Too few obstetrics-gynecology
residents in the United States receive formal training about
menopause, which could lead to care issues for the rapidly growing
number of older American women, a new study finds.
Researchers surveyed 510 ob/gyn residents and found that fewer
than one in five had received formal training in menopause
medicine, even though seven in 10 would like to receive it.
Forty percent to 60 percent of fourth-year residents -- those
soon to complete their training -- said they need to improve their
knowledge about menopause.
Some ob/gyn residency programs don't offer any formal curriculum
or clinical experience focused on women's pre- and post-menopausal
health, according to the study, published online recently in the
"It's clear from the results that the residents who responded admit that their knowledge and clinical management skills of menopause medicine are inadequate," lead author Dr. Mindy Christianson, a clinical fellow in the department of gynecology and obstetrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a Hopkins news release.
A woman is in menopause when she has not had a period for one
year. It occurs because the ovaries stop producing the hormones
estrogen and progesterone.
Study senior author Dr. Wen Shen, an assistant professor of
gynecology and obstetrics at the school of medicine, said the
results suggest that ob/gyn residency programs need to address this
"Residents who participated in our study have stressed that they want more knowledge and experience in this field, and an improved comfort level in treating menopausal symptoms," said Shen, who specializes in treating menopausal women.
The 2010 U.S. census estimates there will be 50 million
menopausal women in the country by 2020. The average age of
menopause is 51, and the life expectancy for an American woman is
85. That means that many women will live one-third of their lives
after menopause, Shen noted.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about
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