Adolescence is the time that you start taking a bit more responsibility for yourself…you know, making decisions about what to do, where to go and who to go with. It’s also a time to start thinking about (and looking after) your own health.
It’s important to find a good Doctor…one that you like and trust. This may be your Family Doctor, or you may prefer to see someone different… whoever it is, there are a few things to remember:
- The information you share with your Doctor is confidential. This means that your privacy and personal information are protected except in some very special circumstances (find out more HERE)
- You can make decisions about your own health. There is no fixed age for this, but the Doctor must believe that you are mature enough to fully understand. This is usually around the age of 14years, but it may be a little older.
- Your Doctor may suggest involving your parent or carer, and this is often a good idea… but if you are considered ‘mature’ this is your choice (talk to your Doctor about the pros and cons if you are unsure).
- Your health records are also private, so generally if you are over 14 years of age, your parents cannot view your health record unless you agree.
- It’s a good idea to apply for your own Medicare Card, but many Doctors will see you even without one.
- It’s OK to take a friend along if you feel a bit nervous.
Remember that most of the adults in your life want the best for you; so consider talking things through with someone you trust …you may be surprised how understanding they really are.