Objective: To analyze access and perception into health care services in adolescents from public schools from the State of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Methodology: quantitative and qualitative study with population of 13-19 years of both sexes. The sample consisted of 2 187 students selected by multistage design with 95% reliability and error margin of 5%. In the qualitative stage the sample was 34 students; information was collected through depth and group interviews; and analysis was conducted by grounded theory. Results: 62% has attended consultation in the past year for the care of respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses, or accidents. 90% of those who attended would ask consultation again because of the good service they received. 10% would not return for the waiting time and the treatment they received. From the 38% who never went to consultation, 52% was because they did not need it, and 24% because they were not given appointment. Of those interviewed, 60% mentioned that health services are near to their homes, but they used the services only when they feel sick. According to the qualitative analysis, the respondents perceived poor attention and poor quality of medical services. Conclusions: the results show two scenarios. One is that students attend at least once a year to consultation, and they evaluate these services positively; the second is that almost half of the respondents did not use health services because they did not need them or because they have a  poor perception of the services.

Keywords: Teens, students, health, medical care, Nuevo León, Mexico