Pediatrician vs. specialist for treating gender non-conforming children

Working with a pediatrician vs. a specialized for treating gender non-conforming children marks an important step in an adolescents plan. Learning to work with the right doctors and support system is important. Get helpful tips here from Dr. Johanna Olson.
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Pediatrician vs. specialist for treating gender non-conforming children

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When gender non-conforming children start to enter puberty, and medical intervention may be desired or may be necessary for that young person, a local pediatrician can absolutely deal with this issue and these medications. There's nothing particularly difficult about the medications, per se. But I will say, it doesn't take a specialist, but it takes a special provider, because that is a provider that really needs to know that family, understand what the child is going through, and really be willing to get the necessary information in order to move forward with the treatment. In the past, treatment's been very much delegated to very specific specialties. We've seen endocrinologists who deal with hormonal therapy for adult trans-gender people. As the time has gone on, and we've started using new approaches to care earlier in adolescence, and even in late childhood, pediatric endocrinologists have become involved, but a lot of this care, the bulk of it, has been family medicine doctors, pediatricians with adolescent medicine subspecialties, internal medicine doctors. A lot of people have come to this through HIV work. So, people from many different disciplines have provided this care, and I really think anyone can do it. It's not rocket science. It just takes a special interest in doing it, and an ability to understand that they may get pushback from their institutions. They may get pushback from the community, but they have to feel very strongly about it. They have to understand the necessity for this care for these young people and be willing to move forward with it.

Working with a pediatrician vs. a specialized for treating gender non-conforming children marks an important step in an adolescents plan. Learning to work with the right doctors and support system is important. Get helpful tips here from Dr. Johanna Olson.

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Johanna Olson, MD

Medical Director, Center for Transyouth Health and Development, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Johanna Olson, MD is a pediatrician in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Medical Director of the hospital’s Center for Transyouth Health and Development.  She specializes in the care of transgender youth, gender variant children, youth with HIV, and chronic pain. Board certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Dr. Olson is also an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. She has appeared on ABC's 20/20, The Dr. Phil Show, CNN, Dateline NBC and The Doctors to educate audiences about the needs of transgender youth.

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