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Menopause Management Knowledge in Postgraduate Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Obstetrics and Gynecology Residents: A Cross-Sectional Survey

      Abstract

      Objective

      To evaluate the knowledge of and nature of training for menopause management in postgraduate residents.

      Participants and Methods

      A cross-sectional, anonymous survey was e-mailed to trainees at all postgraduate levels in family medicine, internal medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology at US residency programs between January 11, and July 4, 2017. The survey was adapted from an existing instrument and included questions regarding knowledge of hormone therapy (HT) and other menopause management strategies, availability and type of training in menopause medicine, and demographic information.

      Results

      Of the 703 surveys sent, a total of 183 residents representing 20 US residency programs responded (26.0% response rate). Most trainees were between 26 and 30 years of age (133 of 172 [77.3%]), female (114 of 173 [65.9%]), and believed it was important or very important to be trained to manage menopause (165 of 176 [93.8%]). Although most respondents answered some of the menopause competency questions correctly, important gaps were identified. Of 183 participants, 63 (34.4%) indicated they would not offer HT to a symptomatic, newly menopausal woman without contraindications, and only 71 (38.7%) indicated they would prescribe HT until the natural age of menopause to a prematurely menopausal woman. Of 177 respondents, 36 (20.3%) reported not receiving any menopause lectures during residency, and only 12 of 177 (6.8%) reported feeling adequately prepared to manage women experiencing menopause.

      Conclusion

      Family medicine, internal medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology residency trainees recognize the importance of training in menopause management, but important knowledge gaps exist. Investing in the education of future clinicians to provide evidence-based, comprehensive menopause management for the growing population of midlife women is a priority.

      Abbreviations and Acronyms:

      FM (family medicine), HT (hormone therapy), IM (internal medicine), NAMS (North American Menopause Society), OB/GYN (obstetrician-gynecologist), PGY (postgraduate year), VMS (vasomotor symptoms), WHI (Women's Health Initiative)
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      Linked Article

      • Barriers to the Care of Menopausal Women
        Mayo Clinic ProceedingsVol. 94Issue 2
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          Barriers to care fall into 2 general categories: knowledge gaps and implementation gaps.1 The art of medicine rests on the practitioner understanding what is and is not known, recognizing the limitations of our evidence and interventions, and then developing an informed and affordable therapeutic approach that a specific patient is able and willing to follow. Given that physicians are treating patients and not conditions per se and that the patient’s condition occurs in the context of multiple other medical and sociocultural modifiers, it takes experience to become an artful physician who can walk from generalization (fund of knowledge) to individualization (application of the fund of knowledge).
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