Dr. Sarrel explains how a woman can find a credible menopause specialist.
Well, there are specialists in the delivery of menopause healthcare. There is an organization called the North American Menopause Society, and there is a website for www.nams.org. On that website, there is a consumer portal where women can get a great deal of information. There are about a 100,000 pages of information that have been downloaded onto that website, and a part of the information that’s available is the names of the specialists who could well be in their community, who have been accredited by the North American Menopause Society.
Having said that, the number is very few. So you would ordinarily turn to your family practitioner or to your gynecologist, and they may or may not have had any special training in the field. It’s a good question to ask in seeking help, saying, “I have menopause symptoms. Is this a subject that you’ve had continuing training in?” because you want to know. You want a healthcare provider who is up to date, not someone who learned something 40 years ago and is still doing the same thing they were doing 40 years ago. There have been enormous changes.
In medical practices, the young doctors tend not to be interested. They are delivering babies. That’s their focus, contraception. They’re not into menopause healthcare. It’s usually the older, senior practitioner who has known the women all of his or her life and has been moving through the lifecycle with the woman. There, the question of,"Have you participated in any kind of continuing education course related to the menopause healthcare" is a very good question to ask.
Then the doctor will probably be honest; the answer might be, "No I haven’t." That would be the most common answer, "but I have tried my best to keep up with the literature," and then maybe not.
About Dr. Sarrel, M.D.:
Philip M. Sarrel, M.D., completed his medical education at New York University School of Medicine, his internship at the Mount Sinai Hospital, and his residency at Yale New Haven Hospital. In addition to his many years on the faculty of the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, Dr. Sarrel has also been a Faculty Scholar in the department of psychiatry at Oxford University, Visiting Senior Lecturer at King’s College Hospital Medical School at the University of London, Visiting Professor in Cardiac Medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute in London, and Visiting Professor in the Department of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. He is currently Emeritus Professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and psychiatry at Yale University.