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  The value of teens having ‘alone time’ with doctors

This is Science Today. While the American Medical Association has set clinical guidelines recommending that adolescents see their doctor for annual preventive visits, a University of California, San Francisco study has found that the majority of teens in this country are not getting the appropriate level of these health care services.

Irwin:             So, one in three young people are getting a preventive care visit between the ages of 12 and 17.

Narrator:       Dr. Charles Irwin, Jr., director of UCSF's Division of Adolescent Medicine says their study also revealed that when adolescents do see their doctor, they often don't get time alone during the visit.

Irwin:             Less than half of all of the adolescents had any time alone with their provider. And if they've never had any time alone with a provider to kind of learn about how to maintain their health, when they should be seeking care, etc., then we basically have a group of consumers that are entering young adulthood who don't know how to use the heath care system.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.