As this book is published, I will celebrate 10 years of friendship with and mentorship from my co-editor, Professor Patience H. White. Our collaboration began with my award of a traveling fellowship from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (Scotland) to spend time at the Adolescent Employment Readiness Center at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. At the same time, I wrote up an audit project on behalf of the British Paediatric Rheumatology Group that revealed 82% of units seeing children with rheumatic disease in the United Kingdom had no specific service arrangements for adolescents. So, if you are a rheumatology trainee, beware where you travel during your training and carefully consider the nature of any audit question you ask as they can truly shape your future career!
However, the real experts in adolescent rheumatology are the young people themselves. It was therefore with extra delight that the publishers agreed to include a chapter written (Chapter 19) by young people with rheumatic disease. As one 15-year-old girl so eloquently writes:
Kids have changed over the years; they don't sit back and listen anymore. If there is a chance for their point to be heard, they will say it. Teenagers like to have fun and be childish at times but we do like to be treated as adults and given choices, not have choices made for us.
And so it is for Katie and for all the other young people with rheumatic disease to whom this book is dedicated, who continue to be my most effective teachers of adolescent health and who deserve to be listened to and heard!
Was this article helpful?