Susan D. Boulware, MD, is a pediatric endocrinologist who cares for patients with general pediatric endocrine disorders, including disorders of growth, puberty, the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, and pituitary gland. In addition, she is the Medical Director of the Yale Gender Program, an interdisciplinary program which provides family-centered care for children, teens, and young adults whose gender (internal sense of self) does not align with their assigned sex at birth and who are seeking gender-affirming consultation and treatment.
“The goal for our program is to bring these patients in and embrace them, their life, and their journey,” she says.
Dr. Boulware works with a large team of specialists that includes other endocrinologists, child and adolescent psychologists, child psychiatrists, affirming gynecologists, reproductive medicine specialists, a lawyer, a medical ethicist, a chaplain and liaisons/consultants from the transgender community. “These can be complicated cases, and we need to take into consideration all of the medical and psychological issues that these patients will face,” she says. Some patients have been subjected to transphobia that can become internalized, leading to poor self-esteem and in the most severe of cases can lead to self-hate. “They also come with other medical problems just as any patient would, and we want to make sure to really care for the entire patient,” she says.
Dr. Boulware finds her work to be both amazing and rewarding every day. Many patients come to us with some trepidation as they are not sure what to expect or how they will be treated, she says. The program incorporates the youth and their family into its care, supports extended families, and is willing to reach out to the patient’s school and place of worship if desired (or necessary). “I think we're able to really help bring these kids out of these shells,” she says, “and they leave supported and feeling hopeful.”