Adolescence is a developmental period marked by physical, psychological and social changes that include achieving adult stature and sexual maturity, increase in intellectual capacity, a search for identity and a place in one's society, separation from the family and development of relationships with significant others.
While most adolescents make this transition without major problems, they need a significant amount of reassurance, guidance and support to make the right decisions. The practice of adolescent medicine was created to address the age specific issues that arise during the second decade of life.
In the process of making these changes adolescents are experimenting and testing limits. In the dependence-independence struggles, the choices adolescents make can affect their health for the rest of their life. Medical problems may occur as a result of risk-taking behaviors common among teens. Such issues can best be addressed in a teen-oriented office setting that recognizes the uniqueness of teens.
Adolecence is also the time when a number of adult illnesses may be diagnosed for the first time, and disabled teens may need special support in confronting their unique challenges. Adolescent medicine specialists are specially trained to help teens with issues related to their growth, provide preventive care, help with the management of acute and chronic illness from physical ones.
The Adolecent Medicine Division at Nicklaus Children's Hospital provides an environement in which teens can feel confortable talking about their changing bodies. This helps ensure that hesitancy to discuss such issues does not interfere with a teen's ability to obtain reliable health information.
The Division of Adolescent Medicine at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, is committed to providing high quality, comprehensive and confidential care to adolescents.
Services provided include:
- Medical care for acute and chronic illnesses
- Evaluation and treatment of issues related to puberty
- Evaluation and treatment of menstrual issues
- Gynecological exams
- Family planning services
- Evaluation and treatment of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
- Helping parents cope with sexually active teens
- Behavioral issues and interventions
- Treatment of eating disorders and obesity
- Smoking/tobacco cessation
- Treatment of substance abuse
- Helping families deal with parent-teen conflict