When I was in my early teens I was referred to an Adolescent Medicine Specialist. My doctor was concerned as I was a little delayed in my physical development. At this point she would assume primary care responsibilities for my teen years. I remember that first physical quite well. The doctor called my name both my mom and I started walking towards the exam room suites when the doctor approached and requested to see me alone and we would have a discussion in a conference room after my physical exam. My mom asked me if I was ok with this. I was a little nervous but I was a bit relieved. I went with the doctor to the examination room. She asked me to strip to my underwear after which we had a conversation prior to the exam. She quietly and politely informed me that accepting responsibility for my health care needs was a component of becoming an adult and that we could discuss most issues I was having in confidence. She informed me she was acting as my advocate. WOW!
The exam itself was relatively intense. Height, weight, bp, temp, pulse and everything one would expect during a complete physical. I was even given a breast examination. After being poked and prodded I was asked (never ordered) to stand. She informed me she needed to exam my genitals for proper development and testicular cancer. She asked me to take my underwear off and place my hands behind my head. She did what she had to do, examining my shaft, my penis, testicles, scrotum turn your head and cough. She also instructed me how to conduct a monthly testicular self exam. I was somewhat embarrassed but the doctor was very reassuring during an erection. She then had me stand with my hands above my head and asked me to bend over and touch my toes at which time I was informed my lower back was being checked for strength and scoliosis. So far so good. She then told me to stand up and put my underwear back on and informed me I was going to have exercise for 3 minutes (running in place) after which she would again check my heart rate. She stated I was going to need a few additional tests including some blood work, a urinalysis, a chest xray and an EKG. I was informed I had a slightly irregular heart rhythm and she was also concerned about the delay in my physical development. I had a 6 moth follow up with some additional blood tests. I started to physically develop at this point. I had complete physicals every year from that point forward.
In retrospect I was really blessed to have her looking out for me during the worst years of my life. The one component who helped me make sense of my difficult teen years.