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Adolescent Medicine

Adolescent Medicine

Medical Care for Teenagers in East Tennessee

Adolescent medicine specialists primarily treat teen and young adult patients. They have generally reached puberty when treated by these specialists.

Adolescent medicine most commonly includes:

  • Eating disorders
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Behavioral problems
  • Unexplained chronic pain
  • Sexual health
  • Chronic illnesses
  • Problems at school
  • Home learning disorders.

Charles W. Machen, M.D. is East Tennessee Children’s Hospital adolescent medicine specialist. Find a doctor that meets your teenager’s needs in our directory.

Supporting Kids Through Adolescence

The period of adolescence in your child's life includes physical, social and psychological changes. Teens need much reassurance, guidance and support to make good decisions during this time. They are searching for identity and building relationships with others their own age. As they test boundaries and take risks, teens must know that their choices can affect their health in the long term. Adolescence is also when many long-term illnesses can begin to show. Even if your child seems to be transitioning from childhood to adulthood smoothly, they may still need extra attention and support from you, your family and their doctor.

Adolescent medicine doctors have extra training to help with the medical and emotional issues teens may have. Your child may need to transition to adolescent medicine if they are:

  • Struggling with mental illness
  • Looking for independence in their health care
  • Have started consuming drugs or alcohol

Pediatricians and other doctors know about teen issues as well, but Adolescent medicine specialists provide additional focus on teen-specific issues.

A Place Where Teens Can Speak Freely

During the appointment, the team strives to make patients feel safe and comfortable so they can have a safe space to be open and honest about their worries and problems. Adolescent medicine doctors are used to discussing tough issues like drug use and symptoms of sexually transmitted infections. Your teen will probably spend the most time talking to his or her doctor during their first appointment. The doctor wants to learn about your teen's background so that they can provide health advice that is appropriate to your child's needs. All information is confidential.