The status of adolescent medicine: Building a global adolescent workforce

Lana Lee, Krishna K. Upadhya, Pamela A. Matson, Hoover Adger, Maria E. Trent

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Remarkable public health achievements to reduce infant and child mortality as well as improve the health and well-being of children worldwide have successfully resulted in increased survival and a growing population of young people aged 10-24 years. Population trends indicate that the current generation of 1.8 billion young people is the largest in history. However, there is a scarcity of dedicated resources available to effectively meet the health needs of adolescents and young adults worldwide. Growing recognition of the pivotal roles young people play in the cultures, societies, and countries in which they live has spurred an expanding global movement to address the needs of this special population. Building an effective global workforce of highly-skilled adolescent health professionals who understand the unique biological, psychological, behavioral, social, and environmental factors that affect the health of adolescents is a critical step in addressing the health needs of the growing cohort of young people. In this review, we aim to: 1) define a global assessment of the health needs for adolescents around the world; 2) describe examples of current training programs and requirements in adolescent medicine; 3) identify existing gaps and barriers to develop an effective adolescent health workforce; and 4) develop a call for targeted actions to build capacity of the adolescent health workforce, broaden culturally relevant research and evidence-based intervention strategies, and reinforce existing interdisciplinary global networks of youth advocates and adolescent health professionals to maximize the opportunities for training, research, and care delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-243
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • adolescent medicine
  • child health
  • education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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