Even the most stalwart parents of pre-teen adolescents can become tongue-tied and knock-kneed at the thought of having “The Talk.” At times like that, it’s nice to know that Alina Hongsakaphadana, M.D., is in your corner, ready to lead the discussion, or provide support if needed.
“There’s no doubt it’s a difficult conversation for some parents to have,” admits the soft-spoken family medicine physician who is based at the NorthBay Center for Primary Care in Green Valley. “But the information is so important and pre-teens and teenagers need to know. Some of them are already making decisions about sexual activity, and they need to understand there are responsibilities and consequences that come with those decisions.”
The bottom line is getting information to young adults before it’s too late.
Dr. Hongsakaphadana (pronounced Hong-saka-putt, but affectionately called Dr. Hong by patients and staff alike) says she’s particularly drawn to pre-teens and teens, who seem to feel comfortable talking to her.
Still, it’s not always an easy conversation. One of her young patients denied being sexually active, but when results came back positive for a sexually transmitted disease, Dr. Hong knew she’d have to have a serious talk with her. “She needed to talk to someone who could answer her questions seriously and without embarrassment.”
Dr. Hong understands that sometimes a third party is better equipped to navigate those tricky conversations. “I’m happy to work with the parents on how we approach the subject,” explains Dr. Hong. “I actually prefer that they engage in the discussion, but if they’re not comfortable, I’m happy to take the lead. Others just want me there for support.”
The bottom line, says Dr. Hong, is getting information to young adults before it’s too late.
“If a parent is not capable of answering questions for any reason, I’m happy to step in, because there’s a lot of misinformation out there and kids are confused.”
Of course, as a family physician she’s also available to handle regular health checks for adults and children of all ages. Dr. Hong accepts patients of all ages in her family practice. She is happy to provide sports physicals, annual exams and checkups. To schedule an appointment, call (707) 646-3500.