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The Gender Clinic provides treatment with puberty blockers and/or gender-affirming hormones for transgender and gender-questioning youth. We accept referrals up to the patient's 17th birthday.
Who we are

In 1998, our clinic began seeing transgender and gender-diverse youth and young adults, and we now have one of the busiest clinics in North America. At BCCH, our team (Endocrinologists, Endocrine Nurses, and Social Workers)—working in partnership with BCCH and community mental health professionals (Psychiatrists and Psychologists), Trans Care BC and the BC Transgender Clinical Care Group—functions as a “clinic without walls” to deliver endocrine care (puberty blockers and cross-hormone therapy) to this population. As elsewhere across BC, our care is delivered according to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health's Standards of Care for the Health of Transgender and Gender Diverse People, Version 8.

Gender Clinic Award.jpg

Getting a referral

Referrals to our clinic

We have developed a Gender Clinic Roadmap to help you better understand the referral and appointment process. As well, we have a Frequently Asked Questions for new patients with more information about our clinic.

To get a referral to the Gender Clinic at BC Children’s Hospital, your referring physician (family physician, pediatrician, or psychiatrist) or nurse practitioner needs to use this referral form and attach any relevant reports (labs, history).

Readiness& assessment

Our clinic, as do most clinics caring for transgender and gender-questioning children/youth in Europe and North America, follows the Standards of Care (SOC) for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People, Version 8, established by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).

These guidelines recommend that a trans-competent mental-health professional assess transgender and gender-questioning children/youth prior to consideration of medical treatment (puberty blockers/affirming hormones) by the Pediatric Endocrinologist. This professional can be a Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Adolescent Medicine specialist, Pediatrician, Social Worker, Nurse Practitioner or other specialist with expertise in diagnosing and treating the psychodevelopmental issues of children and youth. The goals of this readiness assessment are to explore the youth’s gender and to assess their mental health and capacity to consent or assent to reversible and potentially irreversible treatment prior to the possible initiation of medical treatment. An exploration of family dynamics and the level of support—both that provided by the family to the youth, and that available to the family themselves—is also an important part of this assessment.

Your first visit

Your first visit

We have developed a Gender Clinic Roadmap to help you better understand the referral and appointment process.

Intake visit: The Intake appointment is not a medical appointment, but it’s the first step to connecting with our gender clinic. During this visit, you will meet the nurse and social worker, who will get some background information on your gender journey, social history, and supports, etc.

If you are seeking medical treatment (puberty blockers and/or hormones), a readiness assessment must be completed by a trans-competent mental health assessor prior to seeing a pediatric endocrinologist.

We can discuss options for mental health assessments during the intake appointment. If you would like to connect with an assessor prior to the intake appointment, we can help you find a trans-competent mental health assessor.

The intake visit takes approximately 1 hour, but plan on being at the hospital for 1½ hours.

First medical visit: Once our clinic has received a report from a transcompetent mental health assessor recommending medical treatment, you will be scheduled to see a pediatric endocrinologist.

The clinic endocrinologist who may be assisted by a endocrinologist-in-training who will talk to you about your health and perhaps do a “physical” (check-up).

Youth 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. Occasionally, further tests (blood tests) are done elsewhere in the hospital or possibly at an outside lab.

Your first medical visit will be a minimum of 2 hours. Plan on being at the hospital for at least 2½ hours. Younger siblings will find this tiring, and we highly suggest alternative babysitting arrangements to 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. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions for patients new to the Gender Clinic.

What to bring

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, make a list to bring with you
  • At your first clinic visit, you will be asked about your medical history. It may be useful for you to bring an adult who has this information.

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) so that your appointment time can be used by another patient.

If you have an infection

If you have 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.

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