Children's Health Mental Health

Adolescent medicine: Bridging the gap

The teen years were once known to be a no man’s land of medicine, with adolescents caught between pediatricians and adult physicians.

But teens sometimes resist seeing a pediatrician, so parents may end up neglecting important annual exams during these difficult years. Despite not wanting to set their teen off, parents need to encourage their kids, no matter what age, to get their health checked.

Making the Transition

During these formative years, teens face challenges that can affect their future health and development. That’s why we not only monitor our patients’ health, but address social, psychological and developmental issues with them and their families.

Our goal is to help your children make it through adolescence safely and in good health, so they will be better prepared for the years ahead.

Support Through the Awkward Years

Adolescents often have concerns they don’t feel comfortable addressing with their parents. For many teens, it’s just not considered “cool” to talk with parents. An adolescent medicine physician can provide your child with accurate health-related information and guidance in a caring, confidential manner.

That’s why it’s so important for people in this age group to develop a relationship with a physician they like and trust. During adolescence, people need to learn to take responsibility for their health. With more independence and freedom in decisions, teens should learn to value the health they often take for granted. The choices they make in adolescence can directly affect their well-being as adults.

A Holistic Approach to Tween and Teen Care

Adolescent medicine physicians at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia treat and address a full range of issues in people between the ages of 11-21, including:

  • General health checkups, immunizations and primary care for healthy adolescents and those with chronic illnesses
  • Diagnoses and care of general medical problems
  • Nutrition, exercise and eating disorders
  • Smoking cessation
  • Adolescent depression, stress and anxiety
  • Puberty, menstruation and adolescent gynecology
  • School behavior and social problems

They also offer quick and easy referrals to other medical and mental health professionals, if needed.

Dr. Robert Pendergrast is an adolescent medicine physician and director of the Adolescent Medicine Program at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. He leads a team of adolescent medicine specialists who understand the unique health and social issues teens face and take the time to address them with patients and their parents. These physicians are trained pediatricians with three years of additional training in caring for and communicating with tweens and teens.

The Children’s Hospital of Georgia has the largest team of general pediatricians, adolescent medicine physicians and pediatric specialists in the Augusta area. CHOG offers adolescent care by board-certified adolescent medicine specialists who are trained to understand the unique health and social issues teens and young adults face between the ages of 11 and 21. For more information about CHOG, please visit our website at or call 706-721-KIDS (5437) to schedule an appointment.

About the author

Dr. Robert Pendergrast

Dr. Robert Pendergrast

Dr. Robert A. Pendergrast is the Director of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Georgia. He graduated from the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine in 1983 and completed his Fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1987.