PNA Spotlight: Dr. Kevin C.J. Yuen
This month the PNA Spotlight focuses on Dr. Kevin C.J. Yuen, a neuroendocrinologist and Medical Director of the Pituitary Program at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, specializing in the management of hypothalamic-pituitary disorders.
Dr. Yuen received his medical degree from University of Sheffield, UK. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at University of Southampton, UK, clinical and research fellowship in Endocrinology at University of Cambridge, UK, and two clinical and research
fellowships at Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR. Dr. Yuen is active in international collaborative studies, has published numerous peer-reviewed medical articles, and is a frequent guest speaker on various topics related to pituitary disorders, especially on adult growth hormone deficiency, acromegaly and Cushing’s disease. He is board certified in endocrinology and internal medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine, and is accredited by the General Medical Council in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Yuen’s expertise includes clinical and research interest in the management of pituitary and adrenal disorders, particularly adults with growth hormone deficiency, acromegaly, hypogonadism, Cushing’s disease and adrenal insufficiency. He also has a particular interest in neuroendocrine disorders in young adult cancer survivors and adults with traumatic brain injury. His research is devoted to new diagnostics and treatments of all forms of pituitary disorders. He was kind enough to answer some questions from the PNA, and his answers are presented below:
What inspired you to choose your career path?
I was initially drawn to neuroendocrinology because this is a very unique branch of medicine that is concerned with the interactions between the brain and the system of glands in the body that regulate and produce many of the body’s hormones. I generally have an inquisitive nature and a knack for problem solving, where one has to be a detective in trying to find out what is going on with each individual patient. I found this specialty very fascinating because it offers me a chance to be a listener and a detective in teasing out the important information that will help me in my objective of getting to the bottom of each individual patient’s problems.
What is the primary focus of your work/research?
Due to my interest in pituitary diseases, I focus my clinical practice on the diagnosis and treatment of hypothalamic, pituitary and adrenal disorders. In particular, I focus on diseases of the pituitary gland, specifically with an interest in growth hormone deficiency and excess, hypogonadism, and cortisol deficiency and excess. In research, I have conducted clinical studies devoted to the pathophysiology and new treatments of adult growth hormone deficiency, acromegaly and Cushing’s syndrome.
What do you consider to be the future of your field?
Training and pursuing a career in endocrinology presents ample opportunities for research and the satisfaction derived from providing tangible benefits for patients. With so many new therapies on the horizon and genomics starting to influence clinical practice, the future of this specialty is extremely bright as it is constantly progressing, providing clinicians and researchers many new challenges and areas to further specialize in.
What should patients know about your field/what deserves more recognition/awareness?
Patients should be aware that this specialty is a very unique specialty that manages often complex cases, working in a multidisciplinary team environment, and provides the opportunity to forge relationships with patients from all walks of life over their entire lifetime.
What would you like to convey about yourself to your patients?
My philosophy is to strive to ease the anxiety many of my patients by helping them to understand their condition better and how to manage it more effectively. Not only does that mean making my patients aware of traditional treatments, but investigational therapies as well. As I am actively involved in clinical research, patients are offered the opportunity to be involved in cutting edge clinical studies of new medicines. Having the opportunity to help improve the function and quality of life of my patients is why I find neuroendocrinology extremely rewarding.
Why did you get involved with the PNA and what is the extent of your involvement?
I got involved with the PNA to support, pursue, encourage, and promote research of pituitary disorders, and to disseminate information about my institution and the symposia that we frequently organize for the medical community, for the general public, and for pituitary patients and their families.
Get info on how to contact Dr. Yuen here.