Children's Hospital Colorado

Adolescent Medicine and Teen Health at Children’s Hospital Colorado

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Here at Children’s Hospital Colorado, we understand that teenagers may be affected by the same conditions and health problems that occur in young children or even adults, but there are distinct challenges to their healthcare. Our Adolescent Medicine Program offers a full range of primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare to teenagers with both physical and emotional problems.

Change and transition is a normal part of being a teenager. Adolescence is a time of physical maturity, developing sexuality, powerful emotions and rapid changes in ways of thinking. We strive to meet the needs of all adolescents, their parents and primary care providers by providing excellent outpatient and inpatient adolescent healthcare services and customized treatment plans for each teen we see.

Why choose us for teen health

At Children's Colorado, we know that teens deserve special attention. Our team members include board-certified specialists in the field of adolescent medicine who know that treatments geared towards children, or even adults, are not always right for teens. It takes a special approach, including training and expertise in all aspects of teen health – physical, emotional, mental and sexual – to provide the best care possible.

The multidisciplinary Adolescent Medicine team at Children’s Colorado works closely with other specialists in the hospital to ensure your teenager is not only receiving the best care possible, but that treatment is tailored specifically for their needs.

Who we treat in the Adolescent Medicine Program

Some examples of typical patients we see include:

  • Young women with menstrual problems; including not having a period, or having irregular, painful or heavy periods. Our experts can help diagnose and treat medical conditions that cause these symptoms.
  • Teens who are unable to focus at school, or are getting into trouble with school authority figures.
  • Adolescents who are not gaining weight, expressing concerns regarding weight gain, or may have an eating disorder.
  • Teens with stomach pain who have seen other experts and are not getting better.
  • Teens with fatigue and dizziness who have missed over two weeks of school.
  • Adolescents who have falling grades, some symptoms of depression or are withdrawing socially.
  • Young adults who are experiencing increasing anxiety.

Adolescent Medicine frequently asked questions (FAQs)

The following teen health frequently asked questions are intended to help parents better understand the role that adolescent medicine can play in keeping their teenager healthy and happy.

What is adolescent medicine?

Adolescent medicine is a subspecialty of pediatrics that focuses on the medical and emotional issues most specific to teenagers and young adults, including puberty, sexuality, identity, mental health, social and emotional development.

The importance of adolescent medicine programs can be illustrated through many different patient experiences. For example, a teen coping with cancer may also be facing anxiety and depression issues requiring medication, yet the teenager’s pediatrician may not be equipped to effectively manage prescriptions for an optimal mental health outcome during the cancer treatment process. Here, our program has the depth of resources to fully support the overlapping needs and treatments the teen requires.

Are there doctors who specialize in teen health?

Board-certified specialists in the field of adolescent medicine can serve as primary care doctors for teens or as specialists for adolescent health issues such as eating disorders, chronic fatigue, POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), autonomic dysfunction, anxiety, depression and disordered sleeping. Adolescent medicine specialists can also treat complex physical symptoms that have persisted despite various therapeutic approaches and specialty referrals. These may include chest pain, chronic dizziness, abdominal pain, headaches and nausea.

Our experts are also trained to address issues related to reproductive health, teen pregnancy and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning and/or Queer (LGBTQ) health. They take special approaches geared toward adolescents, and address any concerns that families may have around managing conditions and medications.

Why choose a specialist in teen health?

Teenagers are neither big children nor small adults; they face unique physical and mental challenges as they mature and take on the pressures of growing up.

Adolescent medicine specialists are board certified to manage the complex issues of adolescents and young adults. They have extensive experience in understanding and treating both physical and emotional problems in a comprehensive manner, with special attention toward sensitive and open communication.

Locate our Adolescent Medicine Program

We are located at our new Children's Colorado Health Pavilion, approximately one mile south of the Anschutz Medical Campus. A free shuttle runs between Anschutz Medical Campus and the Ronald McDonald House (next door to the Health Pavilion) and is available on demand. To request a shuttle, call 720-313-9357.

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Keeping you safe, wherever you are

We're here when you need us with the same safe, high-quality care we've always offered, even during the pandemic. Now, in many cases, you can get that care without even leaving home because we offer virtual visits across every one of our specialties.

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Get to know our pediatric experts.

Molly Richards, MD

Molly Richards, MD

Adolescent Medicine, Pediatrics

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Bret Taber, PA-C

Bret Taber, PA-C

Physician Assisting

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Laura Ellison, LCSW

Laura Ellison, LCSW

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Jennifer L. Woods, MD, MEd, MS, FAAP

Jennifer L. Woods, MD, MEd, MS, FAAP

Adolescent Medicine, Pediatrics

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Children's Colorado in the news

  • U.S. News & World Report
    Gastric Surgery Bypass Holds Hope for Teens
    May 16, 2019

    A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that adolescents who undergo gastric bypass surgery have outcomes equal to or better than adults with the same treatment. Dr. Thomas Inge, Director of Adolescent Bariatric Surgery at Children's Colorado, was the lead author on the study.