Adolescent medicine or hebiatrics is a medical subspecialty that focuses on care of patients who are in the "adolescent period of development, generally ranging from the last years of elementary school until graduation from high school (some doctors in this subspecialty treat young adults attending college at area clinics, in the subfield of "college health). Patients have generally entered "puberty. In developed nations, the period of adolescence is extended both by an earlier start, as onset of "puberty is beginning earlier, and a later end, requiring more years of education or training before economic independence from parents.
Issues with a high prevalence during adolescence are frequently addressed by providers. These include:
Adolescents who are gay, lesbian or bisexual tend to demonstrate more risky health behaviors and have worse health outcomes compared to heterosexual youth, including:
The rising dominance of chronic conditions over acute conditions, along with dramatic improvement in life expectancy, has made the management of such chronic conditions in adolescence of greater importance: Chronic conditions and adolescent development are mutually impactful.
Chronic conditions often cause delay in onset of puberty and temporary or permanent impediments to growth; conversely the growth and hormonal changes can destabilize treatment for the chronic condition. An increase in independence can lead to gaps in self-management, for example, in the decreased management of diabetes.
Marginalised young people’s access is affected by their ability to recognize and understand health issues; service knowledge and attitudes toward help seeking; structural barriers; professionals' knowledge, skills, attitudes; service environments and structures; ability to navigate the health system; youth participation; and technology opportunities. Marginalised young people’s healthcare journeys can be supported by advocates that help them navigate the health system.
Adolescent medicine providers are generally drawn from the specialties of "pediatrics, "internal medicine, "med/peds or "family medicine. The certifying boards for these different specialties have varying requirements for certification, though all require successful completion of a "fellowship and a passing score on a certifying exam. The American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Internal Medicine require evidence of scholarly achievement by candidates for subspecialty certification, usually in the form of an original research study.
In the United States, subspecialty medical board certification in adolescent medicine is available through the specialty boards of "American Board of Internal Medicine, the "American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry, the "American Board of Family Medicine, the "American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians, the "American Board of Pediatrics, and the "American Osteopathic Board of Pediatrics.
Many subspecialists practice as part of general specialty clinics or practices, or in high school or college clinics. In addition, many major metropolitan areas have clinics that offer adolescent-specific care. A partial list includes:
Kansas City, Missouri
New York City
Rochester, New York
San Francisco area
These hospitals offer adolescent-specific care:
In addition to membership in the organizations for their various specialties, adolescent medicine providers often belong to The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine and/or The North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.
Founded in 1987, the International Association for Adolescent Health (IAAH) is a multidisciplinary, non-government organization with a broad focus on youth health.