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Maryland Pao, MD

Maryland Pao, MD

Dr Pao is Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Georgetown University School of Medicine and Clinical Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, MD.

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A 19-year-old new patient comes to you wanting to discontinue all his childhood psychiatric medications. What is the best next step?

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Who is responsible for treating the adolescent and young adult with psychiatric issues -- and when and how should transitions in care occur?

In 2007, cancer was diagnosed in 10,400 children and adolescents under the age of 15 years.1 While cancer remains the second leading cause of death in children, increasing numbers of children with cancer are surviving into adulthood.2 Over the past 30 years, 5-year survival rates for children with cancer have significantly improved, from 59% in 1975 to 1977 to 80% in 1996 to 2004.3 Pediatric cancer, increasingly considered a chronic rather than an acute condition, is an intense emotional and physical experience for patients and their families.4

Pediatric psychosomatic research shows that emotional, behavioral, and psychiatric symptoms are found more often in children and adolescents with chronic illnesses than in healthy children.

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