Norman Spack, MD, is Senior Associate Emeritus in the Endocrine Division at Boston Children’s Hospital where he has been on staff for 47 years. A graduate of Williams College, he received his MD from University of Rochester in 1969. He did fellowships in Adolescent Medicine and Endocrinology at Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Spack’s first trans patient graduated college in 1980 having matriculated as a female but lived as a male with full knowledge of his male roommates. His experience treating 250 adults convinced him that starting hormonal treatment in late puberty was too late for an optimal physical and psychosocial outcome. His first patients treated according to the Amsterdam protocol using pubertal suppression came from the UK because their team was not using the Dutch methods/timing.
Dr. Spack has received numerous awards for his teaching, writings, clinical care, and community service, and has become an internationally recognized expert and advocate for transgender individuals. In 2012 Williams bestowed a Bicentennial Medal on him for a “lifetime of achievement in his field of endeavor.” His TedTalk , uploaded internationally in 2014, has had over 2.0 million views.
In 2007 he co-founded the Gender Management Service” (“GeMS”) at Boston Children’s, an interdisciplinary clinic for Transgender adolescents. GeMS became the only program of its kind outside of Europe. It became the model for 70 comparable clinics currently operating throughout North America, which became partners in a 4-site $6 million NIH collaborative longitudinal outcome study. Celebrating its 150th anniversary, Boston Children’s recently named its greatest innovations in each decade. GeMs was so-named for 2000-2010.
Having turned over administrative duties to former trainees when he reached emeritus status in 2016, his efforts are devoted to the GeMS program, to assisting new programs and advocating for transgender people. The current political climate will keep him busy.
His wife, internist Dr. Judy Feldman, was the first woman Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at Boston’s Deaconess Hospital and had a 40 year career in primary care at Lahey Clinic where she had experience with transgender patients. And, his son and daughter and their families with 5 grandchildren ages 2-18 live in greater Boston.
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