Top U.S. Medical Association Leading Effort to “Trans-culturalize” Treatment Guidelines Throughout Latin America: Adapting Standards of Care to Maximize Efficacy Within Region’s Varying Cultures

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – (March 4, 2015)—Responding to requests from its international members to adapt medical guidelines and best-practice treatment algorithms to be more applicable for use in their home countries, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) just concluded a first-of-its-kind conference where the foundation was laid to achieve culturally maximized quality of endocrine care for patients across and within all borders.

More than 200 endocrinology experts and specialists from 11 Central and South American countries, Mexico and the Caribbean Basin participated in the Pan-American Scientific Symposium: Clinical Endocrinology in Latin America held Feb. 26-28 in San Jose, Costa Rica. The Symposium was hosted in cooperation with the Asociacion Nacional Pro Estudio de la Diabetes, Endocrinologia y Metabolismo to “trans-culturalize” AACE’s medical guidelines and teachings for conditions ranging from diabetes and thyroid disease to obesity and bone disease. The term was coined by AACE to describe the process of adapting medical practices to work within a particular culture. The conference is the first event conducted for AACE’s newly created Center for Transcultural Endocrinology.

“An important part of our work and that of our Latin American colleagues is to acknowledge those variances from country to country that will need to be addressed to implement AACE guidelines, and that we are committed to supporting these and other doctors across the globe to ensure our guidelines are adapted to work optimally for improved patient care within different cultures,” said Jeffrey I. Mechanick, MD, FACP, FACE, FACN, ECNU, Immediate Past President of AACE and Chair of the AACE Pan-American Scientific Symposium Committee.

Dynamic presentations from the region’s top endocrine physicians were complimented by an in-depth, final-day conference workshop, in which select experts from participating countries convened as a group to begin the process of transculturalizing AACE’s guidelines and identifying emergent concepts in four disease categories. The resulting document will be summarized in AACE’s peer-reviewed journal, Endocrine Practice.

First and foremost, the group reached unanimous agreement that they do not support the idea of two levels of care. Rather, they recognize and function based on the premise that there should be only  one level of excellent care.

Among the group’s additional emergent concepts:

  • Type 2 diabetes: All patients being screened for diabetes should have an A1C hemoglobin measurement
  • Obesity: Nutritional education and  more pharmacologic options are necessary to optimize the obesity care model
  • Thyroid nodule management: Increased access to and use of quality neck ultrasound is necessary
  • Bone disease: We need more scientific data on bone loss in Latin America to assist in guiding governmental policy that would support the highest standard of treatment

“By agreeing on these emergent concepts, and with the efforts of physicians who have taken on the task of continuing the work we had begun with this conference, we have established a strong foundation to advance patient care in Latin America and beyond,” stated AACE President R. Mack Harrell, MD, FACP, FACE, ECNU.

“The type of activity that we had was invaluable, because of the opportunity to review guidelines in a very practical way and try to transculturalize the different ways of managing these types of diseases,” said Jose Jimenez, MD, a leading endocrinologist practicing in Costa Rica, “This is the beginning of a new era, in the evolution of the management of endocrine disorders in my region.”

“We can bring to the (Latin American) medical community new concepts and new guidelines to help manage their patients with optimal, quality of care,” added Costa Rican endocrinologist and AACE Costa Rican chapter co-founder Dr. Sonia Cerdas Pérez.


Dr. Jeffrey Mechanick and Dr. R. Mack Harrell are available for interview by phone.

About the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) 
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) represents more than 6,500 endocrinologists in the United States and abroad. AACE is the largest association of clinical endocrinologists in the world. The majority of AACE members is certified in Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism and concentrate on the treatment of patients with endocrine and metabolic disorders including diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, growth hormone deficiency, cholesterol disorders, hypertension and obesity. Visit our website at