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Endocrinology

We provide diagnosis, treatment and education for children and families affected by endocrine conditions.
About

​We see infants, children and adolescents with endocrine conditions, include variations and abnormalities of normal growth and puberty, as well as both over- and under-production of thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, and antidiuretic hormones.

The Endocrine Clinic at BCCH also began seeing transgender and gender-questioning youth in 1998 and now has one of the busiest clinics in North America.

If you need to cancel

If you need to cancel your appointment, please contact us as soon as possible (at least 48 hours ahead of time, if you can) so that your appointment time can be used by another patient.

If your child has an infection

If your child has been in contact with any infectious diseases (such as chicken pox or measles) during the three weeks before your appointment, please let us know immediately. We might need to reschedule your appointment.

If you need an interpreter

If an interpreter would be helpful for you, please phone us as soon as possible and we will arrange for this.

Other contact information

  • General clinical inquiries: 604-875-2117
  • Toll-free: 1-888-300-3088, ext 2117
  • Fax: 604-875-3231
  • Administrative secretary: 604-875-2624
  • Endocrinology Clinic: 604-875-2117
  • Endocrinology referrals: 604-875-3611, or by fax
  • 24-hour emergency pager: 604-875-2161, ask for on-call physician
  • Website inquiries: dmetzger@cw.bc.ca
  • Endocrine Laboratory: 604-875-2345, x7520
  • Medical Investigation Facility (testing room): 604-875-2345, x7591
  • Medical Day Unit / Diabetes Day Program: 604-875-3680
Prepare

Children are referred to this clinic for an assessment (check-up) focused on growth and hormone function. The clinic has a multidisciplinary approach to taking care of children and families, and you may meet the endocrinologist and several members of the endocrine team:

  • clerical staff to book appointments, lab tests and x-ray studies
  • an endocrine nurse clinician to help you understand your child’s condition and treatment
  • a social worker/counsellor who can assist you in coping with the stresses of your child’s condition, as well as searching for helpful resources

Because BCCH is a teaching hospital, you may also meet doctors-in-training (pediatric residents, endocrinology fellows and medical students).

What happens at your first visit

You and your child will talk to the nurse and have measurements done, and then be seen by the clinic endocrinologist. The staff endocrinologist may be assisted by a doctor-in-training who will talk to you about your child’s health and then do a complete “physical” (check-up), which may include a visual check of the genitalia. You will be with your young child for the entire visit.

Young adults and parents are welcome to see the clinic staff separately, if desired.

Based on your visit and your referring doctor’s information, the endocrinologist will discuss the next step of the process with you. Further tests (blood tests, x-rays, etc) if necessary, are done elsewhere in the hospital and possibly on another day.

Your first visit will be a minimum of 1½ hours. At the end of the assessment, your doctor will discuss with you the need for further tests (if necessary) to be done elsewhere in the hospital, possibly on another day. Plan on being at the hospital for at least 2 hours. Younger siblings may find this tiring, and although they are welcome, alternative babysitting arrangements may make your visit more comfortable.

If you have questions

Please let us know your questions and any way we can make this visit more comfortable for you.

What to bring

It is important to your child to make this visit as informative as possible, so the adult(s) who come with her/him should have the best knowledge of the history. If possible, bring previous height and weight measurements. Please bring the following to each clinic visit:

  • your BC CareCard/Service Card
  • your blue BC Children’s Hospital card (if you have one)
  • If you have a number of questions, most parents find it handy to make a list to bring with them

If your child is afraid of needles

Your child may require bloodwork at their first visit. EMLA® are Ametop™ are effective topical anesthetics when applied 1–2 hours prior to the “needle poke”. Ask the nurse about this when you arrive.

Seeing a social worker

Many of our patients or parents would like to see the Social Worker/Counsellor on the first visit. If this is the case, please call her at 604-875-2345, x7091, so that she can book an appointment during the time you will be here.

Follow-up

Test results

It may take three weeks or longer for some test results to be available. You will be informed of any abnormal test results, as well as discussing possible treatments. A detailed report of your child’s assessment will be sent to your referring doctor, and to other health professionals at your request. Freedom of Information requests are managed by BCCH Records Management & Patient Registration.

Follow-up visits

We follow most patients every 3–12 months in the clinic, depending on your child's age and diagnosis, how far away you live, and your doctor's wishes. We will arrange a follow-up visit with you before you leave.

Follow-up visits are shorter, about 1–2 hours to see everyone and go to the lab if necessary.

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