Nearly two million women reach menopause each year, and yet doctors are lacking in education about this stage in life. A new study uncovered that doctors are not well-equipped to handle menopause-related health concerns presented to them by patients, due to lack of education surrounding menopause. Researchers demonstrated the benefits of adding menopause-specific curriculum for doctors to help curb this growing problem.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine created a two-year education program, including lectures and labs, focused on menopause and menopause-related health problems. OB/GYN residents completed the course between 2011 and 2013. Prior to residents taking the course 78.7 percent of them reported not feeling comfortable handling or addressing menopause-related health issues. After the two year program 85.7 percent of residents reported feeling confident and very comfortable dealing with menopause patients.
Dr. Wulf Utian from the North American Menopause Society said, “This is a huge challenge in the medical profession. 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 findings were published online in Menopause.