Since 1951 when the branch of adolescent medicine was first established, there has been much research on ways to gain more knowledge and specialize more in the field. Erikson’s stages helped do this. Also in 1991 adolescent medicine became approved as a board-certified subspecialty of Pediatrics. There has been specific training and research dedicated to adolescence. The training programs have been limited somewhat due to it being a young branch and confusing structure. Research usually entails studies on influenza, physical well-being, mental status and teen pregnancy. Recently doctors have wanted to explore and study HIV/HPV. These are sexually transmitted diseases that are relevant because during this stage in the adolescent life, teens are trying to figure out what they want to do (Fox). It also is important because teens are exploring their sexuality and they think that intimacy means sex. That being said, teens are more likely to get sexually transmitted diseases because they do not have all the information on safe sex. Adolescent doctors are trained to take care of these issues. One problem that this branch faces is that there is usually never enough funding to research everything they need to on trying to cure these diseases. They need to rework their program so that they can get more people involved and so they can have more money to help the teens (Fox). The article states that 70% of program directors believe that the budget will stay the same in the next year and another 25% think it will worsen (Fox). The programs rely on funding from numerous places and there is no consistent plan. This field needs a set plan so that they can get more funding to research important factors that will contribute to adolescent medicine. The training program also needs to be stronger because it is important for doctors to specialize in this field and complete all of the requirements for it. I believe that the necessary measures need to be taken in order to improve the field of adolescent medicine. It is a very important branch of medicine and adolescents need special attention in order for them to thrive.
Adolescent Program February 9, 2011