The IMS Board works tirelessly to support the aims of the Society and to ensure that the best educational resources and updates on research are available to all the membership. However, do you really know who they are? This new occasional profile series gives you the opportunity to learn more about each Board member, providing a personal perspective and insight into the people who represent the leadership of the Society.
Professor Wendy Lynn Wolfman is an IMS Board member; Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Toronto; the Carol Mitchell Chair in Mature Women’s Health; Director of the Menopause and Premature Ovarian Insufficiency Clinic at Mt. Sinai Hospital, Toronto; and Director of the Fellowship Program, Mature Women’s Health and Menopause, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I’ve been reading
A non-fiction book about the World War II and the Jewish young men who escaped to the US from Nazi Germany and then returned to Europe to fight in the World War II. Their fluency in languages enabled them to act as translators at the front lines to interrogate prisoners. The book is entitled ‘Sons and Soldiers’ by Bruce Henderson. I usually prefer fiction but I found this book by my husband’s bedside when I ran out of my current stash of fiction. I am astounded by the bravery of these young men and found the details of the retaking of Europe, country by country very informative. I also found the non-violent extraction of information from the enemy by US troops very refreshing compared to the inhumanity exhibited currently.
I’ve been researching
I have been studying progesterone’s effect on GSM in symptomatic postmenopausal women as well as safety and compliance of reducing the progesterone doses when we reduce estrogen doses. We are also tabulating the first year’s results of our databases from our busy Menopause and POI clinics. We hope to generate many research questions from this wealth of information.
I am blessed with two young colleagues, fellows, and ob/gyn residents who also see menopausal patients. I also work closely with two endocrinologists in our POI clinics. Our team is supported by our three nurses in our Women’s Unit and my personal secretary. As a university tertiary referral centre, we also have access to multi-disciplinary medical experts for second opinions, expert radiology, oncologists, MIS surgeons and research consultants to provide superb care for our challenging patients.
As an ob/gyn, I often forget how open I am about gynecological issues. Years ago, we were given backpacks with logos for vaginal products at ob/gyn meetings. I was going to send my daughters to camp with these bags until their protests of embarrassment brought me to my senses!
An interesting and dramatic case
In the spring, I saw a 64-year-old referral patient who was having intractable flashes years after a relatively asymptomatic menopause. While I sat there, she became visibly red with a reticular rash on her face and chest. She told me she was having these multiple times an hour and also had lost weight. She had had frequent bowel movements for over a year that she attributed to visiting Mexico. I checked for rare syndromes such as carcinoid and pheochromocytoma, lymphoma, etc. Her CT showed metastatic disease to the liver with lesions in the small bowel consistent with metastatic carcinoid. Unfortunately, she did not wish to pursue active treatment and passed away within 4 months. I am sharing this case to alert and remind the readership that all flashes are not related to estrogen deficiency and, when unusual in presentation, should be further investigated.
I’m worried about
I’m worried about the fragility of women’s reproductive rights in the US. I am also worried about the increase in violence and terrorism in the world.
I’ve been thinking
I’ve been thinking that I would love to come back in 100 years to see all the scientific and menopausal advances that have occurred!
In my spare time
In my spare time I spend time with my grown children and delight in my four grandchildren. I visit the gym and my trainer twice weekly, always listen to classical music on our two Canadian classical radio channels and attend the opera.
A thorn in my side
The poor remuneration or recognition for comprehensive women’s care in Canada under the current system.
What challenges me
The changes of aging, focus and memory and how to accommodate these changes.