We recently created a program we call Pituitary Grand Rounds. It is loosely based on the practice medical schools routinely used to educate young doctors. If you’d like to read about the history of the classic Grand Rounds and how it evolved in medical education, this article “ Can we make Grand Rounds “Grand” again” from the NIH National Library of Medicine will give you a great historical perspective.
PWN’s Pituitary Grand Rounds is a bit different. It attempts to bring the best of the classic GR programs to modern times and use them to bring to light pituitary cases in a dynamic, accessible way so people can learn more about the intricacies of these conditions. No two are the same, and there is always something worth noting in each. In Episode One, Dr. Blevins presents a fascinating case with Mr. Bernie Jackson, a patient with a non-functioning pituitary adenoma that later evolved into hypopituitarism and Growth Hormone Deficiency. The case provided, among other important things, an opportunity to discuss this heterogeneous group of tumors, the critical need for long-term follow-up, and many other clinical subjects. Mr. Jackson, who at age 76 is completing a PH.D., was terrific to work with, offered insightful views, and shared invaluable takeaways as he dove into essential patient perspectives. In a recent note to PWN, Ernie shared his thoughts; here’s a brief excerpt:
“I agree with you that it is crucial for doctors to be well-informed about the signs and symptoms of pituitary disorders in the long term, as post-diagnosis/operative symptoms can often be subtle and easily overlooked. Yet, they are just as critical as the more obvious symptoms prior to initial diagnosis and treatment. I recall one test you, soon after my surgery, gave me was about five hours and required several blood draws. However, those tests seem to have initiated a definitive treatment plan that continues to benefit me. As a patient, I assert that early diagnosis and prompt treatment play a pivotal role in preventing serious complications associated with pituitary disorders, such as vision loss, bone loss, and loss of muscle mass.
Based on the content, quality, and overall presentation, I firmly believe that PGR has the potential to be a PBS presentation. It serves as an eye-opener not only for healthcare professionals but also for patients. It empowers patients to communicate their symptoms during medical examinations effectively and informs patients to raise symptomatic subtleties even if they seem minor. From my experience, it is vital for patients to be able to articulate their symptoms accurately to their doctors. However, as you stated, this can be challenging as many pituitary disorders manifest symptoms that are also common in other conditions. By understanding the effects of my disease, and for the patients who will view PGR, the presentation will help to increase our awareness of the disorder and assist us in communicating with our primary care physician or endocrinologist in making informed and accurate diagnoses and making decisions in terms of the necessary treatment or referrals.”
We are currently working on the next case for Pituitary Grand Rounds featuring a fascinating case of Cushing’s, which we hope to publish before the end of the year.
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