Neurodevelopmental Medicine
USF Health · College of Medicine

Making an appointment

To schedule an appointment with the Neurodevelopmental Medicine clinic please call 813-259-8789. Have your insurance information on hand to give to one of our patient care representatives.

Psychiatric Emergency

In the event of an emergency please call 911 or the psychiatrist on call (813-974-8900) as they will be better suited to help you in a timely manner.

What to expect on your first appointment.

Your child's first visit to the Neurodevelopmental Medicine clinic will consist of an evaluation performed by our team of psychiatrists, neurodevelopment specialists, and learning/behavioral specialists. From there our doctors can recommend a treatment plan for your child, be it through medication management; additional testing conducted by the Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System; or additional therapy, just to name a few examples.

Your Child's Clinic Visit

The following tips can be utilized to cut your wait time and help make your child's clinic visit as stress-free as possible.

Before the Appointment

Before your first visit to the Neurodevelopmental Medicine clinic it is important to gather any information that might be beneficial your child or the doctor. This could include a complete medical records history, a list of recurring symptoms, your medical insurance card, or questions that you would like the doctor to answer.

Preparing Your Child

When kids anticipate "going to the doctor," many become worried and apprehensive about the visit. Whether they're going to see their primary care doctor or a specialist — and whether for a routine exam, illness, or special problem — kids are likely to have fears, and some may even feel guilty. You can help your child overcome these feelings by encouraging them to express their fears and by addressing them in words that they understand and aren't likely to misinterpret. Here are some practical ways to do this:

Explain the Purpose of the Visit

If just a routine visit, explain to your child that the doctor is going to check on how they are growing and developing. Let them know that they can ask the doctor any questions they may have about their health and that, "healthy kids go to the doctor for check-ups all the time."

If the visit is to diagnose and treat an illness or other condition, explain — in very nonthreatening language — that the doctor "needs to examine you to find out how to help you get better."

Address Feelings of Guilt

If your child is showing signs of guilt about the visit explain that it is not their fault and that people go to the doctor all of the time for similar reasons. Use examples of people they know (parent, siblings, friend) who have had similar conditions. If the trip to the doctor is a result of something they have done (i.e. jumping off the couch and breaking a bone) be sure to relieve guilt by making it a teaching moment. The most important idea to convey to your child is that the doctor is not a punishment.

Tell Kids What to Expect During the Exam

Explain what the doctor is going to do during the examination. Run through how a physical works before arriving. Explain the important differences between privacy issues with strangers and privacy during a doctor appointment. If the appointment is for a procedure that the parent doesn't understand completely they should feel free to ask the doctor/nurse what is involved. State that there may be pain involved, but don't go into detail or dwell on the subject. Let your child know that you will be in the room with them. Kids can cope with discomfort or pain more easily if they're forewarned, and they'll learn to trust you if you're honest with them.

Let Your Child Help

Let your child help prepare for the visit. They can help you gather information (conditions/previous illness) and can prepare their own questions for the doctor.

The Day of Your Clinic Visit

The Neurodevelopmental Medicine clinic is located on the second floor of the USF Health South Tampa Center across the street from Tampa General Hospital. Take the elevator in the lobby to the second floor and proceed to the check in desk located directly next to where you will step out. We kindly ask that you arrive at least fifteen minutes before your appointment to complete any paperwork that may be needed.

Taking With Your Child's Doctor

In order to receive the best possible care for your child it is paramount that there is good communication and reasonable expectations between parent and doctor. In the Internet age parents have a tremendous amount of information about their child's diagnosis readily available at their fingertips enabling them to become experts on their child's care. However, it is important to realize that many of these sources are, at best, incomplete and many deal with untested treatments. Provide your doctor with a complete medical history, a specific list of symptoms and conditions you are currently witnessing in your child, and what has and has not worked in making these symptoms better. With this information the doctor will be able to better assess your child's condition. Feel free to ask questions about the diagnosis and treatment options. Schedule a follow up appointment so that the doctor can continue to monitor progress and so that you can raise any concerns that may have surfaced in the interim.