By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The teen years are very difficult. We all can remember what they were like and it seems each year that passes, the struggles get greater for our teenagers.
The teen years are not easy when it comes to finding a physician for healthcare. But there is a specialty that can be helpful – adolescent medicine.
Most adolescent medicine physicians are pediatricians who have chosen to specialize in that age group and the problems that are commonly found there. The major causes of health problems for adolescents are related to injury, but there are still medical conditions that are relatively common for adolescents.
The medical complications of eating disorders, disorders of puberty, endocrine complications that can occur related to development in puberty, managing menstrual disorders, and even addiction treatments are all important.
Another key role is to help people in their transitions to adulthood.
Adolescent medicine is not an absolute need. Many pediatricians, family doctors, and ob/gyns do a great job – but adolescent medicine physicians are another option and a good one.