Adolescent Medicine

Adolescent Medicine in the News

About Us

The Section of Adolescent Medicine was created in 1983 with the recruitment and arrival of Donald P. Orr, MD. Recruited by Dr. Morris Green, Dr. Orr’s goal was to establish a premier academic adolescent health program grounded in clinical services, training and clinical research. Now, 35 years later, the Section of Adolescent Medicine provides over 40,000 adolescent clinical visits per year, is one of the preeminent academic training programs in the country and brings in over $3 million dollars per year in extramural research support.

Clinical Services

The Adolescent Health Program at Riley Hospital for Children addresses the unique developmental needs for young people between the ages of 11 and 21. Adolescence is a time of great change in a young person’s life – adolescents go through puberty, expand their thinking and problem solving capacity, become more autonomous, and undergo enormous change in their social and emotional lives. Adolescence can also be a time of challenge for youth and their families. Occasionally, a physical, behavioral, or emotional problem may persist or prove difficult to solve. We approach each problem by providing immediate attention to the area of concern, and then helping young people and families learn new long-term strategies for treating and coping with their specific issues. The Adolescent Health Program provides a range of health-related services for this stage of a young person’s development.

Multidisciplinary Training

Our interdisciplinary training program in adolescent health focuses on ensuring that clinicians and researchers alike are specially trained to evaluate and understand unique developmental needs of adolescents. Our faculty physicians are all board certified in adolescent medicine and additional faculty represent the disciplines of psychology, nursing, nutrition, social work, sociology, and health behavior.


The section was created with the premise that scientific inquiry would underpin all activities from clinical care, to teaching, to empiric research. It includes the belief that most research related to adolescent health must be interdisciplinary and collaborative within and across disciplines, departments and universities. Moreover, research must engage the community as a partner. This philosophy has allowed us to recruit top notch faculty who are excellent clinicians, teachers and investigators. Our adolescent health faculty is nationally known for research in adolescent health, as well as advocacy and policy issues related to adolescents on the regional and national levels. Our research portfolio has grown from a $35,000 award to Dr. Orr in 1984 to approximately $3 million annually.