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September 28, 2020

Why Adolescent Medicine?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Pediatr. 2020;174(11):1023-1024. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.3396

Adolescence is a time of change in the overall trajectory of a person’s life. While many generalists and pediatric subspecialists are willing to see adolescents through these challenges, there is value in having a committed consultant and partner as an added layer in the safety net to assist patients and their families during this time. For parents, it is often a relief to know that a physician is eagerly willing to walk with them through the joy and challenges of adolescence.

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1 Comment for this article
Adolescent medicine - a distant dream in developing nations.
SUROBHI CHATTERJEE, MBBS | King George's Medical University,Shahmina street, Chowk, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.
I read with interest the viewpoint by Dr Maria Trent on JAMA Pediatrics regarding adolescent health and it's importance as a speciality.
Belonging to a developing nation with the largest adolescent population, the need for adolescent physicians is more than ever.
The trivialisation of adolescent issues and taboos associated with help-seeking are some major causes of concern additionally afflicting the country's adolescents.

Collaborative taskforce dealing with the speciality is perpetually unavailable even in the premier institutes of the country which needs immediate attention.

India also faces the onus of child marriage, wherein most of the
teen pregnancies are forced, jeopardizing the mental and physical health of teens. Mental health awareness is at an all time low in peripheries where it every issue is equated with lunacy.

In such circumstances, the country with largest population of adolescents needs attention not just from national but also from international bodies to integrate the current workforce and train them to evolve into adolescent physicians catering to their needs.
There is urgent need of national and international bodies during the course of pandemic more than ever to come together and create framework and guidelines for dealing with adolescent health. Specialist training programme should be a part of postgraduate training in developing nations which contributes majorly to the population. Changes are imminent and necessary both in the short and long term to ensure a better and productive adolescent population in the future.