A conversation with Dr. R.
DR. R: Today, I'd like to talk about the bottom line of menopause medicine: the art of finding the right doctor.
JOSHUA: This is either a really easy question: a woman should go to her own doctor, or I’m going to guess that you’re going to suggest something else…someone else. Here’s the kicker: I've got to say, at least for myself, this can be quite daunting. I mean, even just finding the right auto mechanic can drive me nuts. I don’t know what to look for, or what to ask. In the end I make a guess, based on too little information. When it comes to something as important as finding a doctor, holy smokes!
DR. R: And this is exactly why I’m bringing this up. Turns out that there are two primary criteria for me in treating women in menopause. The first is to find a practitioner that has gone beyond our original training in medical school. Unlike the specializations like becoming a surgeon or, let’s say, a dermatologist, few doctors treat menopause treatment like this.
When I lecture to doctors on menopause and when these doctors come up to me on breaks and ask me questions, it's rather astounding to me how little so many of them know. And that's not to fault them, it's just, that this is a big field.
As a holder of a medical license, as an example, I could go get a job in an emergency room. You don't want to encounter me in an emergency room! You want to meet up with a doctor who has had extensive training and experience in emergency room medicine. There are thousands, if not tens of thousands of little jewels an emergency room doctor can use to save your life. The field has burgeoned so much over the last 30 years. Same is true of menopause.
As far as hormones go, the best are bio-identical and there's a whole knowledge base on how to test for them, how to balance them, how to take the right dosages. It's extensive.
Joshua: So you have clarified the importance, but not really answered the original question: How does a woman find the right doctor?
Dr. R: Well, good question. I’d have them start with the organizations that, in my opinion, do the most thorough menopause training regimens for doctors. One of these organizations is our own where we train doctors. There is also A4M and ACAM.
Joshua: Well, thank you, doctor.
Dr. R: You’re welcome.