Child with Meningococcal. Photograph. The Meningitis Trust. Web. 13 Feb. 2011. <http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.meningitis-trust.ie/Images/septicaemia%2520baby%2520with%2520purple%2520toes.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.meningitis-trust.ie/Meningitis.html&us>.
Before adolescent medicine was made into its own branch, adolescents were seen by the pediatric doctor or with one of their parents’ doctor. They were always accompanied by an adult and therefore did not always get the help they needed. Their views and questions were not taken in to account as much as their parents’ questions and concerns. Some teens may not want to ask certain questions in front of their parents or they may not admit to being sexually active in front of their parents. In 1951 when the first hospital was created for adolescents, these types of issues started to change. Teens could go to their doctor on their own and could discuss what they wanted to discuss (Adolescent Medicine). This changed many issues with teens. For example teen pregnancy was very common a long time ago because women’s first job was to be a mother. Also there were not many contraceptives so once girls had their first menstrual cycle they would soon get pregnant and get married or the other way around. Regardless it was not surprising for there to be teen mothers. I believe that once there was a branch of medicine that was specifically for teens that it changed the outlook of teen pregnancy. Society soon started to change where they thought it necessary to complete more years of schooling in order to be self-sufficient. There were studies done that showed that teen mothers were more likely to face poverty and need government help. It also showed that when girls became present at a young age that they would end up with more children, economic problems and sometimes even marital problems. I think that adolescent medicine gave teens a place where they could talk to their doctor alone about having sex and how to prevent pregnancy. It was somewhere that they could go with questions and without feeling embarrassed about asking in front of their parents. Society started to change a little bit more in that teen pregnancy isn’t acceptable and can be prevented. Obviously people have very different opinions on this issue and society has fluctuated over time; but I think everyone can agree that pregnancy can be prevented and that it would make life easier on teens if they waited before having sex or practiced safe sex in which they were less likely to get pregnant and have economic issues. I think that the addition of adolescent medicine provided great information and help to adolescents back when it was first created and still today.
Adolescent Program February 9, 2011
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.
Fox, Harriette and Margaret McManus. “Adolescent Medicine at Crossroad: A Review of
Fellowship Training and Recommendations for Reform.” Incenter Strategies: The
National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health. Washington D.C. April 2008. Web. 8 Feb
This article goes into some detail over the history of adolescent medicine and how things need to be changed again. It goes into detail about the ways in which the program could be changed in order to make it more effective. This is a good article to use because it talks about what the branch of adolescent medicine does and ways in needs to improve.
There are many vaccines that are given to adolescents during the time of 12 to 18 years of age. For example the Influenza vaccine is given to children and adolescents yearly because it is an extremely contagious viral infection that is easily spread by sneezing and coughing. Children and adolescents are at the greatest risk for catching this virus. The Adolescent vaccination organization states that,“Influenza and its complications claim an average of 36,000 lives and hospitalize more than 200,000 people in the United States every year” (“Vaccine Preventable Diseases and Infections ) These statistics show that it is very important that adolescents get this vaccine every year because they are surrounded by other children every day at school and if one of them has the virus then it will quickly spread to other children. Another important vaccine for adolescents is the HPV vaccine. This vaccine is recommended for most girls at age 11-12. It helps prevent viruses that lead to cervical cancer. These viruses are spread by sexual contact. The vaccine prevents two types of HPV that causes 70% of cervical cancer (“Vaccine Preventable Diseases and Infections“). Meningococcal vaccine is another important vaccine for adolescents. Especially teens and college students living in dorms. Meningococcal disease is a blood infection and once one is infected they could die within 48 hours if they are not treated quickly enough. The survivors could suffer from brain damage and hearing loss. Adolescents are at risk because the infection spreads very quickly so teens living in college dorms have a greater risk of coming into contact with it. This disease is dangerous but preventable with a vaccine which is why most college campuses require their students to get it before starting school (“Vaccine Preventable Diseases and Infections“). Here is a picture of a child with Meningococal Disease.
“Vaccine Preventable Diseases & Infections.” Adolescent Vaccination: Which Vaccines Do Adolescents Need? National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, 2009. Web. 09 Feb. 2011. <http://www.adolescentvaccination.org/vaccine_preventable_diseases_and_infections.htm>.
Ruffin, Novella. “Adolescent Growth and Development – Virginia Cooperative Extension.” Publications
and Educational Resources – Virginia Cooperative Extension. Virginia Cooperative Extension, 1
May 2009. Web. 08 Feb. 2011. <http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/350/350-850/350-850.html>.
This article goes into great detail of the adolescent stage and it breaks it down of what the teen is going through, how it affects them and what the parents should do. It does a great job going into detail and helping the reader to better understand this stage in one’s life.