U of T Crest Faculty of Medicine / University of Toronto
Department of Paediatrics
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Adolescent Medicine
 > Department of Paediatrics > Divisions > Adolescent Medicine

Adolescent Medicine

Dr. Miriam Kaufman - Division Head

The Division of Adolescent Medicine provides multidisciplinary clinical services in the areas of eating disorders, substance abuse, children of very young mothers and chronic illness and disability in adolescence. The division is involved in the education of fellows, paediatric residents, medical students at all levels and nursing students. Research foci are in the areas of eating disorders, chronic illness and HIV prevention.


First established as a program in 1969, Adolescent Medicine achieved divisional status in 1986. In the early years, the focus of the Adolescent Medical Clinic was almost entirely clinical, with staff providing mainly primary and secondary care to patients between twelve and eighteen years of age. During the 1970's, teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate level was introduced, and recruitment of full-time paediatricians with specialty training in adolescent medicine was initiated in the 1980's.

In 1989, the division began to develop subspecialty programs in such areas as eating disorders, substance abuse, teen parents, and adolescent sexuality. Six years ago, the general adolescent program was replaced by a more tertiary service called the Complex Adolescent Problem Program. The increasing multidisciplinary nature of adolescent medicine has resulted in a team approach being used for all programs. As well, with the development of these subspecialty areas, outcome and intervention studies have become the primary research foci of the division.

Education and training have always been integral to the division's mandate. As a result, the division's fellowship training program is now recognized as a leader in Canada, as well as being competitive at the international level. Although usually funded for only one fellow per year, the division has been successful in obtaining additional internal and external funding for several outstanding candidates. Most graduates of the training program have moved on to careers as consulting adolescent-medicine physicians or as academicians throughout Canada and the world.

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