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Age, Specialty of Physician Affect Patterns of Treating Menopausal Patients

October 21 , 2014
by: ASRM Office of Public Affairs
Published in ASRM Press Release

Honolulu, Hawaii – Research presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s 70th Annual Meeting revealed that physicians treating menopausal patients felt it was very important that their patients be well informed, and that the specialty of the physician and when they trained had an impact on the care they provided.
A Boston based research team evaluated the attitudes of 200 US physicians who had treated patients for menopausal symptoms. They were asked about their attitudes toward Shared Decision Making (SDM) for managing menopausal symptoms. They found an overwhelming majority (94%) felt it was important to have well informed patients. Nearly 70% of the obstetrician gynecologists reported their patients were well informed, while only 26% of the internists and primary care physicians felt their patients were well informed.
Investigators from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine also examined the impact of medical specialty on treating menopausal symptoms. They found that rates of prescribing Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT) were significantly higher among OB/GYN’s than Family Medicine doctors. When a physician trained also played a significant role in their prescribing patterns. Both OB/GYN’s and Family Medicine doctors were much more likely to prescribe MHT if they trained prior to publication of the Women’s Health Initiative report in 2002.
“Examining physicians’ treatment patterns can reveal important differences between different kinds of physicians. It is imperative that all of us in medicine examine our own biases and use the best available data to guide our treatment decisions,” said Kurt Barnhart, MD, President of the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.
O-132 S Kiatpongsan et al, “Gaps Between Physicians’ Perceptions of the Importance of Shared Decision Making and Their Practice in Menopausal Symptom Management.” 
O-128  C Yondorf et al,  “Medical Specialty Affects When and Why Women are Prescribed Menopausal Hormone Therapy” 
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, founded in 1944, is an organization of more than 7,000 physicians, researchers, nurses, technicians and other professionals dedicated to advancing knowledge and expertise in reproductive biology.  Affiliated societies include the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology, the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, the Society of Reproductive Surgeons and the Society of Reproductive Biologists and Technologists. 

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