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Helping your teen pick a doctor: kids may outgrow their pediatrician, but they still need a physician. Here's how parents can help then choose a provider they will trust - Raising Kids

Even before the first of their two daughters was born, Debbie and Karl Guyer of Chesterfield, Missouri, were searching for the best pediatrician they could find. They asked their friends and family for suggestions, then interviewed physicians until they settled on one they liked.

Through the years their daughters--Erin, 22, and Brittany, 17--would see several doctors as the family switched insurance plans, a pediatrician closed her practice, and the gifts needed specialists from time to rime. As changes were made, the Guyers carefully watched how doctors interacted with their daughters to make sure that Erin and Brittany remained pleased with the caregivers, Debbie says.

Parents need to assume this active role to ensure that their children have access to a supportive doctor, particularly as kids head into their adolescent years, say physicians who specialize in treating teenagers.

If your child has grown uncomfortable seeing a pediatrician whose waiting room is filled with toys and screaming babies--or she just doesn't connect with the doctor for some reason--it may be time to look for a new physician. Adolescence lasts only a few years, but this brief period presents teens with an array of unfamiliar and potentially embarrassing health issues, says Dr. Andrea Marks, an adolescent medicine specialist in New York City and author of Healthy Teens, Body and Soul.

Puberty, of course, is a big issue. So is peer pressure to smoke and drink. And other "adult" concerns abound, including depression, eating disorders, and sexuality issues, such as abstinence or contraception, pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

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