By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We know that teenagers don’t like to see the doctor. By and large most teenagers don’t have to worry about seeing the doctor that often.

Certainly there is the need for school physicals and the obvious cases where there are health issues. But a growing number of scientists believe that teenagers should be seeing a doctor for preventive measures as well.

Researchers looked at almost 300,000 Minnesota teenagers between the ages of 11 and 18. They found that more than a third of teenagers fail to go to even one preventive care visit between the ages of 13 and 17. Forty percent only went to the doctor once over those four years. This is particularly important because teenagers need to learn about proper diet and exercise but they also need to know about health risks like cigarette smoking, alcohol and sexually transmitted diseases.

The researchers believe there should be a greater effort toward preventive treatment.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor

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