Developing rapport with teenage patients

This is part one of a two-part series discussing adolescent communication.

A father and son, one besuited and in command, used to talking to other professionals, the other in school uniform, looking angrily at the ground, body turned from his father and bristling with ‘I don't want to be here'.

Teenage boy

Tom, the dad, opens with: "The school counsellor said we should see you. Sam here has been caught smoking drugs with his mates on school grounds. And he is only in Year 10!"

There is a perception in general practice circles that talking with young people is a struggle — but there are strategies to help GPs do a satisfying job.

Make it one-on-one