Adolescent medicine in pediatric practice

Andrea Marks, Martin Fisher, Susan Lasker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Adolescents report important unmet health care needs. This study directly assesses pediatricians' current practices pertinent to the primary care of adolescents. An anonymous questionnaire survey of general pediatricians was conducted in two suburban counties in New York State. Of the 101 respondents, 51% were older than age 50 and 88% were in private practice. The "average" pediatrician saw 28 patients in a 7-hour office day. Approximately 1 in 10 regularly saw patients with a sexuality-related concern, substance abuse problem, or anorexia nervosa. Fewer than half provided anticipatory guidance regarding sexuality, and only 14% questioned teens about depression. Respondents perceived factors related to fees, lack of time, lack of knowledge, and their image as obstacles to an expanded care of adolescents. Those with some training in adolescent medicine during residency were significantly more likely to provide care and anticipatory guidance related to sexuality and substance abuse. Thirty percent reported an interest in increasing their involvement with adolescents. We conclude that most of these pediatricians played a small role in meeting the health needs of adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-153
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescence Adolescent behavior Adolescent medicine Health promotion Pediatrics Primary health care


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