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.

  • Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, VIC


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.