WellSpan Home

Medical Checkups for Adolescents

Topic Overview

During your adolescent's yearly medical checkup, most doctors:

  • Check your child's height and weight, body mass index, blood pressure, vision, and hearing.
  • Listen to your child's heart and lungs. Also, the doctor will feel the lymph nodes and the thyroid gland in the neck as well as the spleen, liver, and kidneys in the stomach area.
  • Inspect the genitals.
    • Your son's testicles will be checked to feel for any unusual lumps.
    • The doctor may recommend a pelvic exam for your daughter.
  • Check the breasts of both males and females.
  • Test joints and muscles for flexibility and strength.
  • Check the spine. If any irregularities are noticed, X-rays may be done to rule out conditions such as scoliosis.
  • Look at the skin for signs of acne, and check for abnormal moles.
  • Review and update immunizations.

Other tests, such as blood tests, may be done at your doctor's discretion.

A doctor often will discuss health and safety concerns with your child, such as:

  • Tips to add healthy foods and exercise into a daily routine.
  • Safe driving. Your doctor might remind your teen to always wear a seat belt, not use a cell phone while driving, and not "go along" in a car with someone who drives recklessly or who has used drugs or alcohol.
  • Using common sense with modern technology. Internet chat rooms, text messaging, and other kinds of modern technology offer young people ways to communicate quickly. They may also feel anonymous. But children need to understand the dangers of giving out information to people they don't know. They also need to be reminded to think twice before sending messages to others. Communication is so fast now that things they write and send off with a "click" can have effects that they did not intend. For example, sending off a mean text message can be very hurtful. It can even be a form of bullying.
  • Sun protection. The doctor might bring up basic facts about when to wear sunscreen and other ways to avoid sun damage.
  • Lifestyle issues, such as pregnancy, prevention of sexually transmitted infections, and the risks of experimenting with drugs and alcohol.
  • Depression . Your doctor might ask your teen if he or she has noticed any mood or behavior changes.

Most likely, this kind of information will not be new to your child. But it may "stick" more with some children when they hear it from an adult other than their parents. It usually is a good idea to give your adolescent time alone to discuss issues privately with the doctor. This gives your child an opportunity to address problems or concerns that may be difficult to share with you.

References

Other Works Consulted

  • Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine, Bright Futures Periodicity Schedule Working Group (2016). 2016 recommendations for preventive pediatric health care. Pediatrics, 137(1). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2015-3908. Accessed December 7, 2015.
  • Irwin CE (2011). The adolescent visit. In CD Rudolph et al., eds., Rudolph's Pediatrics, 22nd ed., pp. 272–276. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSusan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine

Current as ofMarch 28, 2018


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×