MENOPAUSE is a fact of life for women. For every single woman. Over 2M women enter menopause every year.
But millions of us – including women with PhDs – are caught completely off guard when the myriad – often troublesome – symptoms of menopause hit us.
Medical schools – even elite institutions – give little attention in their curriculum to the menopausal transition in our lives, not to mention to our emotional well being in general. Many gynecologists give short shrift to older patients’ distress about everything from trouble sleeping to weight gain, hot flashes to night sweats, declining libido to painful sex.
And, we’re not talking about octogenarians when we say “older.” The majority of women begin noticing changes in their bodies during their 40s, but it’s entirely possible for a woman to enter perimenopause in her 30s.
Fewer than 100 doctors nationwide can truly be called menopause mavens (MM)
Further complicating matters is the hesitation of many women to even bring up our experiences with our doctors. We’re embarrassed. We assume our difficulties will “pass.” Or, we figure we must grin and bear this “normal” – if not troubling – course of events.
So, instead of enjoying this exciting and wildly productive period of our lives, we’re bedevilled by the miseries of menopause.
Big mistake, ladies!
Whether you suspect you’re experiencing a symptom related to this momentous transition in your life, or in the heat of it (literally and figuratively), the best thing you can do for yourself is to see a MM. There’s so much to know about this normal transition in our lives that unless you see one of these specialists, you’ll likely be misinterpreted and misdirected.
But, up until now, finding a true MM was no easy exercise. Google “Leading Menopause Doctors” and you come up with a mishmash of listings covering doctors in different states. Many of them aren’t menopause specialists at all! Their websites include the popular SEO term “menopause,” so Google’s algorithms spit their names out at us.
Even the directory on the website of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) is riddled with names of members who “have asked to be included on the list,” but are about as qualified to treat menopausal women as a dentist. I don’t want to disparage NAMS, but, like many professional associations, it is severely limited in its ability to market to and help real women.
That’s why I decided to research and compile a directory of the 100 top menopause specialists in the country. As editor of a website for women 45+, I knew about 25 doctors off the top of my head. But after that I had to comb through hundreds of bios, websites and multiple Google listings to determine who else qualifies for the list. It took over 100 hours to pull it together.
Although some of these doctors work with bioidentical hormones, I assiduously tried to avoid putting someone on the list whose only specialty was HRT (hormone replacement therapy.) Many women simply don’t wish to treat their symptoms with hormones – bioidentical or otherwise.
You may live in a city that isn’t terribly convenient to the doctors on the list, but I encourage you to meet with the closest one. Many doctors are offering telehealth sessions, or you can chat with a doctor on the phone.
I trust there are doctors who probably should be added to the list (and maybe some who should be removed). I was hard pressed to come up with even one doctor in a couple of states, but I wanted every state to be represented. I encourage you to email your recommendations to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I can, however, attest to the fact that this is the best list you’ll find.
Bringing over 30 years experience to caring for his patients’ overall wellness, Dr. Sparks long-time interests include the menopause transition, osteoporosis, gynecologic surgery, and screening and risk-reducing strategies for women’s cancer.
University of Alabama School of Medicine
Recognizing that every woman has different care and communication needs at each stage of life, Dr. Vance believes strongly in individualizing patients’ care. She has a special interest in perimenopause and menopause, which are often overlooked but can greatly impact a woman’s life.
University of California, Davis, Medical School
Ericka is passionate about empowering women to put themselves first and wants to help them look at the small thing to enhance their own health and well being. She gives patients the tools to help themselves and actively listens to their concerns, working together with them to improve their lives.
University of Alaska Masters of Science in Nursing
Dr. Paru has studied menopause symptoms in women over 60 years old, and believes that increased awareness of the issues these women face can help healthcare providers improve the quality of their life.
University of Missouri Medical School
As a leading OB/GYN in Phoenix, Dr.. Greenspan helps women manage their menopause symptoms by providing an array of care and treatment options that reduce symptoms as well as the risks of serious diseases.
Drexel University Medical School
Dr. Norman’s expertise includes menopause management, bioidentical hormone therapy, laparoscopic hysterectomies and medical aesthetics.
University of Minnesota Medical School