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The International Hormone Society

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Consensus # 10 The application of hormone therapy by multiple medical specialties.

April 24, 2007

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After an extensive literature review and discussions with physicians from all over the world who are well versed in treating patients with endocrine abnormalities, we, the Consensus Group of Experts of the International Hormone Society, think there is enough clinical and theoretical evidence to expand the use of hormone treatments to other medical specialties than endocrinology.

The medical specialties that should utilize hormone therapies in the treatment of patients

There is no scientific evidence to support the position that endocrine treatments should be exclusively or mainly provided by sanctioned endocrinologists.  In fact, limiting hormone treatments to certified endocrinologists may adversely affect the health of patients.    As hormones are crucial for the functioning of all cells, tissues and organ systems, treating patients with hormones should be the domain of all disciplines including general medicine, surgery, psychiatry and even ophthalmology.   

Additionally, due to the limited number of endocrinologists and the prediction of further shortages, the long wait to see an endocrinologist will be exacerbated.  This makes it even more imperative that all physicians be competent and empowered to treat patients with hormone therapies.  

Requirements for treating hormone deficiencies or excesses outside the field of endocrinology

1.    The patient must have at least one hormone deficiency or excess that necessitates treatment.  
2.    The physician must be competent and experienced in hormone therapy treatments.  

The assessment of physician competence in hormone therapy treatments can be determined by several of the following methods:

  1. Additional training in treating hormone deficiencies with qualified physicians, via a preceptorship or fellowship, verified by a certificate, diploma or written acknowledgement.   
  2. Attendance at seminars and conferences on hormone therapy treatments, verified by certificates, CME credits, etc.
  3. Several years of experience in treating patients with hormone therapies, verified by examining the medical records of the patients treated  
  4. Having successfully passed a written or oral exam in endocrinology/hormone therapies
  5. Experience as a lecturer or speaker at several conferences and seminars
  6. Having publications in the field of endocrinology

Physician competence should be demonstrated in more than one of the above-mentioned ways.  Inadequately trained physicians should not attempt to treat hormone-related conditions.

The position of traditional endocrinologists:  Most endocrinologists specialize in the management of diabetes and at times thyroid and adrenal problems.   As a rule, endocrinologists do not have extensive experience utilizing other hormone therapies.  Gynecologists and primary care physicians will generally initiate female hormone replacement, while urologists or primary care physicians treat testosterone deficiencies in men.  Even though it is limited, the use of hormone interventions by other specialties is already a reality.  Besides expanding the use of hormone therapies to include other medical disciplines, we recommend that endocrinologists receive additional training in providing hormone treatments that are less familiar to them. In this way they would be able to assist physicians from other disciplines in providing more effective treatments of hormone deficiencies.  The actual role of an endocrinologist should be enriched to extend beyond the management of diabetes and thyroid/adrenal issues to the role of being an expert advisor on all hormone therapies.

Conclusion:  As hormone deficiencies or excesses often have serious adverse effects on patients’ quality of life, health, and possibly lifespan, they should be treated as soon as possible, yet as safely as possible.  To ensure treatment, patients should have the option of being treated by the physicians they consult, assuming the physicians are competent in treating the patients’ conditions.  Thus, all medical specialties should include relevant hormone therapies in their training and in the services offered.  To ensure safety and competence, evidence-based seminars, training, preceptorships, fellowships and internet education should be organized by medical societies and universities, along with the publication of modified textbooks and hormone therapy handbooks.  


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46 signatures for this petition
11 to 20

Tracey Keen
New Zealand
As a patient benefiting from hormone therapy, I would dearly love to see our physicians become more competent in this field.
United Kingdom
United States
(no comment)
Betty McCombs
United States
(no comment)
Beverly Ferguson
United States
(no comment)
Kathy Burris
United States
(no comment)
Diana Casario
United States
(no comment)
Didier Panizza
En 34 ans de pratique médicale, il m\\\'apparaît comme une évidence absolue que la modulation des axes hormonaux est la seule voie qui permet la restaration d\\\'une bonne santé et la vraie prévention du vieillissement : ce but peut être atteint facilement avec des traitements hormonaux naturels, mais difficilement avec des hormones de synthèse.
Charisse Fair
United States
Good Luck and GOD speed. Years of studies have proven the benefits of biodentical hormones. We need to get the politics out of the health field. The pharmaceutical companys have made "prostitutes" of our Food and Drug Administration. The "pill pushers" can't patent bioidentical hormones so they push "man-made chemicals" in pills and other forms, all the while claiming that natural, bioidentical medicine is dangerous to our health. The bottom line is money. We need Doctors, Scientists and the public to start writing all the powers that be to get all the man-made chemicals and "junk" out of our medicine and food. Go get em!
Linda Schneider
United States
(no comment)



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