Handling sensitive issues in a pediatric office visit
As most children grow and mature, they make regular visits to the pediatrician's office with a parent or guardian. Around age 12 or so, the pediatrician is likely to spend time during the appointment with just the child, so that he or she can talk privately about anything with the doctor. Upstate associate professor of pediatrics Beth Nelsen, MD, says topics that may be covered include relationships with family and friends, safety, mental health and sexuality. Discussing these topics confidentially is not meant to exclude the parent but to allow the patient to answer questions honestly. She says she encourages patients to discuss things with their parent or caregivers, as well, to help strengthen relationships at home.