We’re your long-term partner in raising healthy kids, and we customize our approach for teenagers. We care for your kids through age 21, and it is important for your child’s health and development that we structure appointments differently during the teenage years. We respect your teenager’s increasing need for privacy during this time. We will speak with and examine your teenager privately and will use a confidential questionnaire, providing the opportunity to talk about issues your teenager would prefer to discuss only with a medical professional. We will inform your teenager that confidentiality will be maintained between the patient and doctor unless we think there is a possibility of physical harm to someone. In that case, we will be obligated to inform a responsible person.
We encourage your teenager to take responsibility for his own health. We will also use this growing relationship with your teenager to provide guidance on how to take responsibility for good health by making the right choices. We have found our approach to be highly effective and an important step in keeping your teenager both well informed and safe. We appreciate your understanding of this important change and will be happy to discuss it with you in more detail. We will provide letters for both you and your teenager at the appropriate time to set new expectations for this period in your child’s development. We will have a copy of the letter to your teenager available for your review in advance if you choose.
Remember that regular checkups during adolescence are essential. These visits assure that your child is current on immunizations; prepared to participate fully in school, sports and camp; encouraged to maintain good health habits; and given an opportunity to address common adolescent concerns such as acne, weight or eating problems, sleep issues, depression and mental health problems, sexuality, and substance use/abuse. This stage of care is a critical component in your child’s maturation, and as always, we’re available to help you as parents during this important period in any way that we can.