The current generation of adolescents is the largest in history, with 1.2 billion people (17% of the world’s population) aged 10 to 19 years. The definition of adolescence and young adulthood varies. In this guide, we use a broad definition, ranging from ages 10 to 24 years (more than one-quarter of the world’s population). This stage of life is often viewed as healthy, but the decisions adolescents and young adults make can affect the rest of the life cycle. As a result, physicians can play an important role in a youth’s development.
During adolescence, youth mature physically, transitioning through puberty from childhood to adulthood. Perhaps even more striking than these profound physical changes are the intellectual, spiritual, and developmental growth mediated by accrual of greater independence, new experience, and development of the frontal cortex. At this stage, youth differentiate themselves from their parents, begin to identify a career path, embrace sexuality, and take substantial steps toward defining their identity. However, the journey to adulthood requires navigation through many challenges, including substantial morbidity related to mental health issues, unintentional and intentional injury, concerns about growth and maturation, and substance use.
This rotation guide covers the following topics:
Other relevant topics in Adolescent Care are covered in the following rotation guides:
This rotation guide was developed by a collaborative team of contributors including:
Writers: Gabriela Vargas, MD; Joshua Borus, MD
Peer Reviewers: John S. Adams, MD; Emily B. Allen, MD; Shannon Fitzgerald, MD; Sarah Golub, MD; Frinny Polanco Walters, MD; Elizabeth Perzanowski, MD
Section Expert: Joshua Borus, MD
Senior Editor: Shannon Scott-Vernaglia, MD
Last updated: June 2021 by Alexandra Edwards, MD