Dr. Stanciu’s Story
Dr. Irinel Stanciu MD, FACE, CCD, ECNU is a board-certified endocrinologist who specializes in osteoporosis, thyroid and parathyroid disorders, and metabolic bone disorders. Dr. Stanciu will also address other endocrine disorders like: adrenal, pituitary and lipid disorders, as well as prediabetes, diabetes and obesity. Dr. Stanciu has training in general surgery, internal medicine, and endocrinology. She has worked as both an internal medicine and endocrinology specialist in underserved areas, private clinics, as well as hospital environments, which has given her a broad spectrum of experience in different medical settings and with diverse populations.
Dr. Stanciu was born in Bucharest, Romania, to a father who was a veterinarian and a mother who was a nurse. Due to this early exposure to medicine and its ability to change people’s lives, Dr. Stanciu developed a passion for medicine and and the dream of being a doctor was born. Despite the extremely challenging road to becoming a physician in Romania, and despite her parents’ advice, she pursued medical school. After passing the university’s extremely competitive entrance exams, Dr. Stanciu attended medical school at “Carol Davila” University in Bucharest, Romania and graduated in 1991 – during the tumultuous times of the Romanian revolution. She continued her training with an internship in general surgery at Emergency Clinical Hospital Floreasca followed by a general medicine residency at Fundeni Clinical Hospital, both in Bucharest, Romania. She completed all her training in 1997 and received the title of Specialist in General Medicine.
Dr. Stanciu moved to the United States in 1997 to complete an internal medicine residency at Cook County Hospital (now John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County) in Chicago; this was a childhood dream for her, to practice “real medicine in the USA – the Land of the Free.” Following her residency, she chose to complete an endocrine fellowship at Loyola University in Maywood, Illinois, where she “fell in love” with the metabolic bone disease specialty under the guidance of Dr. Pauline Camacho MD, a well-known expert in this field. She received her board certification in endocrinology and metabolism in 2008, after she had to satisfy the requirement to practice general internal medicine in the US in an underserved area for six years, in Mountain Home, Idaho.
Dr. Stanciu enjoyed the mountains of Idaho and decided to stay in the area after being board certified in Endocrinology. She joined the private practice of Dr. Richard Christensen MD in Boise, ID, where she practiced general endocrinology. She met Dr. Joseph Shaker MD who was part of the same clinic and “inherited” all patients with osteoporosis and metabolic bone disorders from Dr. Shaker, who is also a well-known metabolic bone expert. In 2010, Dr. Christensen’s clinic along with Dr Stanciu, joined St. Luke’s Clinic – Idaho Endocrinology, where she dedicated the majority of her clinical time to thyroid, parathyroid, osteoporosis, and other metabolic bone disorders. She spearheaded the St. Luke’s Osteoporosis and Fracture Liaison Service, to help promote the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and post fracture care.
In 2019, Dr. Stanciu joined Panorama Orthopedics and Spine Center in Golden, Colorado at the encouragement of Dr. Paul D. Miller MD – one of the “giants” in the field of metabolic bone disease. At Panorama, Dr. Stanciu furthered her knowledge and understanding of different rare metabolic bone disorders by participating in clinical research, in addition to seeing patients with all types of metabolic bone disorders.
However, in the last several years, the practice of medicine has become a huge enterprise, where third-party payers (insurance companies and governmental payers) decide what evaluation and treatment the patient can have and employers tell the physicians to see a certain number of patients per day. Additionally, the process of billing is burdensome and prior authorizations for medications and tests are time consuming and take away from valuable time spent with patients practicing actual medicine and medical care.
Therefore, Dr. Stanciu has decided to become an independent provider, able to practice endocrinology and metabolic bone health based on what patients actually need in order to improve and maintain their bone health.
Dr. Stanciu believes that medical research must be communicated to patients in simple language, thoroughly answering patients’ questions and concerns, in order to choose the best evaluation and treatment plan – all of which is often time consuming. This direct collaboration with the patient is crucial, and not at all based on the insurance company’s guidelines. The goal is evaluation and treatment that would provide the greatest benefits to patients, with the lowest risks, therefore reducing hospitalization due to fragility (osteoporotic) fractures. That is why Dr. Stanciu decided to provide DIRECT CARE in the field of endocrinology, osteoporosis and metabolic disorders, based on patients’ unique medical conditions and in direct collaboration with them. Dr. Stanciu’s practice is to fully educate her patients about the disease process and provide them with appropriate options for evaluation and treatment of their illness, with the goal of achieving the best possible state of health.
Dr. Stanciu believes that every patient is different and may need different amounts of time to understand the complexity of their illness in order to be able to participate in the treatment decision in a well-informed manner. Patients cannot be rushed, as the current business of medicine requires. Endocrinology, in general, is a very complex specialty and every patient must be evaluated and treated individually and uniquely. Rushing the process brings errors in understanding and treating the disease. At the same time, both the patient’s and Dr. Stanciu’s time are precious and must be respected through timely appointments. Dr. Stanciu looks at her practice as patient-oriented and wants to be cost meaningful in both her treatments and diagnostic evaluation. Her goal is to make every patient comfortable with the decision, knowledgeable about the disease process, and encourage them to be an active participant in their healing process.
Dr. Stanciu is excited to be the doctor she envisioned as a little girl in Romania, independent to treat and to help others be healthy in a respectful and free environment, by partnering with patients, their primary care providers, and other specialists to promote a healthy and active lifestyle.
‘When she is not working, Dr. Stanciu enjoys the beautiful weather and mountains of Colorado, where she can be found hiking and camping in the summer and skiing in the winter. She has two daughters, one granddaughter and three grandsons. Dr Stanciu is a 5280 Magazine Top Doctor for 2020 and 2021.