Hemingway receives Pediatric-Adolescent Gynecology designationJan. 3, 2019, 10:55 AM
by Kelsey Herbers
Celeste Hemingway, MD, recently received the Focused Practice Designation in Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The board designation is fairly new, and Hemingway is the first Vanderbilt physician to achieve the recognition.
To qualify to sit for the required exam, applicants must demonstrate to the board that they’re already seeing a high volume of patients less than 21 years of age, report the number of surgical procedures they’ve performed on that patient population and have an active board certification in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB-GYN).
Prior to the creation of this designation, adolescent and pediatric gynecology has been considered an area of concentration within OB-GYN. According to Hemingway, assistant professor of OB-GYN, fellowships for the subspecialty are limited and are not yet accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, and many providers practicing in the child and adolescent space are doing so out of pure interest and experience working with the population.
“I think this is going to be an area of interest for a lot of OB-GYNs simply because it’s a really wonderful patient population to work with, and it tends to be an area where we can make a huge impact in terms of positively influencing the future of our patients’ reproductive health,” said Hemingway. “This includes establishing from the very beginning that we are their allies and that we want to see them take charge of some of their own reproductive issues as they grow.”
Vanderbilt’s section of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, which is led by Hemingway and Amy Weeks, MD, consists of five practicing physicians. The group provides treatment for conditions such as vulvar disease, labial adhesions, lichen sclerosus and some conditions involving late or rapid pubertal development in children while offering treatment for heavy, painful and disordered menstrual cycles, multifactorial polycystic ovary syndrome and infections for adolescent patients.
Other services for adolescents include the placement of long-acting reversible contraceptives, such as intrauterine devices and implants, addressing gender concerns, informing patients of safe sex practices and general preventive care measures, and providing surgical procedures when necessary.
“I think having this designation gives this scope of practice additional weight. This is an area that the board and our specialty in general think is important, and they want to see providers in our ranks who are practicing this subspecialty in an evidence-based manner and demonstrating that they’re well prepared to take care of this population,” said Hemingway.
“It’s also important that we as child and adolescent gynecology providers make ourselves known to the larger community as a resource for pediatricians and outside OB-GYN providers who may not feel like they have this set of expertise but want to provide their patients with care from our physicians who have an interest, experience and a passion for caring for this population.”