PNA participates in 3rd Annual Weill Cornell Pituitary Symposium

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By Tammy Mazzella, PNA

On Friday, October 11, 2019 the Pituitary Network Association was invited to participate in Weill Cornell’s Pituitary Symposium and CME Course at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. The day was filled with presentations designed to educate neurosurgeons, endocrinologists, neurologists, internists and other health care providers about advances in the evaluation, management and treatment of people with pituitary disorders.

The symposium was very informative, with presentations covering multiple topics given by pituitary specialists from Weill Cornell Medicine and by visiting faculty, including Dr. Susan Samson from Baylor College of Medicine and Dr. Amir Hamrahian from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In addition, representatives of pituitary patient organizations spoke as well. Course co-director Dr. Georgiana Dobri kicked things off with a presentation called "An Introduction to the Pituitary Gland and Pituitary Tumors". That was followed by Dr. C. Douglas Phillips discussing imaging of pituitary tumors. Dr. Marc Dinkin gave a presentation entitled "Ophthalmologic Evaluation of Patients with Pituitary Pathology". Dr. Hamrahian discussed the diagnosis of functional pituitary tumors, while Dr. Samson discussed their treatment. Dr. Dobri concluded the morning session with a look at post-op management and follow-up of pituitary tumors.

The afternoon session included talks on Surgical Aspects in Functioning Pituitary Adenomas, by Dr. Rohan Ramakrishna, Reoperations for Pituitary Adenomas: Indications and Results, presented by Course Co-Director Dr. Theodore Schwartz, and Radiation Therapy for Pituitary Adenomas, by Dr. Jonathan Knisely. The day wrapped up with clinical cases presented by Dr. Knisely, Dr. Samson, and Dr. Hamrahian and moderated by Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Dobri.

The PNA had the honor of being listed along with an esteemed faculty of pituitary specialists. During the morning session, patient organizations were given time to present information about their organizations. Fran Taylor and I were given time to talk about the different ways in which the Pituitary Network Association supports people with pituitary disorders. We were also given the unique opportunity to tell the attendees about the challenges faced by patients that we felt need more attention. Fran brought up the psychosocial aspects of pituitary disorders and the challenges faced by not only the patient but their families as well. I discussed how patients often report that they are told that their hormones are within normal ranges but they do not feel like their symptoms are being controlled to their satisfaction. Both of these topics were acknowledged and discussed by the physician panel and will hopefully lead to future dialog on these topics and improved patient care.

What topics do you feel need more attention? In honor of Pituitary Awareness Month, we have asked people to share their stories, in addition to this, tell us where you feel improvement can be made in patient care. Send your information to us at [email protected] and help us spread awareness.

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