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The next generation of menopause providers: are medical students being properly prepared?

Schnatz, Peter F. DO, FACOG1; Marakovits, Kimberly2

doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31816429f8
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Objective: To identify the percentage of students who thought that they were exposed to the clinical management of menopause compared with other obstetrical and gynecological procedures and topics.

Design: A survey designed to collect data about the educational experience, the educators, and students' exposure to various obstetrical and gynecological diagnoses and practices is administered to all University of Connecticut medical students who complete the third year Obstetrics and Gynecology clerkship. This report includes data collected between July 2002 and May 2007, inclusive.

Results: The last 361 consecutive students who completed the University of Connecticut Obstetrics and Gynecology clerkship reported exposure to normal labor management, routine gynecology, urinary tract infections, menopause, and amenorrhea at the following levels: 97%, 95%, 83%, 60%, and 59%, respectively.

Conclusions: The number of menopausal women and the demand for physicians with expertise in the clinical management of menopause is increasing. The survey results reflected the students' perceptions of their exposure to these conditions and led to adjustments in the University of Connecticut Obstetrics and Gynecology clerkship including the addition of a core lecture on menopause and the addition of menopause-related topics to the required clinical exposures (included in the Educational Directives). Exposure of medical students to menopause management at the University of Connecticut and other medical schools may increase awareness, interest, and the selection of this subspecialty as a career option.

Because medical school is the only opportunity some students have to learn about menopausal care, the future of menopausal medicine depends on students getting an appropriate exposure.

From the 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT; and 2Women's Life Center Research Group, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT.

Received October 23, 2007; revised and accepted December 4, 2007.

Financial disclosure: None reported.

These data were presented at the 18th Annual Meeting of The North American Menopause Society in Dallas, TX, October 4, 2007.

Address correspondence to: Peter F. Schnatz, DO, FACOG, Hartford Hospital, Conklin Building 205, 80 Seymour Street, Hartford, CT 06102. E-mail: pschnat@harthosp.org

©2008The North American Menopause Society