Adolescent Medicine

Learn what adolescent medicine is from Dr. Mary Fournier.

What is adolescent medicine?

Adolescent medicine is a sub-specialty of pediatrics. It’s also a sub-specialty of family medicine and internal medicine, so it’s kind of unique in that regard. It does include a period of fellowship training and a board certification.

My patients start around puberty and go through young adulthood somewhere in the early 20s. At that time, we tend to recommend they start seeing an adult medicine physician.

As a specialist treating adolescents, we tend to focus on problems that frequently arise during the adolescent years. One thing that’s really interesting about adolescence as a population is that they are relatively healthy, and their medical needs tend to be more behavioral based including things like risky behaviors with sexually transmitted infections. Those are sort of the topics we tend to focus on when we’re talking to our patients.

Why did you choose to specialize in adolescent medicine?

I always wanted to be a doctor ever since I was very young. I knew pretty early on in my medical career that I wanted to specialize in adolescent medicine. During my third year of medical school when I was rotating through pediatrics, I primarily enjoyed working with teenagers.