Michelle Van Name, MD, is a pediatric endocrinologist who specializes in treating children with obesity, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Dr. Van Name was drawn to pediatric medicine because she enjoys teaching children how they can improve their health.
“A lot of teaching goes into working with my patients. We talk about causes and effects and come up with ways to get healthier,” she says, adding that for patients with obesity or type 2 diabetes, she explains the importance of genetics in developing these conditions. “For all my patients, I try to identify treatment strategies that will fit into their lives and partner with them and their families to make these a reality that will carry into adulthood.”
Dr. Van Name also treats adolescents who are interested in sleeve gastrectomy, a type of bariatric surgery for weight loss. “When behavioral and lifestyle modifications aren’t enough to treat obesity and obesity-related medical problems, we consider bariatric surgery. Along with the patient and family, our multidisciplinary team weighs the potential benefits of surgery and improved health in adulthood with the risks,” she says.
As an assistant professor of pediatrics (endocrinology) at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Van Name’s is an active researcher, including work to see if medications approved for adults to treat type 2 diabetes can be used in adolescents. Her research also focuses on use of technologies and non-insulin medications for patients with type 1 diabetes.
“I am fortunate to work with a wonderful team at Yale, who have been at the forefront of research leading to improvements to manage type 1 diabetes and decrease the burden on patients and parents,” she says. “We have seen an increase in obesity in individuals with type 1 diabetes, and my research focuses on this as well.”