Adolescents are a growing area in paediatric practice in both hospital and community settings. They make up around one quarter of the practice of many paediatricians. Yet until recently there has been little formal interest in young people's health in the UK. The situation is now changing, particularly following the publication of the "National Service Framework for children, young people and maternity services'', which places a major emphasis on adolescent health. Given that this area is relatively new to many paediatricians, this article aims to provide an overview of the range of health problems that affect young people, to provide practical advice for working with this group in paediatric practice, and to outline current and future opportunities for training in adolescent health in the UK.