FMWC Members lead the way at 2019 NAMS Annual Meeting

Last week several members attended the Annual Meeting of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in Chicago.  This Annual Meeting is a leading medical conference where professionals gather to promote the health and quality of life of all women during midlife and beyond.  Held in Chicago for 2019, the NAMS Annual Meeting was truly Canadian lead: Dr. Marla Shapiro served as Chair of the Scientific Program Committee, Dr. Mamta Gautam delivered a keynote, Dr. Kathee Andrews delivered a breakfast session, and a Canadian Leadership session was held.

This year’s program was packed with a wide array of cutting-edge talks with latest research and information that practitioners interested in Women’s health could rarely find within one conference. topics ranged from updates on therapies for perimenopausal and menopausal women, to cancer prevention, precision health with the use of microbes, osteoporosis, cardiac prevention, and the latest research on mental health.

Our very own Dr. Mamta Gautam wowed the more than 1200-person audience with a Keynote address on “How to turn Burnout into Joy.” She discussed the early warning signs and how we as physicians use many defenses to cope.  She demonstrated how important self-compassion is and how taking time for joy and laughter can indeed help us enjoy longer, happier and more successful lives.

I was delighted to host a round table breakfast session on Holistic management of menopausal mood disorders: discussing among other things diet, exercise, nutrition, sleep, hormonal balance, along with non-prescription and prescription therapies.

The FMWC hosted a Canadian Leadership Session featuring a panel of experts.  Dr. Gautam spoke again, this time on leadership for clinicians, encouraging all women to believe in themselves and the value of their leadership skills. Dr. Vivien Brown gave an update on HPV for mid-life women, reminding the audience that while our immunity declines with age, our exposure to HPV and hence risk of infection continues so women may still need to consider immunization. This is particularly true for some in new relationships or those who have had abnormal PAP smears.  Dr. Praseedha Janakiram spoke on refugee health and reminded the audience that women are impacted on every level from being disrupted and moved from their homes and their lives to a foreign country.  Often, they are also victims of violence.  It is important to take time to understand their story.  Finally, Dr. Jan Christilaw gave a moving talk on indigenous health, reconciliation and allies through our medical system. She too spoke of the importance of taking the time to listen, be respectful of the culture of the people we are working with. The inter-generational effects of abuse are still seen and it is important for us to understand this in these populations.

It was a great 5 days for Federation members. NAMS is considered to be the leading non-profit provider of health education and Scientific information for mid-life women. It was an honour to be a part of this highly respected gathering.

Dr. Kathee Andrews, MD, MCFP, NCMP
FMWC Past-President