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OB-GYN Board Allows Gynecologists to Treat More Men

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SOURCE BioTE Medical

Lawsuit filed by Dr. Gary Donovitz, public and physician complaints combine to convince board to reverse previous limits regarding treatment of male patients.

DALLAS, Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A lawsuit filed against the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) has resulted in the board's change to a previously announced definition that would have severely limited a board certified gynecologist's ability to treat male patients.  On January 15, 2014, Dr. Gary Donovitz, a Dallas-based ABOG-certified physician and founder of BioTE Medical, filed suit against ABOG over the definition change.  BioTE Medical is an Irving, TX based company that provides natural hormone replacement therapy methods to physicians for the treatment of men and women.   The lawsuit stated that ABOG's definition change would result in termination of thousands of physician-patient relationships.  Soon after the suit's filing, ABOG reportedly offered to reverse the controversial definition change.  The details of ABOG's latest definition change were released on January 30, 2014. 

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In September 2013, ABOG mandated that, with only certain limited exceptions, physicians seeking to maintain certification with ABOG were prohibited from the treatment of male patients.  The policy also said that ABOG-certified doctors had to devote at least 75 percent of their practice to obstetrics and gynecology.  In their January 30th statement, ABOG revised the 75 percent number to a 'majority'.  Dr.  Donovitz called the decision good news for patients and doctors.  He said, "We applaud ABOG for this positive decision.  The September definition change would have been bad for both patients and doctors.  The policy would have required thousands of patients to unnecessarily have to find new doctors and, as a result, lose the benefit of a doctor-patient relationship that had been built over years.  Doctors, who already have to deal with the negative side effects of managed care on their practice, would have been prevented from treating patients and earning a living."

Physicians from across the country have contacted Dr. Donovitz with messages of support since the lawsuit was announced in mid-January.  Dr. Steven Komadina, an OB-GYN based in Albuquerque, NM called Dr. Donovitz a champion of both patients and doctors.  Komadina added, "Dr. Donovitz is a true leader in the field of obstetrics and gynecology.  Because of his years of practice in obstetrics and gynecology combined with his experience in developing healthy methods of hormone replacement, Dr. Donovitz is uniquely qualified to truly understand how the role of the gynecologist has changed.  Doctors and patients across America are benefiting because of his courage and leadership."

Dr. DeAn Strobel, an ABOG-certified physician in Sherman, Texas said that the ABOG policy would have had a detrimental effect on her patients and practice.  She said, "In my practice alone, the definition change would have impacted around 20% of my patients.  Because of Dr. Donovitz, thousands of patients nationwide will be able to continue with a doctor that they've been with for years."    

According to Donovitz, gynecologists are in a position to understand specific health issues of both men and women.  Donovitz added, "Because of the importance of hormone replacement to their practice, gynecologists are among the most knowledgeable in our field.  They have experience that many other doctors just don't have."  

Dan DeNeui, COO for BioTE, applauded ABOG for the definition reversal.  He said, "Every day we see the outstanding quality of care that gynecologists offer to both men and women.  We felt that taking this stand was important to protect the rights of the patient as well as the practices of some very talented physicians.  This decision is very good for patients and doctors." 

Regarding ABOG's definition reversal, Donovitz credited what he called an immediate and significant response from doctors, patients and researchers.  He added, "The tireless efforts of our attorneys Charles Serafino and Mike Farris at Vincent, Lopez, Serafino, Jenevein were instrumental in bringing about this positive outcome.  In addition, the rapid and specific response from both patients and medical professionals played a key role."

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