Since Dr. Stiles is both an Internist and a Pediatrician, teens feel more comfortable in her office. The environment here is mixed and mature, not all “kid-like”.
Dr. Stiles can take care of most female problems and does 'Well Woman' exams in the office. A Well Woman exam includes a Pap Smear, Pelvic exam, and Breast Exam. We can do a Well Woman exam on the first visit if there are no other major issues to deal with. We also would do a Pelvic exam if there is a female problem. However, if a woman has other issues or problems, the Well Woman exam will be postponed.
Dr. Stiles likes to give teenagers some private time without the parent in the room. She tells both parent and teen that anything said in confidence is private. She also says that a life-threatening situation would be the exception. Of course in that case, she would explain that to the teen and help them to tell the parent themselves.
Dr. Stiles tries to focus on the 3 top things that can threaten the lives of our teenage children. Do you know what they are?
#1 Threat to Our Teens
Yes, actually this is the # 1 killer of kids from age 1 to 19. Staying alive and driving means the following:
Wear your seatbelt!
Driver pay attention! No cellphones, bluetooth, DVDs, CDs, and …
Only the driver plus one other Teen in the car
Pull over if you are Road Raging! A car can be a dangerous weapon. It can kill you!
Don’t ride with someone if you are the LEAST BIT uncomfortable. Call a parent, take a taxi, take a bus. Whether the driver has been drinking, is acting immaturely, or just can’t drive, Don’t Risk It.
PARENTS – devise a safety plan and with your Teenager. Give them one “Way Out of a Sticky Situation” card they can use at any time, no questions asked.
Be sure they know you will always be there for them. Irresponsible use of their card will be grounds for loss of privileges. They need to know they have to show maturity and responsibility as well.
#2 & #3 Threat to Our Teens
Suicide and Homicide!
Teenage years are hormonally tumultuous. There are many difficult decisions and tricky relationships. There are many psychological growing pains. There are achievement pressures, peer pressures, financial pressures.
Girls are more likely to attempt suicide but Boys are more successful. Access to guns helps to assure success. There is a much higher rate of suicide among gay teens. Untreated ADD or ADHD can lead to substance abuse. Schizophrenia often presents in the teenage years.
Watch for warning signs:
Sudden change in behavior, attitude, eye contact, sleep schedule
Too much sleep or very little sleep needed
Speech that is sped up and lacks direction
Seeming to hear voices or acting like something is there that is not
Experimenting with cigarettes and alcohol which can be “gateway” drugs to lead to other things.
OFF TO COLLEGE
In the process of finishing college paperwork, you will need a Physical appt in order to get vaccinations and tests in order. TdaP (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis) and Meningitis vaccinations are required. Some colleges need a lab test to verify immunity. Some desire TB tests. For athletics some require proof you have no sickle trait. Please try to get into the office.
A difficult topic -- but please read! One in 4 women are sexually assaulted during their time in college. This is unbelievable. 41% of colleges haven’t conducted a single sexual assault investigation in the past 5 years. Please see the below site, to learn about Title IX, and how you can prevent this. Don’t be afraid. Just be safe.
KNOW YOUR IX: EMPOWERING STUDENTS TO STOP SEXUAL VIOLENCE
Know how to take your medical insurance to go to a Minor Med, the campus Health Clinic, or worse case – the Emergency Room. For some things that can be dealt with over the phone, you can always call me, your PCP. You may be away from home but never hesitate to call here. Or call your parent or caregiver.
STRESS! MENTAL ILLNESS
The stress of being away from home can be significant. You are going through so many changes when you go off to college. You are becoming a grownup! You are becoming independent! You are learning how to study on your own. You have to manage your finances (and your laundry)! If you think you could be getting overwhelmed, please look at the following websites. First of all, focus on some good nights sleep. A person cannot function on a high level without good sleep. Avoid alcohol. Minimize caffeine. Melatonin is an OTC herbal remedy that can help. Consider small amounts like 1 or 2mg, at bedtime, just a couple times a week. This is best when you have 8 hours to sleep. Don’t take it when you only have a few hours.
Here are some good links from the Academy of Pediatrics: