Who should your teen see as her first independent doctor?

graduateEvidence shows that patients receive improved medical care from doctors that graduate with special certificates that make them American Board Certified.

American Board Certification is a highly regarded certification to hold, as it is revered for all the additional training, clinical experience and knowledge on national examinations. It is held in high esteem, worldwide. Ask your pediatrician if she has a transitional doctor in mind for your teen as she grows.

Many experts hold that the First Period is a good time for a girl to see her first gynecologist. This varies based on the individual, with sex education, birth control and pre-menstrual syndrome being important topics. Here is a list of all American Specialty Board Certifications, with some attention given to a girl’s future childbearing activity and the need for education on female matters. Here is the education, specialty, and American Board Certifying the trained physician; the years of training after high school graduation are given:

Family Medicine Doctor – American Board of Family Medicine – 11 years training

The Family Medicine doctor or General Practitioner is generally for healthy patients and those with controlled, stable medical conditions. Well versed in growth and development, she knows how to refer a patient to a specialist, like a gynecologist or a dermatologist. Search for a Board Certified Family Medicine physician here.

Internal Medicine Doctor – American Board of Internal Medicine – 11 years training

An ‘internist’ cares for patients who have more complicated or unstable disease(s), like diabetes, obesity, asthma or allergies. According to the American Board of Internal Medicine, this is the training purpose of physicians who are Board Certified in Internal Medicine:

An internist is a personal physician who provides long-term, comprehensive care in the office and in the hospital, managing both common and complex illnesses of adolescents, adults and the elderly. Internists are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, infections and diseases affecting the heart, blood, kidneys, joints and the digestive, respiratory and vascular systems. They are also trained in the essential skills of primary care internal medicine, which incorporates an understanding of disease prevention, wellness, substance abuse, mental health and effective treatment of common problems of the eyes, ears, skin, nervous system and reproductive organs.

Pediatrics – American Board of Pediatrics – 11 years training

The American Board of Pediatrics has as its purpose:

Pediatricians practice the specialty of medical science concerned with the physical, emotional, and social health of children from birth to young adulthood. Pediatric care encompasses a broad spectrum of health services ranging from preventive health care to the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic diseases. Pediatricians understand the many factors that affect the growth and development of children. They understand that children are not simply small adults. Children change rapidly, and they must be approached with an appreciation for their stage of physical and mental development.

Search for a Board Certified Pediatrician here.

Obstetrician/Gynecologist – American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology 

– 12 years training

The “O-B/G-Y-N” Board Certification is always two women’s health specialties that ‘go together.’ A gynecologist may opt to ‘leave’ obstetric care (i.e., not deliver babies anymore) and only practice gynecology. Both American and Canadian Ob/Gyns are Board Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology (ABO+G), whose aims are to:

Attain and continuously maintain the highest professional standards in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health Care by establishing standards of evaluation that assure that physicians certified by this organization are able to provide high quality Obstetrical and Gynecological services, and Women’s Health Care…

Verify American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology Certification here.

Family Medicine Adolescent Doctor – Adolescent Medicine – 13 years training

Internal Medicine Adolescent Doctor – Adolescent Medicine – 13 years training

Pediatric Adolescent Doctor – Adolescent Medicine – 14 years training

The American Board of Pediatrics established American Board Certification in Adolescent Medicine in collaboration with the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Family Medicine. Upcoming Board Certification for chronically ill children is in progress for something new, Pediatric Hospital Medicine Certification. Verify Board Certified Pediatric doctors here. The American Board of Pediatrics certifies doctors with this commitment:

Doctors who are certified by the American Board of Pediatrics go above and beyond basic requirements to be licensed to treat patients. Certification is a doctor’s commitment to you and your child to continually improve skills and practice.

Continuity of care is paramount, and teen mindfulness in personal health care should be gradual and unhurried.

As your teen grows, these milestones are inspirational endeavors for all. With preparation, knowledge, awareness and mindfulness, your teen should smoothly transition to adult medicine.

In just a short time, your teen will be gaining so much insight into the world of the emerging adult and you are poised to lay out the foundation to planning for the future. Increasing awareness, being pre-emptive to avoid complications, and gaining empowerment to keep resilient and mindful can lead to a lifelong endeavor to pursue excellence in personal health care. Congratulations to you!

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Additional Articles in the Teen Mindfulness Series:

#1. Teen Mindfulness: 10 General Concepts

#2. 5 Facts about Teen Mindfulness and Neuroplasticity

#3. Teen Mindfulness: 10 Concepts on Decision-Making

#4. Teen Mindfulness: Make 10 Good Choices

#5. Teen Mindfulness: 10 Considerations For Girls’ Adolescent Medicine

#6. Teen Mindfulness: 5 Components of Continuity of Care

#7. Teen Mindfulness: 5 Types of Board Certified Doctors

#8. Teen Mindfulness: 10 Steps to Medical Independence