SA doc heads up Menopause Society

Cape Town gynaecologist Tobie de Villiers is the new president of the International Menopause Society (IMS). Dr de Villiers’ election means that for the first time a South African takes over the leadership of one of the main international organisations working in women’s health. His accession to the presidency comes as the conclusion to the IMS’s highly successful World Congress on the Menopause in Rome (11 June). 

The IMS, is the main international organisation dealing with women going through the menopause. The work of the Society touches on all aspects of the health of women going through middle age. Their Rome congress attracted over 3500 delegates, from 91 countries. 

Dr de Villiers combines work at the Panorama Medi-Clinic in Cape Town, with academic responsibilities as a lecturer at Stellenbosch University. He specialises in osteoporosis and gynaecology, and has gained an international reputation as a scientific consultant for such organisations as the International Osteoporosis Federation. 

Commenting on his appointment, Dr de Villiers said: 

“It is quite genuinely a great honour for me to take over the Presidency of the IMS, especially at this time. The success of the Rome congress shows the continued high level of interest in finding ways to help women going through the menopause. The field has been through unprecedented and often controversial changes over the last ten years, and it is a great tribute to the members and constituent groups of the Society, and to my predecessor, David Sturdee, that the work of the IMS in the promotion of women’s health is held in such high esteem. 

It will be a difficult job to represent such a diverse group of international clinicians, especially in the run up to our next World Congress in Mexico in 2014, but I’m looking forward to the next three years immensely”.

Dr de Villiers comes from a medical background. His father, Prof Jannie de Villiers, was also a gynaecologist, becoming the first professor o f obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Stellenbosch, and later moving on to become principal of the University. His mother, Geraldine, is also a qualified medical practitioner. Tobie married Gretha in 1977, and they have 4 sons. 

Away from the clinic, he’s a qualified pilot, but his three-year term as IMS President, means that he will have to fit his passion for flying around a busy international schedule.

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