Adolescent Office Practice

Many have wondered whether the concept of
an adolescent paediatrician/physician would survive
as an independent self sustained professional. I see
a parallel with the Neonatologists in India, the
majority of whom are still practicing paediatricians
with special interest in neonatology, but there are
also many full-time qualified neonatologists with a
DM or a Fellowship in neonatology. We need more
and more general practitioners getting interested in
adolescent paediatrics as a sub-speciality, for overall
improvement in providing adolescent care and
counselling. Yet qualification is essential for growth
of the speciality and hence in the last few years, Child
Development Centre’s single minded focus have
been on producing over 600 qualified adolescent
specialists with a PG Diploma in Adolescent
Paediatrics from the University of Kerala, as a
distance education program, with MBBS as the
minimum qualification.
Our basic MBBS / paediatric / internal medicine
training is adequate to deal with the majority of
problems that we would see in day-to-day clinical
practice. You would observe that the medical
problems identified among higher secondary school
children in Thiruvananthapuram district namely;
headache, refractory error, urinary tract infection,
dandruff, acne, allergic rhinitis and dysmenorrhoea /
leucorrhoea in girls are problems that can be tackled
by a trained MBBS doctor. However, in order to
organize an adolescent office practice, it is essential
to undergo a training program and at present the
only option is the PG Diploma in Adolescent
Pediatrics (distance education course of University
of Kerala) conducted at CDC, Thiruvananthapuram.
This course involves 80 hours sessions (only 10 days)
with discussions on the following common medical
issues that may come up in office practice, namely;
anemia, iodine deficiency, undernutrition, overweight
& obesity, body image problems, life style diseases,
poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), acne & other
cosmetology issues, dandruff & seborrhoea, dental
caries & problems, genito urinary infections, sexually
transmitted infections, sexual abuse/empowerment
issues, teenage pregnancy/contraceptives, pelvic
inflammatory disease, drug therapy and individual
counselling for mental health issues.

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