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European training in Adolescent Health and Medicine

Project title: European training in Adolescent Health and Medicine (survey)

Background and Aims: Due to recent epidemiological shifts, European paediatricians will increasingly be faced with adolescent patients. The development of Adolescent Health and Medicine as a medical discipline is lagging behind in Europe as compared to other regions of the world. Therefore, data was collected using an e-mail survey conducted among MOCHA correspondents and EAP national and trainee representatives (from Young EAP) from 36 countries. Survey questions were derived from the WHO document “Core competencies in adolescent health and development for primary care providers” and focused on the existence and content of specific adolescent health issues.

Results: At the undergraduate level, five countries report some stand-alone mandatory teaching, while eight countries report optional stand-alone teaching for medical students. In around 20 out of 36 countries, issues critical to adolescents are either covered as stand-alone sessions or embedded in other programs. At the post-graduate level, only half of the countries deliver stand-alone training sessions to paediatricians and cover most of the critical issues. The coverage among family physicians is lower.

Conclusion: The structure and content of training curricula in Adolescent Health and Medicine varies greatly across European countries. Most do not meet published standards. In order to improve appropriate and effective healthcare to adolescents, paediatric associations and institutions should advocate for a better coverage of issues pertaining to Adolescent Health and Medicine during the training of paediatricians and family physicians.

Contact person: Marija Slobodanac (Young EAP-Croatia, Young EAP representative for Adolescent Medicine)

European training in Adolescent Health and Medicine

Project title: European training in Adolescent Health and Medicine (recommendation)

Background and Aims: In many European countries, paediatric junior staff has no formal training in adolescent medicine and is ill-equipped to deal with issues and health problems such as substance use, unprotected sex, eating disorders and transition to adult care. Therefore, the EAP together with Young EAP has proposed a set of competency-based training goals and objectives as well as pedagogic approaches that are expected to improve the capacity of paediatricians to meet the needs of this important segment of the paediatric population.

Results: The content has been developed from available publications and training programmes and mostly covers the generic aspects of adolescent healthcare, such as how to communicate effectively, how to review and address lifestyles, how to perform a respectful and relevant physical examination, how to address common problems of adolescents and how to support adolescents in coping with a chronic condition.

Conclusion: The European Academy of Paediatrics urges national bodies, paediatric associations and paediatric teaching departments to adopt these training objectives and put them into practice, so that paediatricians will be better prepared in the future to meet the challenge of delivering appropriate and effective healthcare to adolescents.

Link to publication:

Contact person: Marija Slobodanac (YEAP-Croatia, Young EAP representative for Adolescent Medicine)

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