Young people experience many changes during adolescence. Children who are entering adolescence go through physical, intellectual, and emotional changes. Some of these transitions are positive, but some can be negative. Adolescent medicine focuses on addressing adolescents’ unique needs during this transition time.
What is Adolescent Medicine?
Adolescent medicine is a medical specialty that focuses on the physical, psychological, and social health of adolescents and young adults. This includes providing comprehensive primary care and preventive services to young people between the ages of 10 and 21. Adolescent medicine doctor is trained to deal with the unique challenges that adolescents face, such as:
- Changes in their bodies
- The pressure to conform to societal norms
- Mental health issues
- Substance abuse
- Reproductive health
- Irregular periods
- Eating disorders,
- Mood swings, and
- Sexual identity issues
Seeing an adolescent medicine physician is a great way to transition from paediatric care, where your parents or guardians make most of your medical decisions, to adult care, where you’ll be in charge of your health.
Why is Adolescent Medicine Important?
The adolescent years are a time of significant change, and it’s essential to have a medical team that understands your unique needs. Adolescent medicine physicians are trained specially to deal with common issues during adolescence.
Some of the benefits of adolescent medicine include:
Improved overall health and well-being: The doctors are trained to deal with adolescents’ physical, psychological, and social needs. That means they can address health issues before they become serious problems.
Coordinated care: Because these physicians understand the unique needs of teenagers, they can coordinate care with paediatricians, psychiatrists, counsellors, and other professionals. This coordinated care ensures that all of your needs are being met.
A safe place to talk about sensitive topics: Adolescent medicine practitioner provides a confidential and safe environment for you to discuss sensitive topics, such as sexual activity, drug use, and mental health issues. You won’t be judged or lectured, and your privacy will be respected.
The practitioner provides valuable guidance to parents and guardians: Parents and guardians often have questions about their teenager’s health and well-being. The adolescent medicine physician can offer helpful advice and support to parents and guardians.
Better manage chronic conditions: A doctor can help adolescents manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, and obesity. That is especially important because chronic conditions can often worsen during adolescence.
Seeing an Adolescent Medicine Practitioner
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to adolescent care. The best way to ensure that your teenager gets the care they need is to find a physician you trust.
When looking for an adolescent medicine doctor, it’s crucial to find someone who:
- Is certified by the American Board of Adolescent Medicine
- Has experience working with teenagers
- Has a good bedside manner
- Makes you feel comfortable
- You can usually find adolescent medicine
The first step to seeing an adolescent medicine practitioner is to schedule an appointment. You can do this by calling the office or scheduling an appointment online.
You’ll be asked to fill out some paperwork when you arrive for your appointment. You’ll be required to include your personal information, medical history, and insurance information.
Once the paperwork is complete, your physician will see you. He or she will ask about your symptoms and concerns. They’ll also perform a physical examination.
After the examination, the doctor will discuss their findings with you and develop a treatment plan. The treatment plan may include medication, therapy, or lifestyle changes.
You will then be able to schedule follow-up appointments as needed.
Note: It’s essential to keep all of your appointments so that the doctor can monitor your progress and make any necessary changes to your treatment plan.