The history of adolescent medicine

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36 Scopus citations


The field of adolescent medicine is unique as a subspecialty in that the practice of providing care to teenagers has always been viewed historically as a responsibility of generalists. Scientific advances in subspecialty fields such as endocrinology, gynecology, gastroenterology, infectious disease, and sports medicine were incorporated with considerable success into the general practices of not only pediatricians but also internists and family practitioners. However, societal changes in the past century began to shape the way health professionals thought about adolescents and their families and significantly influenced the practice of providing health care to adolescents. The most notable change, however, was the shift from the traditional role of providing anticipatory guidance to parents toward a reduction of risk-taking behaviors aimed directly at the adolescent. The subspecialty of adolescent medicine thus emerged as an amalgam of researchers, clinicians, and educators, who, through a variety of settings, hoped to advance science, moderate public and social policy, improve health care, and stimulate health promotion to this special population of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-147
Number of pages11
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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