Adolescent Medicine: Attitudes, Training, and Experience Of Pediatric, Family Medicine, and Obstetric-Gynecology Residents
Several studies have documented a deficiency in the delivery of preventive services to adolescents during physician visits in the United States. This study sought to assess and compare pediatric, family medicine (FM), and obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) resident perceptions of their responsibility, training, and experience with providing comprehensive health care services to adolescents. A 57-item, close-ended survey was designed and administered to assess resident perceptions of the scope of their practice, training, and experience with providing adolescent health care across a series of health care categories. Of the 87 respondents (31 OB/GYN, 29 FM, and 27 pediatric), most residents from all three fields felt that the full range of adolescent preventive and clinical services represented in the survey fell under their scope of practice. Residents from all three fields need more training and experience with mental health issues, referring teenagers to substance abuse treatment programs, and addressing physical and sexual abuse. In addition, OB-GYN residents reported deficiencies in training and experience regarding several preventive counseling and general health services, while pediatric residents reported deficiencies in training and experience regarding sexual health services. Our results indicate that at this time, residents from these three specialties are not optimally prepared to provide the full range of recommended preventive and clinical services to adolescents.