What Makes Adolescent Medicine Different?

Adolescents often have a lot more questions than young children. After all, they’re going through a period when everything from their body to their voice to the face that stares back in the mirror is changing. Further, there may be major changes at home, at school, and in their interpersonal relationships. For example, they may be experiencing an awakening sexuality and need guidance that they’re not comfortable getting from parents.

Doctors who treat adolescents do a lot of listening. They also educate their patients because adolescence is a time when there is so much that is new – so much to learn.

Typically, adolescent medicine involves elements of

  • Nutrition
  • Psychology
  • Dermatology
  • Gynecology
  • Hormones

Doctors may treat adolescents for any of a wide range of issues. These include many of the same services in Pediatrics, such as:

  • Physical exam
  • Sports participation clearance exam
  • Immunizations
  • Diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases, such as asthma and diabetes

But it also addresses issues found in Adult Medicine, such as:

  • Reproductive health
  • Menstrual problems
  • Birth control and family planning
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Testing for STDs (sexually transmitted diseases)
  • Obesity
  • Eating disorders
  • Acne
  • Social phobias
  • Depression and feelings of not belonging
  • Steroid abuse from sports participation
  • Substance abuse, including drugs and alcohol
  • Smoking

Being able to talk to a doctor who understands that they are no longer children but not quite adults makes this transition easier for adolescents. Parental approval is required for all services except family planning.

The care we provide your teen follows the best practices in evidence-based health care for adolescents.

Adolescence is a period of tremendous change, and for some young people, it can be extremely stressful. Through EPFMC, adolescents have access to behavioral and mental health support. Young people can seek help for anxiety, stress, and depression that threatens their emotional health. When warranted, they will be referred to regional services that specialize in more serious needs for emotional care.

Next: Learn more about our school-based clinics for teens.