Medical Check-Ups During Adolescence

14 May, 2020
Although it's usually a stage of life when there aren't too many health problems, it's still important to have regular medical check-ups during adolescence in order to receive guidance on crucial issues.
 

Medical check-ups during adolescence are vital. It’s a stage of life that doesn’t usually give too many health problems. However, there are still situations that need to be attended to and information to be provided.

Medical check-ups during adolescence

Spine, posture and other issues

Medical check-ups during adolescence can bring up an inexhaustible series of questions. In adolescence, teens start to become interested in and curious about so many things that we could spend hours and hours talking to them.

These can range from posture and spinal problems, to questions related to eating and concentration for their studies. There are plenty of topics that we should broach with them, and some can often cause concern.

Medical Check-Ups During Adolescence

What are the characteristics of adolescents?

As far as health care is concerned, we certainly shouldn’t forget that adolescents, in general, often have a feeling of invulnerability that makes them think that nothing bad is ever going to happen to them. So, the last thing they’ll want to do is go to the doctor’s, unless they feel really ill.

Adolescence as a problem

We shouldn’t create stigmas or consider adolescence to be some sort of problem that needs to be overcome. In general, there is a significant number of adolescents and young people who study, work, respect rules, and are creative and positive in all that they do.

 

Our role as adults is definitive when it comes to helping them. We should always remember that we’re their parents, teachers or counselors, but not their friends. Three crucial elements that come to the fore at this time of their lives are: choosing partners, future career choices, and their search for their identity.

Medical check-ups during adolescence: once, twice or three times a year?

The recognized scientific societies in adolescent health recommend at least two visits a year to a doctor with recognized experience in adolescent health.

The need for the doctor to be specially trained is important, as they’ll need to have experience in asking open questions in such a way that helps the teenager feel at ease.

Motivational dialogue is also an appropriate resource that, in expert hands, can contribute to a better relationship that can be sustained over time.

Parents and appointments

Parents have a fundamental role at all times. However, the way they should accompany children, adolescents, and young adults is different in many ways. In this sense, both doctors and parents must help the progressive development of a teenager’s autonomy.

Medical Check-Ups During Adolescence
 

Confidentiality in medical check-ups during adolescence

Confidentiality means that the information shared in the consultation will, in general, remain there. It’s important to clarify from the outset that a doctor will always seek to keep things confidential.

However, there are times when they’ll need to “break” that confidentiality if they feel there’s a situation that could jeopardize the adolescent’s health, and put them at risk.

In these cases, and with the adolescent’s consent, either the parents will be informed, or they’ll help them to share that information with their parents.

Things to keep in mind

It’s not uncommon to see and hear that parents very often neglect their children in different ways when they reach adolescence. This is a serious error, as adolescents require our attention and help – albeit in a different way – in order for them to develop well as autonomous human beings.

And finally…

Adolescence is a time of inspiration and positive transformation. It’s for this reason that the support that we as adults give them can inspire them and bring about positive changes in their lives and plans.

 
  • Melamed, Irene. “Los adolescentes y el derecho a la información en contextos de salud” 12 Congreso Virtual de Psiquiatría.
  • Sociedad Española de Medicina de la Adolescencia, SEMA.