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UF doctor says gender-affirming care works in kids who need it, and can even save lives

dr michael haller uf display.jpg
University of Florida
Dr. Michael Haller is a professor and chief of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Florida.

Pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Michael Haller says treatments that new Florida guidelines warn against would occur only after considerable and detailed evaluations with patients and families.

Last week, the Florida Department of Health released guidelines warning against the use of gender-affirming treatment like hormone blockers and social transitioning in kids.

WMFE’s Danielle Prieur spoke with the Dr. Michael Haller, chief of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Florida. He works with transgender and gender-nonconforming pediatric patients about the recommendations.

To hear to the interview, click on the Listen button above.

Interview highlights

On the process of prescribing this care: “It’s [only] after considerable and detailed evaluations with the patients and families, including physicians visits, psychologist visits, and a really solid understanding of what it is that they want and need.”

On how this care helps kids who need it: “Those things have absolutely been shown to markedly improve mental health. Overall, well-being, reduce depression and reduce suicidality in this high-risk group.”

On the guidelines' effects: “I’ve already heard that, you know, some of our colleagues around the state are anxious about the implications. Fortunately, this guidance does not have any bearing on what’s required by our licensure, but I won’t be surprised if the state and our governor tries to go further with this.”

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Danielle Prieur