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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Adolescent Medicine

The Adolescent Medicine Program at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital is the only one of its kind on the South Side of Chicago. We address the specific healthcare needs of young people between the ages of 11 and 21 -- while supporting optimal growth and development through this period of rapid change.

Meeting the Needs of Adolescents

Rapid physical, emotional, cognitive, and social changes are the hallmark of adolescence. During this time, children evolve into fully-grown, mature, independent young adults. Yet, the pace of biological, emotional, and intellectual growth varies widely among teens. Family and social circumstances also have a significant impact on this journey into adulthood. Our adolescent medicine specialists understand the impact of all these factors on healthy development. We strive to help teens and families meet the challenges associated with this transition.

At our adolescent clinic, located at the Friend Family Health Center, we provide a wide variety of health services including:

  • Well-adolescent visits
  • School physical exams
  • Sport pre-participation visits
  • Urgent care
  • Primary care for youth with chronic conditions
  • Adolescent gynecology and family planning

The clinic is a family-friendly place. We recognize the importance of family in the lives of our patients, even as they strive to reach independence. Our experts respect the need for confidentiality -- for both parents and teens -- and at the same time encourage open communication between family members on any issues that may affect our patients' health and well-being.

Chase Payne, adolescent medicine patient, University of Chicago Medicine

Experts in Adolescent Medicine

Our team includes three board-certified pediatricians and our program director who is also board-certified in adolescent medicine. Our physicians and nursing staff are available every weekday, while on-call pediatricians and nurses are easily accessible after hours and on weekends.

Since we are part of a teaching institution, the same experts that treat your child are training the doctors of tomorrow. Our physicians model not only clinical excellence, but also sensitively meet the special needs of adolescents and their families.

Preventive Health

At the adolescent clinic, our experts identify common teen health problems -- before they develop into serious illness. We encourage our patients to develop healthy habits that will turn into life-long behaviors. During well-adolescent visits, we focus on discussing patient and family concerns -- with the understanding that teens and parents may have different points of view. Commonly addressed issues include:

  • Assessment of growth and development
  • Body image and eating disorders
  • Cigarette smoking, alcohol, and other drug use
  • Dating and relationships
  • Depression
  • Family conflict
  • Nutrition, diet, and exercise
  • Obesity
  • Peer pressure
  • Safe driving
  • School performance
  • Sexuality, sexual behavior, and birth control

Chronic Disorders

We provide comprehensive primary health care to adolescents with chronic disorders, including:

  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Depression
  • Developmental delays
  • Diabetes
  • Enuresis (bedwetting)
  • Hypertension
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Recurrent pain syndromes (headaches, chest pain, and abdominal pain)
  • Rheumatologic disorders
  • Scoliosis
  • Sleep disorders

We also offer gynecology care, family planning services, and the evaluation and management of sexually transmitted diseases.

Easy Access to Specialists

Because our adolescent medicine program is part of Comer Children's, we have quick access to some of the best specialists in the area. The hospital, just a few blocks south of our clinic, houses more than 20 pediatric specialty and surgical programs, including experts in:

  • Allergy/Immunology
  • Cardiology
  • ENT
  • Dermatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • General Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
  • Psychiatry
  • Pulmonary Medicine
  • Rheumatology
  • Sleep Disorders

Patient Education

We emphasize patient health education, and provide information to both patients and parents on a variety of topics. Our goal is to empower your teen to become responsible for his or her care by reinforcing healthy behaviors and recognizing and avoiding potential risks.