Julia Schlam Edelman, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. NCMP
Board-Certified Gynecologist and Certified Menopause Clinician
Dr. Julia Edelman is a Board-Certified Gynecologist and Certified Menopause Clinician who specializes in caring for women ages 18 to 80+. Dr. Edelman is also an accomplished public speaker, educator, and author of two books on women’s health. She is one of the few remaining solo practitioners in Massachusetts. Working with a secretary/office manager and a medical assistant, she sees each patient herself. Dr. Edelman and her staff know their patients by name, and pride themselves on delivering personalized care.
- Yale University, New Haven, CT: BS
- Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, NYC, NY: MD
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA: Internship and Residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Instructor, Harvard Medical School
- Clinical Consultant Massachusetts General Hospital
- Fellow, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (FACOG)
- Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology: 1986 to present, recertified annually
- Certified Menopause Practitioner, NCMP, North American Menopause Society 2001-present, recertified
- Menopause Practitioner of the Year 2010, North American Menopause Society (NAMS)
- Solo Private Practice, Middleboro, MA 1987- present
- Author of two books for patients and their clinicians:
- Menopause Matters: Your Guide to a Long and Healthy Life, Johns Hopkins University Press
- Successful Sleep Strategies for Women, Harvard Health Publications
- Co-author of a monograph for medical clinicians:
- Hormone Therapy and Alternative Therapies for Menopause, ACOG, Clinical Updates in Women’s Health Care, Jan Shifren MD, Julia Schlam Edelman, MD, Isaac Schiff, MD. October, 2015.
- Certified: Thermiva, ThermiSmooth250
A Yale graduate, Dr. Edelman earned her medical degree at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Edelman served as an attending physician at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge prior to starting a private gynecology practice in Southeastern Massachusetts in 1987. Dr. Edelman is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She shares her in-depth experience and insight with the latest generation of physicians as a Clinical Instructor at Harvard Medical School.
Despite her world-class resume, Dr. Edelman is proudest of her ability to relate to patients. In the office, she draws pictures and uses anatomical models while striving to provide each patient with clear, accurate, and easily understandable information.
Dr. Edelman’s first experience in medical writing came in college. “I edited and wrote the Yale Health Plan newsletter,” she recalls. “Yale distributed it to more than 12,000 readers including all of the undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty. It was fun to see my classmates reading it in the dining halls. This strengthened my interest in medicine which had begun when I grew up watching my mother, Dr. Florence Schlam, care for patients in the pediatrics practice she operated in our house.”
Later, as her own practice grew, Dr. Edelman returned to medical writing. “After their visits, patients would ask me where they could read more about the issues we discussed. Seeing so much misleading and conflicting information distributed on popular websites and in best-selling books, I decided to write my own comprehensive guide to women’s health covering the most up-to-date, evidence-based, medical information.”
This led to the release of Menopause Matters: Your Guide to a Long and Healthy Life. Published in January 2010, by Johns Hopkins University Press, Dr. Edelman’s first book focused on perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. Menopause Matters explains the mental and physical changes affecting many women beginning after age 35 including hot flashes, vaginal dryness, memory loss, mood changes, depression, hormonal changes, weight gain, changes in patterns of urination and urine loss, as well as sleep disruptions, and the hidden risks of heart disease and thin bones. Dr. Edelman discusses ways to manage these concerns including lifestyle changes as well as alternative remedies, hormones, and non-hormonal approaches. Some chapters address topics not typically covered in other menopause books such as cancer prevention strategies.
One of Dr. Edelman’s goals is to give patients a better understanding of how physicians think and how they evaluate medical choices. She also wanted the book to be comprehensive without being boring. “I wanted women to enjoy reading Menopause Matters, and to find their own stories in it, yet I also wanted it to be useful as a reference.”
Dr. Edelman resolved this dilemma by including sixty vignettes in which women tell the story of their particular medical concern and how they ultimately addressed it. “I made the patient central in these vignettes. Each vignette begins with the patient’s concerns. The focus is on each woman’s experience and the steps she takes on the path to health.”
Menopause Matters received international recognition in 2010 when the North American Menopause Society named Dr. Edelman “Menopause Practitioner of the Year,” acknowledging her contributions to educating women and their clinicians.
Dr. Edelman’s second book grew directly from the publication of Menopause Matters. “Apart from the chapter on sex, the chapter on sleep in Menopause Matters attracted the most attention.” Interest was so strong that Harvard Health Publications asked Dr. Edelman to expand the chapter into a book; this led to Dr. Edelman’s, Successful Sleep Strategies for Women, which Harvard Health published in September 2012.
Even young women may not sleep well due to lifestyle choices and the challenges associated with meeting the demands of work, family, and school. And in midlife, sixty percent of women don’t sleep well. Successful Sleep Strategies covers topics including insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea. Dr. Edelman helps women understand the proper role of over-the-counter drugs, natural remedies, and lifestyle modifications in improving their ability to get the sleep they need.
Traditionally, physicians don’t focus on sleep during a regular annual visit. And the possibility that women may have sleep apnea is seldom considered. Doctors think of sleep apnea as a condition occurring in overweight men. “When I did the research, I became aware that women, even slender women, can have sleep apnea because they have narrower airways.” During midlife, changes in the body can compromise these narrow airways. Lifestyle is another important factor. “I see many women with sleep issues who are unaware of the impact lifestyle choices have on their sleep quality. They don’t get deep sleep and don’t wake up refreshed.”
After many years in private practice, Dr. Edelman continues to value her independence. “One of the professional and personal rewards of operating a solo private practice is that I can research new treatments, medications, and surgical techniques that may benefit my patients, acquire the needed expertise, and offer these options to my patients with less red tape than I would encounter if I worked in a large group practice or an academic medical center.” Yet, Dr. Edelman is well regarded by her colleagues at the top medical centers. She has given grand-round presentations to the Ob-Gyn staff at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Lahey Clinic, and other leading hospitals in the greater Boston area. She has also taught advanced residents and fellows at Brown University’s Women and Infants Hospital how to manage menopause for women who survive cancer.
Recently, Dr. Edelman collaborated with Dr. Issac Schiff, Chairman of the Department of OB/GYN, and Dr. Jan Shifren, head of the Menopause Program, at Massachusetts General Hospital to author a comprehensive guide to menopause treatment published by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) as their definitive resource for physicians and other women’s health care clinicians.
Dr. Edelman’s dedication to finding new paths for women to achieve good health extends to the physical environment of her private practice, located in Middleboro, Massachusetts (within an hour of Boston, Providence, Newport, and Cape Cod.) Her comfortable, quiet, and well-equipped office features the latest equipment for minimally invasive diagnostic, surgical, and non-surgical procedures.