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Defining the often‐misunderstood specialty of adolescent medicine

Michelle M Telfer
Med J Aust 2019; 210 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50200
Published online: 17 June 2019

For most medical specialties, evolution of practice has come through scientific advancement, the discovery of new medications, or technologies capable of improving diagnosis or management. In adolescent medicine, development has occurred primarily in response to changes in society. Since 1951, when J Roswell Gallagher established the first adolescent medicine unit at the Boston Children's Hospital, social change has seen growth in opportunities for women, increasing sexual freedom, information access, and globalisation with the creation of the internet. Clinicians providing care for adolescents have needed to develop specialised interdisciplinary skills to manage the complex medical, developmental and psychosocial issues presenting in these changing times. From treating sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancy, substance use, accidents and violence to more recent growth in chronic illness, mental health disorders, eating disorders and provision of medical care to transgender and gender diverse youth.

  • Michelle M Telfer

  • Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, VIC

Correspondence: Michelle.Telfer@rch.org.au

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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