Adolescent and young adult patients undergo rapid physical, psychosocial, and cognitive growth as they navigate the transition from childhood to adulthood. Although individuals in these age groups typically are considered to be healthy, they face a variety of risks of injury, illness, and death, most of which are preventable or manageable.
This edition of FP Essentials™ covers four broad topics related to adolescent health. Section One focuses on communication with adolescent patients, including identity development and techniques family physicians can use to facilitate the transition of care to an adult approach. Section Two covers the primary causes of injury and death in adolescents, including motor vehicle crashes, poisoning, drowning, suicide, and community and firearm violence. Section Three addresses adolescent substance use, focusing on alcohol, cannabis, and nicotine (both smoking and vaping) use. Section Four provides an overview and update on media use, including information about interventions that physicians and parents can implement that promote healthy and safe media use.
We hope you find this edition useful in your practice. When you have finished studying this edition and are ready to submit your posttest answers, please tell us what was most useful and what we can do to improve. We also look forward to hearing your ideas for topics you would like covered in future editions.
Karl T. Rew, MD, Associate Medical Editor
Associate Professor, Departments of Family Medicine and Urology
University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor