I BELIEVE that it will be profitable to begin our discussion of adolescence with a few remarks about the Adolescent Unit at the Children's Hospital in Boston: what it is and why it is. This Unit is a general medical clinic designed for the care and treatment of young people between the ages of 12 and 21. As there is often confusion in the minds of not only the physician but the laity as to whether this Adolescent Unit is a psychiatric clinic, I would like to stress that our Unit is a general clinic for all young people, whether their complaints be a backache, dysmenorrhea, acne, diabetes, seizures, or any other ailment which is either common or uncommon in adolescence. Our discussion will not be psychiatrically but rather psychologically oriented to this age group.
It has not been our intention to create a new specialty, but rather to give special care to this somewhat neglected age group. In our Adolescent Unit we have pediatricians, internists, and general practitioners working side by side in a common effort to provide over-all medical care for these boys and girls. Young people deserve a clinic of their own just as do little children and adults. They need a place where they can tell their own story to their own doctor, and where their doctor can talk to them about what they should do to care for themselves.
In addition to our primary function, which is to care for the adolescent and his or her ailment, the Unit also serves for the training of the physician in the care of these young people.
- Copyright © 1956 by the American Academy of Pediatrics