Seeing the GP: Advice and tips for young people


We interviewed 34 people about their experiences of going to the GP (local doctor) and the care they were given. This is called ‘primary care’ because it’s the first place people go when they need health advice or treatment. Before we started the research, we also involved nine people in a focus group to tell us what questions we should ask in the interviews and what information they’d find most helpful in this section.

Young people talked about seeing the GP about minor issues, long-term conditions, mental health and sexual health. They also talked about making appointments, seeing the GP alone or with a parent, receptionists, what makes a good GP and appointment, and how healthcare could be improved. We interviewed a GP, too, for information about privacy in appointments, young people’s rights, what kinds of problems GPs can help with, and what to do when local surgery GPs are unavailable.



This guide aims to help young people who are thinking of visiting the GP, whether that’s because of a small minor problem, mental or sexual health, or to talk about a long-term condition. Each section gives advice and tips from other young people that could be helpful before going to see the doctor. This includes advice about making an appointment, confidentiality, and what the appointment might be like. 

This section is based on research by The University of Oxford.

Research Copyright 2019 University of Oxford All rights reserved

Supported by:
The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre based at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and University of  Oxford. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health. We’ll also be making new resources for schools, colleges and GP surgeries based on what young people have told us they’d find helpful.

Publication date: July 2017
​Date of review: July 2019


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