What Your Teen Wants you to Know about Visiting a Doctor

What Your Teen Wants you to Know about Visiting a Doctor

No-one said parenting teens was easy! It can get tricky when your teenager wants to see a GP by themselves.

How comfortable are you with them seeing a doctor without you? Are they ready for this responsibility? What health choices can they make for themselves?  How do you find out what’s going on?

Things your teen wants you to know

I want more privacy

This is common – it doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong.

If your teen sees a doctor without you, they have the right to confidentiality.

A doctor can break confidentiality if they have concern about your teen’s safety or the safety of others.

I am old enough

From around 14 years old teens can consent to simple treatments. The doctor must believe they can understand the treatment consequences and risks.

Once young people are 18 they are legally adults and can refuse or consent to medical treatment.

I want to choose my own doctor

Your teen may not want to continue seeing your family doctor.

Young people want to choose a doctor they feel comfortable with.

I still need your support

Attend part of the appointment together to help your teen gradually take more responsibility for their health.

There may be decisions that are too hard to make alone. Let them know you are there to help.

Make yourself available to talk – listen, don’t lecture.

I may need your help to:

  • get a personal Medicare card
  • find a doctor that bulk bills so there are no out-of-pocket expenses
  • make an appointment
  • get to an appointment
  • work out what the doctor needs to know about my history
  • understand and control My Health Record
  • get a prescription filled.

Want more help

Learning to see a doctor and making health choices are skills for life. It will take practice – for you both.

If you have questions or concerns seek help from your own GP to understand how you can support your teen.

For information about Tasmanian youth health services