Thesis Defense: Passed!

Today, I gave my hour-long thesis defense presentation to my committee and additional faculty and students and thankfully… I passed!  Now, all that stands between me and graduation are a few exams in genetics and finalizing my thesis document!

Here was the final presentation that summarizes my research!


WVU Davis College 18th Annual Research Day!

Today was WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design Annual Graduate Research Day.  At this event my abstract was accepted and I presented a poster presentation of my research. Tomorrow is my final defense presentation where I will share and defend my results to the public as well as my committee members!



Background: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common reproductive endocrine disorder in females. Genetic and lifestyle factors influence the etiology and insulin resistance plays a key role in the pathogenesis of PCOS.

Objective: To investigate the current trends and future implications of multidisciplinary PCOS clinics while emphasizing the role and challenges for dietitians.

Design: The study design was a two-phase formative investigation of PCOS focused practitioners through an anonymous, internet-based survey (Qualtrics, Provo, UT) followed by focus groups done via teleconference. Focus group data was analyzed using Braun and Clark’s method of thematic analysis.

Participants: Survey respondents included 261 health care providers, 59% physicians, 20% dietitians, from around the world (64% from the United States); the majority (59%) represented multidisciplinary facilities. Focus group participants included four dietitians, three physicians, a health psychologist and a licensed nutritionist that had 7-25 years of experience treating PCOS.

Results: From the survey, the barriers for future multidisciplinary clinics included: money/resources, insurance reimbursement, and difference of opinions; the potential advantages included: more comprehensive and integrated care, greater convenience/efficiency, better long-term outcomes, and increased access to disciplines. Dietitians were involved in 71% of the clinics represented in the survey and 89% of respondents stated that dietitians need to be ‘involved’ or ‘highly involved’ in PCOS treatment. Focus group participants stated the greatest challenges for dietitians include insurance, lack of PCOS knowledge, and lack of physician referrals. Overall, nutritional interventions are not very accessible for the majority of PCOS patients.

Conclusions and Implications: PCOS is a complex condition that requires the expertise of multiple provider types to treat the syndrome in its entirety. Most providers agreed that multidisciplinary clinics would ultimately lead to a better prognosis for PCOS patients. A greater emphasis needs to be placed on educating the medical community, including dietitians and physicians, on the importance of specialized nutrition counseling and lobbying for insurance reimbursement. Having access to dietitians educated on PCOS is likely the best way to ensure that PCOS patients have access to lifestyle interventions, which is considered to be the first-line treatment for PCOS.


Here is a copy of the poster I presented!

Davis College_Wendy Thompson PCOS

Click here to download PDF version!

22nd Annual Antonio Palladino Memorial Lecture & Resident Research Symposium


Today I had the opportunity to present a 15-minute oral presentation at the 22nd Annual Antonio Palladino Memorial Lecture & Resident Research Symposium that was put on by West Virginia University’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  The other presenters at this event were all physicians who were in the process of completing their residencies.  This event was held in the Health Science Center in the Fukishima Auditorium and approximately 50 physicians, residents, and other health care providers attended this event .

Below is the brief brochure for the event or you can to download the PDF – 2014 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Brochure but the full program for this event that includes the abstracts is available to view at the end of this post.

 OBGYN Palladino Series - Page 1Palladino Research Day

Here is the presentation that I presented! Please excuse some of the formatting errors – they were not in the actual presentation but just happened with the conversion in SlideShare.

To view the full program with abstracts for this event, click here: 2014 Palladino Program

Graduate Seminar: The Effectiveness of Inositol Supplementation on PCOS

As part of my masters plan of study I was required to present a 45-minute presentation for a graduate-level nutrition seminar course (ANNU 696).  The audience consisted of master’s students and professors from the Animal & Nutritional Sciences Department. Below, is the presentation that I created and delivered!




Dietetic Internship: Complete!

As of today I am officially done with my 1,200+ hours of dietetic internship rotations!  Once I finish up my coursework, present and defend my thesis I will be finished with my Masters of Science in Human Nutrition and be eligible to take the RD exam to become a registered dietitian!

At the end of May I will be beginning my next journey of beginning PA school at the University of Colorado at Denver to ultimately become a Physician Assistant!



WIC Internship Rotation

These past two weeks I spent the majority of my time in the Monongalia and Marion County WIC offices.  With this rotation I was able to learn all about what WIC has to offer!  WIC represents the Women, Infants and Children Program, which is a federally funded nutrition education and supplemental food program.  This is an excellent opportunity for families that qualify to receive nutrition education, breastfeeding support/education, and assistance with food and other resources.  They are even working with the WIC-ICE program to offer free immunizations for children 0-5 years old!

While at WIC I realized that the number of women choosing to feed their baby using formula outnumbered the number of women breastfeeding tremendously! Out of curiosity I ended up looking up the breastfeeding rates for the states of West Virginia and Colorado as well as the national rates.

Data from CDC’s Breastfeeding Report Card, 2013

Breastfeeding Rates

View entire report here!


Curious to know which state had the highest and lowest rates of exclusive breastfeeding at 3 and 6 months? I was!  I found that the highest rate of exclusively breastfeeding at 3 months came from Idaho with 60.3% and the lowest came from Mississippi with only 17%.  When looking at the those exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months, the highest came from California with 27.4% and the lowest was Tennessee with only 4.1%.  As you can see there are very large discrepancies when comparing each state!

Why is it important to breastfeed vs. formula feedings?

Here are a few of the many wonderful benefits:

  • Reduce the risk of diseases in the infant such as:
    • Necrotizing enterocolitis
    • Lower respiratory infections
    • Asthma
    • Obesity
    • Type 2 Diabetes
    • SIDS
  • Protects the baby from illnesses so they get sick less often
  • Provides benefits to the mother and helps the body return back to ‘normal’ by:
    • Burning extra calories to promoting weight loss
    • Causing the uterus to contract to prevent bleeding
  • It is safe! No need to worry about:
    • Mixing the formula
    • Safety of the water
    • Selecting the right formula
    • Formula safety recalls
  • The cost savings!

One interesting thing I learned at WIC was the cost of formula! Did you know that the average cost of formula for the first year was $1,500 dollars just for basic formula!  This number would sky rocket if an infant required a special formula (very common since formula is harder to digest than breast milk)!  This number also does not include the cost of bottle and supplies!

So, why do so many women chose not to breast feed when it is the best nutrition and supplies of a wealth of benefits for the baby and the mother that will last a lifetime – and not to mention the cost savings?


Van Liere Research Day

This Friday, February 28th I will be presenting my research at the poster exhibit for the 2014 Annual E.J. Van Liere and Health Science Center Research Day.

I have attached my poster as a PDF below!

Click Here to Download PDF


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  2. March WA, Moore VM, Willson KJ, Phillips DI, Norman RJ, Davies MJ. The prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome in a community sample assessed under contrasting diagnostic criteria. Hum Reprod. 2010;25(2):544-551. doi: 10.1093/humrep/dep399.
  3. Teede HJ, Misso ML, Deeks AA, et al. Assessment and management of polycystic ovary syndrome: Summary of an evidence-based guideline. Med J Aust. 2011;195(6):S65-112.
  4. Geier LM, Bekx MT, Connor EL. Factors contributing to initial weight loss among adolescents with polycystic ovary syndrome. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2012. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2012.06.008; 10.1016/j.jpag.2012.06.008.
  5. Lamb J, Closshey W, Huddleston H, Davis G, Zane L, Cedars M. A multidisciplinary polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) clinic: A new model for care and research. Fertil Steril. 2007;88:S186-S186.
  6. Humphreys L, Costarelli V. Implementation of dietary and general lifestyle advice among women with polycystic ovarian syndrome. The journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health JID – 101499616. 2008.
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