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The family-oriented physician cares for the adolescent best by respecting both the adolescent’s growing autonomy and the parents’ vital role in the adolescent’s overall health and development. The adolescent’s need to individuate, to develop a sense of identity and independence, has been established as important in adolescent health care (1–4). Unlike child health care, the physician often sees the adolescent alone and deals with many medical, developmental, and other issues with the confidentiality afforded adult patients. It has been suggested that the absence of the parent is essential to developing a trusting relationship between the physician and the adolescent, and that the physician can play a role in “accelerating the process of children becoming independent patients”(4).
KeywordsBirth Control Office Visit Child Health Care Exam Room American Civil Liberty
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