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Adolescent Health

Adolescent health expert, Dr. Richard Chung join us to talk about the importance of annual teen checkups.
It’s no surprise that with winter being a prime time for colds and flu, doctors’ offices can fill up with sick patients. However, sick visits don’t necessarily provide an opportunity for patients and healthcare professionals to discuss important health topics, such as weight, sexual health, vaccines and stress-related conditions. Parents and teens need to understand that a sick visit is simply not the same as an annual well visit with their doctor.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the percentage of children who go in for their annual checkup declines as children get older. Even though they are recom­mended by the American Medical Association and other professional societies, as many as 25 percent to 30 percent of U.S. adolescents may not be getting an annual checkup.

Adolescents who do not receive annual wellness checkups may be left unnecessarily exposed to both short- and long-term health risks. An annual checkup is a key opportunity to help improve adolescent health and encourage healthy behaviors.According to a national online survey, teens and their parents are also more likely to ask about a number of health topics, including weight, sexual health, vaccines and stress-related conditions, during an annual checkup than at a sick visit.

Richard J. Chung, MD, director of Adolescent Medicine at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC and assistant professor of pediatrics and internal medicine. Dr. Chung earned his medical degree at Yale University School of Medicine and trained in pediatrics and internal medicine at Duke prior to training in Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Children's Hospital Boston. Dr. Chung's clinical and research interests center on preventive and chronic disease care of adolescents and young adults. Dr. Chung is a member of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine.

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