Young Women Describe the Ideal Physician

By Clowers, Marsha | Adolescence, Winter 2002 | Go to article overview

Young Women Describe the Ideal Physician

Clowers, Marsha, Adolescence

Effective physician-patient communication is consubstantial to high-quality health care and to patient well-being. Patient compliance, morbidity, mortality, and risk behaviors all have been linked with the medical encounter, highlighting the importance of effective provider-patient communication (see David & Rhee, 1998; Kollias-Greber, 1998; Terry & Healey, 2000). This is no more true than with adolescent patients--the age group with the least usage of health services (MacKenzie, 2000) and perhaps the most propensity to engage in high-risk behaviors (Ehrman & Matson, 1998). In fact, lack of effective health communication compromises the quality of care young people need in order to grow into healthy adults (Coupey, 1997).

Some studies indicate that physicians are poorly prepared to treat their young patients. For example, a recent study of 57 medical practitioners found that 52 of them had little or no training in adolescent health (Veit, Sanci, Young, & Bowes, 1995), even though prevention of risky behaviors related to violence, sexual activity, and drug and alcohol use is somewhat dependent upon the nature of the interaction between physician and patient (Ehrman & Matson, 1998). Furthermore, physicians may fail to spend enough time with young patients. Jacobson, Wilkinson, and Owen (1994) found physicians' consultations with teenagers were 23% shorter than were those with older patients. Consultations with teenagers were shorter for all six of the physicians in the study.

By engaging adolescents in discussions of the typical risk-taking behaviors of this age group, physicians can try to prevent such behaviors, with success depending in part on effective physician-patient communication (Smith & Inskip-Paulk, 2000) and clear assurances of confidentiality about those discussions (see Lieberman & Feierman, 1999; Veit, Sanci, Young, & Bowes, 1995). Physician communication may ultimately determine the degree of patient satisfaction with the encounter (Terry & Healey, 2000), yet another variable that has long been linked with compliant behavior (Kyngas, Hentinen, & Barlow, 1998; Roter, Hall, & Katz, 1988). The significance of patient-provider interaction thus cannot be overemphasized, especially when the patients are adolescents.

Being younger does not mean being easier to treat--teens have an array of special needs. For example, adolescents' lack of communication skills, or reluctance to communicate, means that they need the provision of information from their physicians regarding contraceptive use more than other age groups (Davis & Wysocki, 1999). In addition, they desire those conversations to be direct, nonjudgmental, and open (Blythe & Rosenthal, 2000; Rosenthal, Lewis, Succop, Burklow, Nelson, Shedd, Heyman, & Biro, 1999). Although it is clear that health care providers need to focus on communicating with adolescents about sexual behavior (see, for example, Hassan & Creatsas, 2000; Lindberg, Ku, & Sonenstein, 2000), it is equally clear that conversations about such issues require the utmost in provider communication skills. In fact, one of the most significant barriers to adolescent prenatal care might involve physician-patient communication (Teagle & Brindis, 1998), perhaps due to the fact that teenagers and physicians have re markably different perceptions about the nature of medical care (see St. Claire, Watkins, & Billinghurst, 1996). Physician behavior has even been found to influence the effectiveness of adolescent-based clinic programs (Jaccard, 1996). Indeed, effective communication is necessary in the treatment of sexually active teens (Harbin, 1995; Samet, Winter, Grant, & Hingson, 1997). Finally, appropriate care of pregnant adolescents necessitates a cognitive and psychosocial evaluation (Drake, 1996), something that can only be accomplished through patient-provider interaction. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Young Women Describe the Ideal Physician


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.