Take Pause: What is a Menopause Specialist?

Take Pause Header(Editor’s Note: Patients often ask what a menopause specialist is and how he or she helps patients. We asked Dr. Michelle McDermott to contribute to Your Healthy Life and shed some light in the first of a new series called Take PauseDr. McDermott founded The Austin Diagnostic Clinic’s Menopause & Osteoporosis Center and remains a leading expert in her field.)

Menopause specialists meet a need


A number of years ago, the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) recognized a need to establish standards for health providers to assure high-quality care for women at the time of menopause.

To meet this need, a competency examination was established.

Healthcare providers who pass the competency exam demonstrate expertise in the field of menopause and are awarded the credential NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner (NCMP).

I earned the NCMP credential when the first competency exam was offered in 2002. I have maintained my NCMP credential during the past decade by regularly attending educational programs in my field and passing periodic re-certification exams.

Why is it important to be a credentialed Menopause Practitioner?

NAMS Menopause credential 2013

Menopause is a time of life which presents many challenges to women.

Women are exposed to a variety of conflicting information about how to cope with both the psychological and physical symptoms of this time of life.

As a credentialed menopause specialist, I am continually exposed to new research and publications and critiques of scientific articles.

Attending the annual NAMS meetings provides me with the opportunity to interact with colleagues and to hear presentations on new insights from menopause researchers from all over the world.

I always return from these meetings energized and eager to share menopause news with my patients.

By maintaining my NCMP credential I am able to stay informed of the latest information critical to helping my patients make the best possible choices for their health and well being.