Caring for transgender, gender diverse and gender nonconforming patients in a pediatric setting is complicated, and it's made even more complex by the dynamic nature of gender itself.
As a primary care pediatrician, you may notice issues around gender expression at many different points during a child's life. When a child isn't expressing gender in a way that is deemed culturally appropriate for their sex at birth, parents will turn to their pediatrician for guidance. Even if you do not specialize in transgender medicine, primary care doctors can have a massive impact on a child's life and well-being.
Listen to a pediatric expert discuss medicine and care for young gender nonconforming patients
In this episode, Natalie Nokoff, MD, from Children's Hospital Colorado's TRUE Center for Gender Diversity, joins Charting Pediatrics to discuss healthcare for transgender and gender diverse patients.
Dr. Nokoff's expertise in endocrinology had led to a specialized clinical interest in caring for children who are born with a disorder or difference in sex development, who identify as transgender or gender fluid and patients with a wide variety of pediatric endocrinology conditions.
In this episode, our pediatric experts discuss:
- Common gender terminology physicians may encounter when talking with gender diverse patients
- Best practices for communicating with pediatric patients about their gender identity
- Proactive strategies pediatricians can use surrounding early gender issues in children
- The relationship between puberty and gender or body distress (gender dysphoria)
- When to refer young adults experiencing gender dysphoria
- Why it's important to ask all teens questions about gender identity
- Why providers need to understand the family dynamic before referring gender diverse patients to a specialist
- How to facilitate a safe environment at school and in the community before gender transition
- Hormone therapy and puberty blocking protocol and WPATH criteria for starting hormone therapy
- The most common methods and forms of hormone therapy and the side effects pediatric primary care providers should be aware of
- The unique mental health, social and emotional support needs of young transgender and gender-nonconforming patients
Resources for pediatric transgender healthcare
Dr. Nokoff references a number of resources on transgender medicine throughout today's podcast episode. If you would like to learn more about best practices for serving this unique pediatric population, the information below is a great place to start:
Transgender and gender nonconforming medicine at Children's Colorado
The TRUE Center for Gender Diversity at Children's Colorado is the only comprehensive care center in the Rocky Mountain region specifically set up for gender-diverse children, adolescents and young adults. It's not easy growing up with an expansive gender identity or expression, but we're here to support children and their families throughout their journey. Refer a patient to Children's Colorado.