Wondering where to take your teen to the doctor?
You’ve taken your kids to their pediatrician since they were newborn, but is that doctor still the right choice for your tween or teen? Or maybe you’ve recently moved to East Central Illinois and are wondering how to select new primary care providers for your teens. Either your beloved pediatrician is retired (NOOOOOO!) Or your insurance policy changed before your kids are ready for adult medications. We are here to help.
Finding a good doctor who clicks with your child and family is a magical thing. Minimizing the change of provider is one reason to choose a primary care physician for your baby as this department can theoretically provide continuity of care throughout your child’s life and for other members of your family as well. But even this plan can fail, as your baby will one day grow into a teenager who might insist on having a different doctor than mom or dad.
With pediatricians, their office – or your insurance plan – can have any age limit (18? 21?) For when they transfer their patients to adult drug providers. Some children may want to stay with their pediatrician for as long as possible: if they go to college and don’t want to find a new caregiver for 4 years; if they have a chronic condition that is well understood by their pediatrician; if they prefer an office and staff better equipped to deal with waiting times or disruptive procedures. Some children may want to transition earlier than this age limit – they may no longer feel comfortable with the butterflies on the office carpet, or they may have been diagnosed with a condition that is more common in adults.
An especially common time for children to switch medical providers comes along with puberty. Many tweens or teens will suddenly express a strong preference for a doctor of a particular gender. Or, you may find that the doctor who handled your angelic toddler so well may not be so thoughtful as to make your lanky, grumpy teenager feel comfortable.
A note on teens who are or will be menstruating: Families have different approaches when it comes to taking their teen to a gynecologist. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends the first Pap test to screen for cervical cancer at age 21, with or without sexual activity. Whether a family takes their teen to a gynecologist soon after menstruation begins – to establish a positive care relationship – or wait until later (perhaps when the teen moves to college or a first apartment at age 18 ) is up to them and their primary care provider. Many primary care providers are able to answer questions about reproductive health or prescribe birth control (or “hormonal regulation,” as one health care professional calls it). All health care providers emphasize that seeing a gynecologist as a teenager of any age is NOT synonymous with an internal pelvic exam, birth control, or sexual activity.
(This post does not include gynecologists; go to our OB / GYN post instead.)
Some local tips:
In the Champaign-Urbana area, most doctors are affiliated with Christie Clinic of Carle. Keep in mind that not all doctors accept all insurance or have access rights to all hospitals, so doing your own research is a must. Some of the most popular physicians in our area may have full-time practice and therefore not accept new patients. This status is subject to change, so it is not shown here. (Another question to research.) Want to do an informational interview with a provider? Just call their office to see if it is possible to set one up.
We asked our readers to recommend their favorite Champaign-Urbana Area Doctors for Teens, and we appreciate every response we have received.
Chambanamoms.com does not endorse or recommend medical professionals; all opinions below are those of chambanamoms.com readers. This list is intended as a community resource and has been generated from individual entries on the chambanamoms.com Facebook page.
This list of recommended providers is organized by office location.
Carle on Curtis, Champaign
Sean Fullan, MD, Pediatrics: “I really like him. He listens to parents and children. “
Steven Gentry, MD, Family Medicine: “He’s a great doctor. Very personable and professional. “My boys see Dr. Gentry too.”
Dawn McCoy, MD, Family Medicine: “I really like her thinking. She was great when our kids were little and very respectful of our preteen. Because she also sees us as adults, she has a comprehensive understanding of our family history without having to look at the notes in the table. “” She’s great. “
Carle on Windsor, Urbana
Christine Chu, MD, Pediatrics: “Both my boys (13 and 16 years old) really like her, which was a wonderful surprise … I sure thought they would want a man. Recommend Dr. Chu strongly recommend! “” We love her too! “
Dionne Smith, MD, Pediatrics: “My 12-year-old daughter sees Dr. Smith and we love her.” “She’s a great doctor … very knowledgeable and down to earth.” “She is excellent and her genuine care and love for her work is evident.” “We switched to Dr. Smith when my 12-year-old wanted a female physician with an accessible manner and we’re thrilled.”
Christie Clinic at Windsor, Champaign
Myisha Porter, MD, Pediatrics: “An excellent pediatrician who my children (ages 15, 12, and 8) really like and respect.” “My daughter saw Dr. Porter because of her physical education. She is absolutely fantastic. “I have an 11 & 16 year old. She’s just wonderful. Bedside manner, personality, compassion. Her nurse too!” ‘She takes things seriously without being overly reactive, which I appreciate so much. And the kids feel so comfortable with her. “
Louisa Maranon, MD, Pediatrics: “My girls love her.”
Christie Clinic, Mahomet
Michael Palazzolo, MD, Pediatrics: “I have a 15-year-old boy and we both like him.” “My 12-year-old son really likes Dr. Palazzolo. I foresee that will not change in the coming years. Despite moving further south, I choose to drive the extra distance to keep Dr. P as our pediatrician for as long as possible.
Carl Sather, MD, Pediatrics and Internal Medicine
Christie Clinic, Monticello
Mitch Hammel, MD, Family Medicine: “Great with my boys (ages 15, 21). Younger and recognizable. “
And a local doctor even took the time to comment on our Facebook post himself:
Frances Nelson Health Center, Champaign
Corinne Kohler, MD: “I do the whole family, but I especially love the health of my teens and adolescents.”
Champaign-Urbana Pediatricians | Doctors for adults in Champaign-Urbana | Champaign-Urbana OB / GYN