Slate: Improving Service to Pediatric Trans Patients

From Slate, Sept. 29, 2017: 

“I do think pediatricians should be discussing and screening for gender identity concerns in all children, not just in children with clearly expressed gender nonconformity,” Dr. Elyse Pine, a pediatric endocrinologist, told me. Pine is the trans youth lead physician at Chase Brexton Health Care in Baltimore, and director of their Gender Journeys of Youth program, which delivers care to over 800 trans or gender-nonconforming patients age 6 to 26.

“Asking everyone normalizes the topic and reduces stigma,” Pine said. “I have spoken with pediatricians and other health care providers about having intake forms that ask everyone their preferred name (which is not only a gender thing—my husband uses his middle name and many people have nicknames), and asks everyone their pronouns. It is a small extra step and can reduce so much suffering.”

When it comes to direct screening by a medical provider, Pine advises a different approach at different ages.

“I think that it makes sense to ask parents if they have questions or concerns about their child's gender development starting at age 3,” she said. “That will signal that the pediatrician's office is a safe place to discuss these concerns.”

Read the full story here.