Visiting Professor Lecture Series: Mental Health & Transgender Youth – Norman Spack, MD
Mental health and pediatric endocrinologist/adolescent medicine MDs team to evaluate and treat transgender adolescents
- To differentiate gender identity from sexual orientation
- To understand the greatest risks to an untreated transgender adolescent who receives no support or is even rejected by his/her family
- To review recent results in 100 transgender Dutch young adults who underwent the full Dutch protocol of pubertal suppression, cross-sex steroids (testosterone or estrogen) age 15-16, surgery at 18, and evaluated psychosocially age 20-22. How do these results compare with Dr. Louis Gooren's 3500 patients, who all started hormonal treatment as adults? What do these comparative results say about the role of physical puberty in the psychological well-being of transgender youth?
About the Professor
Norman Spack, MD
- Co-founder, Gender Management (GeMS) Service at Boston Children’s Hospital
- Senior Associate Emeritus, Endocrine Division at Boston Children’s Hospital
Norman Spack, MD, is Senior Associate Emeritus in the Endocrine Division at Boston Children’s Hospital where he has been on staff for 45 years. A 1965 graduate of Williams, he received his MD from University of Rochester. He did fellowships in Adolescent Medicine and Endocrinology at Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Spack’s interest in patients with gender variance was kindled in 1974 as a volunteer on a medical van serving homeless youth. His first trans patient graduated college in 1980 having matriculated as a female but lived as a male with full knowledge of his male roommates. His experience treating adults convinced him that starting hormonal treatment in late puberty was too late for an optimal physical and psychosocial outcome. His first patients treated according to the Amsterdam protocol using pubertal suppression came from the UK.
Dr. Spack has received numerous awards for his teaching, writings, clinical care, and community service, and has become an internationally recognized expert and advocate for transgender individuals. He was Board Chair of the Hebrew College of Greater Boston and later received an Honorary Degree. In 2012, Williams bestowed a Bicentennial Medal on him for a “lifetime of achievement in his field of endeavor.”
His TedTalk , uploaded internationally in 2014 and used as a teaching instrument in colleges throughout the world has had over 2.0 million views.
In 2007 he co-founded the Gender Management Service” (“GeMS”) at Boston Children’s Hospital, an interdisciplinary clinic for Transgender adolescents. GeMS became the only program of its kind outside of Europe and soon became the model for 70 comparable clinics currently operating throughout North America, including three who became partners in a 4-site $6 million NIH collaborative longitudinal outcome study.
Having turned over administrative duties to former trainees when he reached emeritus status in 2016, his efforts are devoted to support of the GeMS program, to assisting the new programs and advocating for the rights of transgender people.
His wife, internist Dr. Judy Feldman, was the first woman Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at Boston’s Deaconess Hospital and had a 40-year career in primary care at Lahey Clinic.
The Child Mind Institute Visiting Professor Lecture Series invites leaders in the field of child and adolescent mental health to talk about the latest research and treatment protocols. These lectures are open to the public and are available live via webinar, but are not available for viewing after the event. Continuing medical education credits (CME) are offered for medical professionals through our partnership with Northwell Health.