The number of menopausal women is projected to reach 50 million by 2020. With changing views on appropriate therapies to control symptoms and new treatments available and on the horizon, most internists lack the core competencies and experience to meet the needs of women entering menopause, according to a provocative Commentary published in Journal of Women's Health.
The article "Competency in Menopause Management: Whither Goest the Internist?" by Richard Santen, MD, University of Virginia Health Sciences System (Charlottesville), Cynthia Stuenkel, MD, University of California at San Diego, Henry Burger, MD, Monash University (Melbourne, Australia), and JoAnn Manson, MD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA), describes the changing landscape of menopausal symptom management, with renewed use of hormone therapy among recently menopausal women at low risk of breast cancer and heart disease. The emergence of new non-hormonal treatments and other approaches may be unfamiliar to internists who are often ill-prepared to manage symptoms in women who have completed their reproductive years and are approaching or beginning menopause.
"It is essential that new curricula be developed to train internists in the core competencies needed to manage menopausal symptoms," says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women's Health.