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2012 Menopause Practitioner of the Year

Terry Gibbs, DO, NCMP
Sylvania, OH

What first attracted you to becoming a physician? Can you tell us a little about your medical career? 

I decided to become a physician in second grade when a hospital stay inspired me to help relieve people’s pain.  Initially, I wanted to be an anesthesiologist but while I was in medical school a family friend who was an obstetrician spurred me to take a closer look at obstetrics and gynecology, and that became the focus for my training.
 
Can you tell us about your career as an educator?

As a staff ob/gyn at two hospitals, I have residents from two family practice programs and nurse practitioner students rotating through my office.  I give regular lectures to hospital staff and residencies as well as at medical and ob/gyn grand rounds.  I have also lectured at diverse medical meetings and conferences (heart, vascular, pharmacy, integrative medicine) and for local women’s groups. I have presented many midlife topics and issues.
 
How and when did you become involved with The North American Menopause Society?

I joined NAMS in 2002, a time when the merits of hormone therapy in the Women’s Health Initiative were being debated. I attended my first annual meeting that October. I found out how feisty this group was, and appreciated the clarity of the presentations addressing these issues surrounding hormone therapy and the perspective it brought to those confusing times.  
 
How has your NAMS membership benefited you?

Being a NAMS member, I have access to information on multiple issues that women can face in midlife.  I’ve been able to help patients and colleagues care for problems not well understood in our community, including hormone therapy and sexual dysfunction.  
 
Why is NAMS certification important to you and your patients?

Becoming a NCMP added legitimacy to my practice as a result of my learning through NAMS resources. Being an NCMP is important to me and to my patients because I have developed further knowledge and skills that enable me to provide patients with quality care that addresses the ongoing seasons of their lives. I have the resources to meet their needs as they approach midlife and beyond. 
 
Do you encourage other healthcare providers to study for the NCMP exam?

I work in a health system that covers a large area and includes many hospitals and employed physicians. An administrative champion helped me initiate various projects including a midlife center for women, a cancer survivorship program for women with menopause-related needs, and a program that identifies and begins to treat osteoporosis. I was encouraged to enlist colleagues from within our system in order to regionalize our service.  I have such people, including three midwives and another ob/gyn, who hope to get certified as NCMPs this year. I have been working to set up these providers to deliver menopause services. As a group, we are involved in efforts to establish an institute that integrates all women’s services in our system—this would include a section for menopause medicine.
 
Do you use NAMS education materials for yourself? For your patients?

To aid in patient education, I refer my patients to the NAMS website and provide them with their own copy of The Menopause Guidebook.

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