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2015 Menopause Practitioner of the Year

Diana L. Bitner, MD, NCMP
Grand Haven, MI

What first attracted you to medicine?  

Simply put, I wanted to help people and advance people's health. To me, it felt the most effective way to make a difference and have a sense of accomplishment in my work. 

Why did you decide to focus on menopause?

My patients started having questions I could not answer regarding the symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, fatigue, poor sex drive, and vaginal dryness. I wanted to have the latest scientific data to help me guide care. I was inspired by Dr. Leon Speroff who taught me that perimenopause and menopause are unique windows of opportunity to engage with women at a pivotal time in their lives.

How did you first become involved with NAMS?

I wanted to learn from the best and was impressed by the scientific content of NAMS on all levels including scientific meetings, website, and the journal Menopause. I found the scientific leaders who are at the forefront of research, teaching, and policy for women's health accessible and supportive of my own professional growth. I decided to start a menopause clinic and teaching service for residents and medical students and have always been grateful for the updated resources for teaching and patient education. I was honored to be a Mentee in the NAMS Mentee-Mentor Program under Dr. Robert Wild and was able to co-publish an article in Menopause with his guidance.
We see you've been attending the NAMS Annual Meeting since 2008. What is your favorite aspect of the meeting?

The meeting agenda is focused on the translation of scientific evidence into clinical practice which is the information I need and take back home. I really enjoy the themed pre-meeting symposium where there is a deep dive into one topic. I also enjoy the networking and learning from other colleagues as well as contact and mentoring from scientific leaders.
Why is NAMS certification important to you and your patients?

My professional mission is to ensure all women have science-based knowledge to guide them through midlife and menopause. I wanted the certification to ensure I could council my patients with a thorough understanding of the most current knowledge. Because of competing information in the media, I believe it is important for patients to have reassurance of a certification process and know their provider is committed to scientific knowledge and safety. We need to continue to get the word out. 

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