Most likely up until your teen years, your parents have managed your medical care. Now, as a teenager, it is time for you to start to take part in making medical decisions for your own body.
Things that are important to know as you start to become a responsible adult…
- Name, address, phone number of your doctor…any additional contact information that they may have (like a website address). Click here for Longwood Pediatrics contact information
- What medications you take, times you take them, and what they are for.
- Your medical history… personal and family (for example past illnesses, operations, allergies, chronic issues, vaccines you have received, family hx disease)
Here are some things you can start to do when you turn 14…
- Help make decisions about when and why you’d like to meet with your doctor.
Do you feel sick? Is your asthma acting up? Are your allergies bothering you? Did your coach tell you that you need to see a doctor before playing sports? Tell mom or dad it’s time to see the doctor. Even better, tell them you’ll call and set up the appointment yourself! Have mom or dad help you create a checklist of things to say when calling and work out an appointment time that will work for both you and your parents.
- Manage your refills by monitoring your medication supply and alert your parents that you may need a refill soon. They can help you decide whether or not you need to call your doctor’s office for a prescription renewal or refill.
- Click here to learn how to refill your medication
- More information on Managing Medications
- Prepare for each of your doctor’s visits.
Keep a list of questions you want to ask and issues you want to talk about with your doctor. Writing your concerns down can help you remember what to cover during your visit, especially when you are alone with your pediatrician.
- Click here to learn more about one on one time spent with your doctor
- Learning how to be comfortable with your provider
What you should be responsible for by the time you graduate high school…
- Know where and how to get copies of your medical records.
Most colleges and some jobs require information about your medical history. You may even want to keep your own copies to have on hand!
- Click here to learn how to request copies of medical records
- Electronic Medical Records
- More information on Medical Records
- Carry your own health insurance card and know how to contact them.
- Have a basic understanding on how health insurances work
- Know how to obtain referrals to specialists if you need them. It would be helpful if you know your specialist’s contact information as well.
- Work on taking care of yourself!
Rely on yourself to make decisions about what you eat and how you exercise. If you go to college or live on your own this is when you will become responsible for managing your own medications and diet. Rely on yourself to make decisions about what you eat and when you exercise to keep your body healthy.
Why do I need a checkup every year?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids ages 11-21 have a checkup once a year. As a teen, your body is constantly going through physical and mental changes as you become an adult. A yearly checkup gives you, your parents, and your doctor a chance to review how your body is developing and what to expect in the next year! Seeing your doctor annually gives you a chance to get answers to questions that you may feel uncomfortable asking your parents. It will be reassuring to you to hear that what you are going through is normal! Your doctor can make suggestions as to how to better balance your time and activities as well.
Okay…What should I expect?
- About 2 weeks in advance of your appointment, you or your parent will receive a phone call and email (through the patient portal) from our office confirming your scheduled appointment time. You will also get a call and additional email 2 days before your appointment as well…just as a last minute reminder.
- Please allow time for traffic and parking. If you arrive more than 20 minutes late for your appointment, you may be asked to reschedule. Despite all our efforts to maintain an on time schedule, sometimes the providers run late due to unexpected emergencies.
- Check in at the front desk and state your name, appointment time, and which provider you are here to see.
- Provide your insurance card to the front desk staff member.
- At this time the staff may inform you that you have a copay with this visit.
- You or your parent can pay this at this time, or you may receive the option to be billed at a later date.
- You may be asked to have a seat and to fill out any forms you have been given.
- A nurse will call your name and will bring you back to the lab to be measured.
- Your height, weight, vision, blood pressure, and heart rate will be checked by the nurse.
- The nurse will then ask you if you have any allergies to food or medication and verify the medications you are taking.
- The nurse may review the form you have filled out in the waiting room and may provide you or your parent with additional forms to fill out.
- At this time you may be asked to change into a gown and wait for the doctor to come in.
- Your doctor will start with both you and your parents in the room. This gives your parents a chance to ask any questions and address any concerns about your health that they may have.
- Your parent will be asked to step out of the exam room in order to give you and your doctor some privacy. At this time, you can ask the doctor about any private concerns that you may have.
- Next, your doctor will perform your physical exam…you can choose to have a nurse, your parent, or just your doctor in the room with you.
- You will get dressed and your parent will be invited back into the exam room to form a plan for the future to continue keeping you healthy.
- After the doctor has finished your exam and answered any questions you or your parent may have, a nurse will come in to administer immunizations and/or perform lab tests.
- The nurse or doctor will provide you with a physical health form (usually required by school, sports teams, camp, for your personal records). If you forget to bring your health form home, or find that you need another copy…call our office at any time and we can fax or mail you an additional copy.
- After your visit is complete… you may be advised to schedule your next yearly checkup at the front desk.
As a teen, you need to learn to be independent and responsible for your own health. However, sometimes you still may need your parents to get involved in your healthcare.
Even if you are a healthy adolescent, you may have questions and concerns that you don’t feel comfortable discussing with family or friends. Many surveys show that one reason teens don’t see a doctor is because they worry about their privacy.
At Longwood Pediatrics, our doctors and nurse practitioners want you to feel comfortable sharing these private concerns. When you turn thirteen, your doctor will structure your visit differently than when you were younger.
- During the confidential portion of the visit, when it is just you and the doctor or nurse practitioner, you will have a chance to speak about your health without your parent present.
- The information you share during this time is considered confidential and will not be shared with anyone (including your parents).
- If you share information that requires medical attention, your doctor may recommend that you share this information with your parents, or discuss it together with the doctor present.
- The only time that a doctor will inform your parent about an issue you discuss is if your life or health is in danger. Your doctor will let you know before he or she does this.
- When your doctor does your physical exam, you can choose to have your parent, a nurse, or just your doctor in the room.
- At the end of your visit, your doctor will meet with you and your parent together. This allows your doctor to update your parents and form a plan to keep you healthy!
What is informed consent?
Informed consent involves you having the power to make decisions about your own healthcare. Informed consent does not serve to eliminate your parents from helping you make medical decisions, but can be used when you are trying to deal with a private issue that requires specific medical attention. Your doctor will make sure you are INFORMED about each of the options you have. You then are the one giving the doctor the “ok” to treat you in a certain way.