It’s best to have your child visit a new doctor before they are sick.
Your child should begin to learn how to make appointments to see new or existing doctors on their own. This is a skill you can practice. Avoid surprises. When you call for an appointment, check that the practice takes your health insurance.
Practice: Use the script below to practice.
Mabel: Hello, my name is Mabel and I would like to schedule a visit with Dr. Webster. I have XYZ Insurance. (If you typically see this doctor or you are sure they accept your insurance, you may not need to tell them your insurance.)
Dr.’s Office: Okay, we accept that insurance. What is your full name and birth date?
Mabel: Mabel Table, June 15, 2001.
Dr.’s Office: Dr. Webster’s next appointment is in two weeks, on Monday at 2 pm.
Mabel: I have school until 3 pm, is there anything later?
Dr.’s Office: Yes, our latest appointment is 4 pm, and that would also be in two weeks but on a Wednesday.
Mabel: Yes, that will work for me.
Dr.’s Office: Would you like us to send you a reminder card in the mail?
Mabel: No, thank you. I will put the appointment on my phone calendar.
I can encourage my young adult child’s independence at appointments.
Things to discuss before calling to schedule an appointment:
- Does this doctor take my insurance?
- What number do I call to make an appointment?
- What type of appointment do I need?
- When am I available?
- How do I get to the appointment?
- How do I remember to go?
Things to discuss with your child:
- Does my healthcare system allow appointments to be made online?
- Discuss if I need a same day appointment.
- A same day appointment may mean I see another doctor.
- If I need another appointment, how do I schedule it?
Things to encourage your child to do at the appointment:
- Prepare for the appointment by creating a list of questions.
- Check in for the appointment.
- Try completing paperwork alone or complete it together.
- Have your child sit next to the doctor.
- Encourage time alone with the doctor.
- Take notes during the appointment, and review with your child after the visit.