Going for the Gold?

Sport SpecializationI was going to write about a completely different topic for this week’s post, but I just saw an incredible presentation about sport specialization by UW’s own Alison Brooks, MD, MPH, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Dr. Brooks was presenting research about whether sport specialization – when an athlete focuses on one sport, usually throughout the year and at the exclusion of participation in other sports – is a healthy and effective way to help youth achieve their athletic goals. In other words, does someone who wants to play in the WNBA have to play in a year-round basketball league before high school (or even middle school)?

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Dorm Room First Aid: Packing For Your Health

Dorm Room First AidWe know there are very few things more overwhelming than packing up your whole life to move into a really tiny college dorm or apartment. What do you bring with you? What sounds like a great idea to pack now, but will just end up unused and taking up precious space? How many forgotten items will your parents be willing to ship before you go home for Thanksgiving?

Today, we’re going to make this process easier by compiling the following list of important medical items so you can spend less time inside your school’s health center and more time experiencing all that college has to offer. Because – let’s face it – some sort of illness, scrape, or injury is inevitable, and it’s better to be prepared than to be scrambling to find a pharmacy store when your final paper is due in 45 minutes.

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Transition, Part III: For Teens with Complex Medical Conditions

Teen Health TransitionWelcome back!  As you know, we’ve been exploring transition, or the process of getting ready for medical care as an adult.  We’ve talked about what transition is and why it is important as well as the general steps in transition.  As you can imagine, the general timeline applies to most teens, but can be much more complicated in youth that have complex medical needs.  Some of this complexity can come from the number of providers involved (which can be many) or may relate to differences in intellectual ability that make it important to discuss things like whether another adult should be involved in helping the young adult make decisions after the age of 18.  In our final post in this series, we’re going to explore some of these additional considerations, so that the transition process can be as smooth as possible for all teens.

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Transition Part II: The Whens and Hows

Teen Health Transition Part 2Welcome back!  We are in the midst of our three-part series about helping teens transition to receiving health care as adults. In our last post, we discussed what transition is and reviewed some cases to consider why transition should be a part of every teen’s health care.

This week, we’ll consider how and when transition actually happens. For practical purposes, we’ll focus on what teens and families can do in preparing for this process, but it’s also important to acknowledge that transition should be a team effort between the family, the teen, and all of the health care providers involved.  For some folks, that may be one or two providers, but it might involve many more than that (and may extend to folks in legal and school arenas as well) depending on a person’s health history.  Don’t forget to check out next week’s post for more information about additional tips to facilitate a smooth transition for teens with complex medical issues!

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